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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.