So hey, everybody. Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season!
A few of you have written to ask about my mom’s health… and I’m happy to say that she’s doing much better. Thanks for all the good wishes!
Things have been crazy busy here, but it is of course of EARTH-SHATTERING importance that I post my Top 10 of 2013 list, right?!!??!?!??!??!?!?!?`1111/1/1/1/1/
Top 10 Books (These are books I read in 2013, though some may have been released earlier) in no particular order.
10. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Flynn gives these perfect little details and observations… I think I learned more about writing by reading this book than I ever did in any writing class.
9. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
Everybody told me that this is a book that guts you. I mean, it’s about terminally ill kids, for god’s sake. And of course I could totally predict what was going to happen within the first ten pages… but that doesn’t matter. At. All. Because the characters are so charming and so unexpectedly funny that you don’t realize Green slowly inflicting little paper cuts on your soul…
8. Turning the Mind Into an Ally – Sakyong Mipham
The only non-fiction book on the list this year. A GREAT book for beginning practitioners, but also a great book for advanced practitioners, too. Mindfulness from the Tibetan perspective.
7. The Legend of Zero: Forging Zero – Sara King
I don’t read a whole lot of science fiction, but this book really surprised me. Great characters, great world-building. Tons of fun. Highly, highly recommended.
6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
A beautiful book. And if you get the audiobook, you get to listen to Neil himself. J
5. Speaks the Nightbird – Robert R. McCammon
I grew up reading McCammon’s books, but for some reason I kept putting this one off. That was dumb because this book is astounding. Great mystery, great setting, great characters… just an amazing book from beginning to end.
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
Chbosky managed to distill what it was like to be a teenager in the early 90s perfectly. This is one rare case, though, where I think I may have liked the movie even more than the book… because we get more of Sam and Patrick.
3. Dee Gong An – Translated by Robert van Gulik
Really interesting mystery written sometime in the 18th century in China, translated for the first time into English by Robert van Gulik. The similarities to western mystery novels are almost as striking as the differences (though the inclusion of supernatural elements would seem to make solving the mysteries a bit easier…). Pretty nifty, especially if you’re a nerd for Chinese stuff… as I clearly am.
2. Mountain Home – Bracken Macleod
A tense, bloody ride into the heart of chaos. Definitely check this one out… It’s tough to believe this is Macleod’s first novel! I anxiously await his next one!
1. Fuckin’ Lie Down Already – Tom Piccirilli
Noir. Jet. Black. Noir. Tom Piccirilli is frequently called a writer’s writer, and there’s a good reason for that. He is the David Copperfield to my Hey-I-kinda-learned-this-one-card-trick-to-pick-up-chicks-but-I-forgot-how-it-goes.
(Note to young readers: Girls? Not that impressed with card tricks. Even well-done ones.)
Anyway, yes, Piccirilli is a writer’s writer. He also happens to be a READER’S writer. So if you haven’t checked him out, you should.
Top…er… 5 Movies (I didn’t watch much this year, apparently)
John Dies at the End – It…I… You… I mean… You just gotta see it.
Stoker – From the director of Oldboy. A really slick, wicked, make you wanna take a bath in bleach kind of movie.
This is the End – Hilarious. I can’t believe this came out of Hollywood, actually, or that some of the stars involved agreed to do it. But I’m sure glad they did. Complete insanity.
The World’s End – Very funny, nostalgic, and super cool. I’ll pretty much watch anything that Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright. It was great to see some of the Spaced people again in cameos.
American Mary – I’ve heard about the Soska sisters for a bit, but now I see why. Really dark, really fun. Very different from the standard horror fare.
So, what were your favorites this year? I’d love to hear some suggestions!