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Book(fiction): Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein)

Book(nonfiction): tiny beautiful things (Cheryl Strayed)

Book(reread): Till We Have Faces (Lewis)


TV: I watched a LOT of TV this year, weirdly, and The Good Wife won by a mile, there's no question about that. But also a honorable mention to Robert Carlyle's acting for being quite awesome and taking me through quite a bit of terrible writing. Wait, is that a good thing?

Movie: The only movie I saw in a theater in 2012 was Brave. Which I liked well enough.
cahn: (Default)
Because [ profile] julianyap wanted to know! Unfortunately it's hard for me to categorize things based on when they were published rather than when I read them, so... here we are. Books actually published in 2000-2010 are indicated by asterisks.

Cut for length )Well. I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out, but this is a beginning, anyway. Are there books published in the last ten years that didn't make it on this list and a) you know I've read it and are interested in discussing why it's not on, or b) you think I should read, because if I had read it, it would be on this list, or c) why is this sentence so atrociously convoluted?
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Music: I heard Giuliano Carmignola playing the one of the Mozart violin concertos on the radio and was totally wowed -- it completely changed the way I thought about the Mozart violin concertos.

TV: Deep Space Nine. Oh, yeah, it's got the shiny happy Star Trek thing going, but it surprisingly... doesn't suck. Abigail Nussbaum talks about how it is actually kind of made of awesome, especially compared to other ST's and BSG.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part I). I seriously loved this movie. A lot. (Even if I hadn't, well, it was the only movie I watched this year.)

Book (fiction): I read a lot of fiction books this year, both good and bad. Nothing that made my Favorite Books of All Time list, but some good ones I liked quite a bit. Ones that stick out: Demon's Covenant (Brennan) for solid YA; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Diaz) for edgy meaningful SF; This House of Brede (Godden) for thoughtful comfort read (except for one bit which is extraordinarily not comforting) -- this is the book this year I'm most likely to actually buy to own.

Also, The Merlin Conspiracy (Diana Wynne Jones) wins a Special Prize for Being Exactly What I Needed to Read When Suffering from Labor and from Post-Partum Lack-of-Sleep Delirium. I should probably reread it to see if it holds up as being as good as I remember, given that I was, um, not in my normal frame of mind when I read it.

Book (series): Daniel Abraham's Long Price quartet. I haven't liked an adult epic fantasy so well since... well, for quite a while.

Book (nonfiction): Checklist Manifesto (Gawande). Catapulted onto my "everyone needs to read this RIGHT NOW!" list.

Reread: Folk of the Fringe (Card) and The Dispossessed (LeGuin). Both were in my memory as okay, but on reread blew me away with how good they were.
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Music: Iphigenie en Tauride (Gluck; Gardiner recording). For some reason this opera stole my heart, even though my French really isn't good enough to understand what they're saying, and I don't really like any other Gluck as much. I think a large part is the Gardiner recording being just so... orchestral; the orchestra is practically another character in the opera.

Movie: The Ring Cycle (Bayreuth). Up. Up was the best movie I'd seen in a movie theater since... since the Incredibles. The Ring Cycle was one of Those Things where I don't expect anyone else to like it necessarily, but... wow. Wow. Blew me away.

Book (fiction): Interpreter of Maladies (Jhumpa Lahiri). Yeah. Lahiri is just Really Good.

Book (nonfiction): I, Asimov / Prime Obsession (Derbyshire) - a tie! Asimov wins for extremely amusing and readable memoir, while Derbyshire wins for interesting math.

Reread: The Severed Wasp (L'Engle) - Really, I think this is L'Engle's best non-Murry book.

I am really surprised that there is no SF/F on this list (I don't count Severed Wasp, even though it arguably takes place in a near-future NY).
cahn: (Default)
In rough ascending order of how excited I was about it. This was a good year for media (except for movies); I had a tough time ordering this.

Movies: A sparse category this year, but I'll say Guys and Dolls. Because I have a crush on Marlon Brando this big, and seeing him sing love songs makes me swoon. He's only a minimally competent singer, actually, not a particularly good one, but he sells it well.

TV: The Office! The only TV show I actually watch on a current basis.

Books(first read, fiction): The Engineer Trilogy (Parker) squeaked in at the very end of the year. I'm not counting this as a series (although I should), mostly so's I can mention this along with Voigt. It's dark and reminds me rather of a fantastically precision-engineered Rube Goldberg contraption, but I really, really liked it all the same. Will try to post on this later. Post on the first book here. These books engage exactly the opposite circuits in my brain than the Tillerman books below.

Reread: Card's Memory of Earth series, which I don't think I've reread all the way through since high school; thoughts here.

Music: I am totally and incontrovertibly in love with Ian Bostridge. This is how in love I am: I'll even listen to him singing German art songs! though I prefer to hear him sing Britten or Handel. Honorable mentions: [ profile] liuzhia hooked me on Wicked. Also, Angela Lansbury in the original cast recording of Sweeney Todd is just flipping amazing, as is the entire recording, even though I don't much like the movie version.

Book series: The Tillerman Cycle (Voigt). A Solitary Blue gets special mention here. These (YA) books are about families and reaching out and make my heart hurt. Weirdly, Voigt's fantasy books leave me almost entirely cold.

Books(first read, nonfiction): Sweet Anticipation (Huron)! Most completely awesome book I read this year, no competition, possibly the best book I've read for several years. Awesome subject matter, and Huron actually talks about it very intelligently and scientifically. However, I will note also in honorable mention that The Art and Craft of Making Jewelry (Gollberg) has beautiful pictures, and Photographing the Southwest (Martres) is extremely useful.
cahn: (Default)
In rough ascending order as to how excited I am about it. It is weird, yes, that I was way more excited about movies than books this year. It was a great year for music.

Books (first read, fiction): The King Must Die and Bull from the Sea (Mary Renault); Hmm. I think this means it was not a good year for books for me. At least for transcedental experiences of books, as I read tons and tons of books I liked very much (thanks, flist!!). But there was nothing this year of the level where I start talking madly about it to every random person I meet (whereas both movies, below, fell into that category).

Reread: Sayers' translation of the Inferno, which is still fabulous, and definitely has the most fabulous notes/introduction out there, and, who knew, is apparently the perfect airport layover book (well, for me; I'm warped that way) when ill and frustrated.

Book series: Kage Baker's Company series :) The Antonia Forest Marlow series probably should also make an appearance here, but doesn't, because they are so bleepingly hard to find, so I've only read the first book, which in my brain doesn't really count as a series.

Books (first read, nonfiction): Galen Rowell's photography books. The man could take pictures AND write! Honorable mention to Tony Sweet's photography books, which are beautiful and inspiring, more so than many beautiful photography books.

TV: Veronica Mars season 3 (which, of course, I watched mostly in DVD form). Yeah, some things sucked about it, but Veronica Mars sucking is better than most TV shows ever get. And I loved it anyway because Veronica has grown and matured so very much since season 1, and the end broke my heart. Not least because the ending eps melded all I loved about season 1 with the richer, more mature Veronica of season 3, and just when it was getting good they canceled it. WAH.

Movies: Stranger than Fiction and A Man for All Seasons, in two very different ways... and, on the other hand, in some very similar ways as well; they're both about what it means to be human, and what essential parts of being human can't be given up, and what makes greatness. A good year for me movie-watching-wise.

Music: Rene Jacobs' version of Mozart's Nozze di Figaro, which won out with flying colors in a long and grueling comparison of all the Figaros out there. Mozart, in general, sweeps 2007! Chandos Opera in English. Vivaldi's Gloria recorded by Alessandrini (completely changed the way I think of the Gloria).


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