Best of 2013

December 30th, 2013

Everyone else is posting their “best of” lists for 2013, so here’s mine. Please note these are my own opinions.  They aren’t shared by any of my characters (that I know of) (so far).

Best movie of 2013:

I haven’t seen all the movies that came out in 2013, but the movie at which I enjoyed myself the most in 2013 was The Heat, starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.

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I think a nice rule for Hollywood should be that Melissa McCarthy has to be in every movie (at least a cameo) ever made, from now on. Imagine if she’d been in all the Australian flashback scenes of Saving Mr. Banks! So many more (sometimes needed) laughs.

Best TV show of 2013

There were so many amazing TV shows in 2013, it’s hard to pick just one.

Parenthood (I don’t mind admitting I’m Team Ed.)

The Walking Dead (Yes! I watch Parenthood AND The Walking Dead! Sometimes I wish The Walking Dead would visit the neighborhood in which the cast of Parenthood lives.)

Major Crimes (I wish I worked for Captain Raydor, or at least could hang out with the squad and help them solve all the murders, of which there seem to be a lot in LA.)

Necessary Roughness (OMG I’m SO sad this show is cancelled. In the season finale when Nico turned out to have his own private plane???? I rewound that episode and watched it like 5 times and then casually asked HWSNBNITB, “You wouldn’t happen to have a private plane that you never told me about, would you?” and he said, “What have you been watching?” and I said, “Never mind.”)

Game of Thrones (OMG what if Jon Snow turns out to be the true heir to the throne and he and the Khaleesi get together and she lets him ride on one of her dragons?  IT WOULD BE EVEN BETTER THAN NICO’S PRIVATE PLANE.)

Nurse Jackie (This show is actually fine the way it is, no private planes necessary.)

Scandal (this show is a crazy hot mess which is WHY IT’S SO GOOD. The president has SO MANY PRIVATE PLANES and the best abs of any president that has ever lived. Speaking of which, love these Founding Father Pin Ups).

And so many more shows I can’t remember now because suddenly I’m distracted by something. I can’t think what.

But my favorite discovery of 2013 was Orange is the New Black. If you told me a Netflix series about a women’s penitentiary would be my favorite of the year, I’d say: “Try again!”

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But it is! And it does not even need a cameo from Melissa McCarthy to make it better. It is amazing all on its own. Can’t wait for the new season in 2014.

Best Book of 2013

I know everyone thinks writers must read tons of books—especially every new book that comes out—but some of us have too many voices in our heads already, so we avoid putting new ones in there, at least while we’re working.

I’ve been working on a lot of new stuff, so that means no new reads for me (except when asked as a special favor to blurb something).

So for pleasure I’ve been reading old stuff only, and only outside the genres in which I write (so hard-boiled detective novels and non-fiction about deadly plagues). The books I enjoyed most this year were:

The Travis McGee series by John D MacDonald

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If you watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. you will recall that in the first episode the explanation for Agent Coulson’s  “recovery” from his death in the movie The Avengers was that he was sent to Tahiti to sip Mai Tais and read Travis McGee novels. I highly recommend this form of therapy. Although I’ve never died, been to Tahiti, and I prefer vodka and grapefruit juice over Mai Tais.

The Diary of a Provincial Lady by EM Delafield (and the follow up sequels, The Provincial Lady in London and Provincial Lady in America).

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These are the diaries of a lady novelist living in the English countryside just before (and then during) World War II.  They are delicious.

Shut Up, You’re Welcome by Annie Choi.

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I’ve never met Annie but I’ve been reading her books (and blog) for a while and both never fail to amuse me. She has a healthy respect for deadly plagues.

Best song of 2013:

There were definitely a lot of great songs that came out in 2013 but only one contained the lyrics:

I wear your granddad’s clothes

I look incredible

I’m in this big ass coat

From that thrift shop down the road

I know “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore came out in 2012 but I didn’t discover it in 2013 so I’m putting it on my Best of 2013 List. (It’s my list so I can do whatever I want.)

These are without a doubt my favorite lyrics of the year, possibly of all time. Of course, the song isn’t half as funny if you don’t watch the video which is NSFW and has bad words in it:

Obviously I love of all Macklemore’s songs but this one is my favorite. When they play it in clubs I have to start dancing to it (not that I go to clubs) (well, not every night).

HWSNBNITB is sick of hearing “Thrift Shop” blasting every morning as it is my favorite “time to get to work” song (although Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” is also still on the rotation because are we not all meant to fly?).  So that’s a sign of how well loved it is at our house.

Best Video of 2013

A lot of “best of” lists has “What Does the Fox Say” as best video of 2013, but I personally preferred the SNL spoof What Does My Girl Say because Kerry Washington is so awesome in it and also everything in it is true (also my mom has foxes at her house and I’ve never heard them say anything, but I realize that isn’t the point).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foMQX9ZExsE

Of course there were so many awesome videos of 2013. It’s hard to pick just one.  But this is all I can come up with right now, except for this, of course, obviously the best video all time:

Best News Story of 2013

The birth of the royal baby, Prince George, was a very uplifting story. It’s always fun to hear happy birth/wedding stories, and a royal one is even better (for some reason). (Well, probably because he’s royal.)

 

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But I also like any news story involving animals that help rescue us, and that we, in turn, thank. This was a great one from 2013 about a bomb-sniffing dog that saved an entire unit in Afghanistan, then got reunited with his master after they were both injured and separated.  It made me cry, but in a good way.  Here’s the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVOEN4mBtYw

This concludes my Best Of 2013 list. There were a lot more things I enjoyed in 2013–seeing many of you on my Bride Wore Size 12 book tour; hearing from many of you online; going to France with my family; hanging out with friends; working with great people; learning to drive a boat (though I haven’t bought one yet)–that I could list here, but I’m saving them for the books I’m writing. If I use up all my comments/creativity in my blog/social media, I’ll have no surprises left for my stories! I’m not saying we each have a finite number of words/creativity, but I think a lot about Lizzie Bennett’s wise words in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (another book I re-read this year):

Keep your breath to cool your porridge, and I shall keep mine to swell my song. 

(For more writing advice, check out the latest entries on my Tumblr.)

Have a great 2014, and remember:

Be safe, be happy, but most of all, be yourself!

More later.

Much love,

Meg