My Favourite Things: 2013

2013 GraphicEveryone else is doing it! Not sticking their head in ovens, publishing lists of their favourites. So, here’s mine. Highlighted entries point to reviews and ramblings on this blog.

Books

I awarded thirteen five star ratings this year. That’s out of a total ninety-seven books read. I’ve picked five to post here, which will represent five different categories.  Yes, I just love to break things down. It has been mentioned before—on this blog—that I keep lists of my lists.

Science Fiction: Leviathan Wakes by S.A. Corey

Space opera, creepy alien technology, politics, a small lesson in sociology, lots of blam blam and fisticuffs and two at-odds heroes to choose from. I loved them both.

Fantasy: Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrobmie

Bloody and brilliant. I think my friends are tired of hearing me talk about this book. Two of them are reading it right now. They probably think doing so will shut me up. It won’t. When they’re done, we’ll all talk about it together.

Fiction: Hawk Quest* by Robert Lyndon

I got lost in this book. I lived and breathed it. I squealed with delight when I discovered Lyndon was working on a sequel. Engrossing historical fiction.

Romance: Private Dicks by Katie Allen

Is it perverted of me to admit that I really like reading male/male romance novels? (Two penises are better than one!) Erotic content aside, this is a really fun read. The characters are engaging and endearing. They’re guys, through and through, and the angst isn’t overwritten.

Art Book: Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter* by Dan Luvisi

This is another book my friends are tired of hearing about. Sucks to be them.

(Books marked with a * were published in 2013)

Movies

I saw a lot of movies this year, in theatres and safely ensconced in my own couch. I did say in. My couch is the enveloping sort. And it has a name. On to the movies.

In Theatres: Star Trek: Into DarknessAmerican Hustle

Until I saw American Hustle (the day after I drafted this post), Star Trek:  Into Darkness was easily my favourite film of 2013. Loved the reboot, loved Into Darkness more. I enjoyed the plot, but what really made this film work for me was the exploration of the characters. Relationships were tested and deepened. Abrams took the strands of what he created and thickened them. Gave them substance. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this crew.

I can’t say enough about American Hustle. I went to see it because I am a dedicated Christian Bale fan. The story also appealed, as did the return to the seventies, including hair, outfits and music. The hair. Oh my God, the hair. The outfits. The music. The science oven! The accents. I loved everything about this movie, from beginning to end. The story hooked me, but what kept me entertained was the performances of each actor, all of whom embraced their roles in such a way they ceased to be people I recognised.

On DVD:  Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Django Unchained, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, The Great Gatsby, Chasing Mavericks

As these were the only movies I rated with five stars, I decided to list them all. Also, the odd mix of titles makes me smile. There, encapsulated, is the wide range of movies I like to watch. Also: Leo.

TV

I both do and do not watch a lot of TV. I tend to follow series one by one, watching recordings and back episodes at lunch. Highlights this year were Dexter, the final season, and Spartacus: War of the Damned, which also served as a final season. It’s hard to let both shows go, but in my opinion, they ended well.

I’ve picked up a couple of new shows this year. The two I’m most excited about are Almost Human and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.

Games

It was a good year for games, for me. I only played two that were published in 2013. I’m kinda slow. I replayed Mass Effect 1-3. I played Fall Out: New Vegas. I finally got through Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and then went back to play Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood. I finished the big quest in Skyrim! I bought Red Dead Redemption and wondered what all the fuss was about. Loving Borderlands 2. Oh, and Tomb Raider. I got a lot of joy out of watching myself get impaled in 101 imaginative ways. It’s tempting to name Mass Effect 3 my favourite game, for the second year running, but I had a lot of fun with a lesser known title out of Russia.

Favourite Game: Metro: Last Light

The sound track got me first. It’s not symphonic, it’s a haunting, bluesy guitar. The story is integral to the game play experience, not just a framework from which to hang events. I achieved total immersion, which is always a plus in an RPG. The graphics were really nice (pretend I inserted some technical jargon here to tell you just how nice). What I liked most, aside from the story, was fact you could play this game in several ways. You could hack and slash your way through using a number of tactics and weapons. But you could also sneak past the guards, or choose to knock them unconscious. There were also a number of quests that didn’t focus on killing and collecting. Also: it’s a post apocalyptic world, which I’m always a total sucker for, but it’s not just zombies. There’s something else going on. It’s a really cool game.

Music

Oh, yeah, we’re (me, myself and I) listing it all. Long live the list!

Favourite Album:  2nd Law by Muse.

Yep, it was released in 2012. Who cares? I bought it in 2013 and I thrashed it. In fact, I played it so much, my audio player is convinced I cannot live without a daily dose of muse. The shuffle function now sorts between the Muse albums, throwing in the occasional Philip Philips song just to keep it real.

Favourte Song: Stay by Rihanna (ft. Mikky Ekko)

Makes me shiver and weep. Not all the time? But… You get the idea.

Food

Sure, why not. It’s nearly lunchtime (as I write this) and I cooked up some fabulous new food this year.

Favourite Recipe: Penang Hokkien Noodles

The sounds my husband and I made while consuming these noodles were rude. Very, very rude. Hot, spicy and delicious!

Activity

My favourite? Sleeping. What I did a lot of? Sleeping. I also wrote a lot. I really enjoyed tending my blog this year. I can’t say I enjoyed having my novella published; it was nerve-wracking in the extreme. I did love writing it, though. I’m enjoying writing the sequel. I also wrote three short stories this year, and another novella length fan fiction. Oh, and I finished editing a book I wrote last year. So, when not sleeping…

Favourite Activity: Writing

Okay, I’m done. Hope you enjoyed the list.

8 thoughts on “My Favourite Things: 2013

  1. Billybuc December 27, 2013 / 10:55 am

    It’s always interesting to see lists like this one. You can learn so much about a person by their likes and dislikes. Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays to you.

    • Kelly Jensen December 27, 2013 / 10:58 am

      Glad you enjoyed the list. 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  2. Jenn Burke December 27, 2013 / 10:58 am

    You and your lists, Kel. I love ’em. 😀

    • Kelly Jensen December 27, 2013 / 10:59 am

      One day I’ll write about the list I keep of my lists. Mmhm.

  3. Carl V. Anderson December 31, 2013 / 6:41 pm

    I’m playing the first Metro game now, a Christmas gift from my brother-in-law. Enjoying it and look forward to the next one when the time comes. I started a replay of Fallout: New Vegas this year. Its been long enough that I’m not remembering things and am enjoying being in this world again. Tomb Raider was a pleasant surprise and a game I will be replaying in the year to come. I also played Call of Duty: Ghosts and although it was far too short it is a game I recommend…just not at full price.

    I read and enjoyed the first two Expanse books, which made their way on to my favs list. Also am enjoying Almost Human. My favorite movie of the year was Oblivion. I did enjoy the Star Trek film although I hope they do something new for the next film, if there is one.

    Very fun list you put together.

    • Kelly Jensen December 31, 2013 / 7:41 pm

      I’d like to go back and play the first Metro game. I’ve heard good things. When I picked up Metro: Last Light, I didn’t know it was a sequel. The story does work alone, though, which is awesome. I’ve also heard great things about CoD: Ghosts. I had my eye on it during the Steam sale. It’s still $45. I’ve got enough to keep me occupied until the price drops a little further. Once I finish Borderlands 2, I’m moving on to Assassin’s Creed III.

      I’m looking forward to the second Expanse book. I’ve heard it’s just as good, if not better than the first. Oblivion was a /great/ film. I liked it a lot.

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed my list. 🙂

      • Carl V. Anderson December 31, 2013 / 8:39 pm

        My son-in-law bought me the first Borderlands recently and I’ve enjoyed what little I’ve played, so I’ll certainly be grabbing the second.

        Certainly wait for awhile with Ghosts. If I hadn’t gotten it for a Christmas gift I would be waiting. I occasionally *have* to buy games when they first release, but I’d rather wait until I can pay $15-20, or less.

        I need to listen to that Muse album. I had a lot of friends praising it when it came out and I remember liking what I heard. I’m generally waaay behind the curve with the music I discover and like, but honestly I don’t care. I enjoy it all the same.

  4. Thomas January 9, 2014 / 8:57 am

    I also enjoyed the Great Gatsby, really liked Rihanna’s “Stay”, slept a decent amount, and loved the time I spent writing. I’ll have to use this post to check out more books, movies, etc. in the future. (:

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