Melissa (wand3rlust) wrote,

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2010 Wrap Up Pt. 2 - Books, Music & Movies

This is going to be much shorter than the last post but I did want to finish up the rest of what I didn't cover in Pt. 1.

I was going to do this huge review of all seasons of BSG with this post, but many of you already know my thoughts. I'm sure some day I'll sit down and pick it apart... but not today. Just know that ever since I flew through all 4 (or 6 depending how you count it) seasons in October I was inspired to dive back into the LJ fandom world and couldn't be happier with the awesome people and communities that I've come across. Color me surprised that this fandom (especially my lovely Kara/Lee shippers!) are still as active as they are - given this show has been over for nearly 2 years. You guys have been great and most warm and welcoming bunch of fans ever. <33

This list is pathetically short this year. I think part of the problem was that it all started off so horribly at the beginning of the year. During my move last January I didn't have any books unpacked, so on a trip to Walmart I picked up P.C. Cast's Divine by Mistake that I thought I could breeze through for some good fantasy fluff. It was SO BAD that I actually kept reading it for a couple more days just for the laughs, but finally I couldn't take anymore and just tossed it aside. I nearly threw it in the trash because I didn't want to donate it and have some poor soul suffer through it. What's most baffling to me is, I go look at the reviews and it's somehow getting an average of 3/4 star reviews. HOW? I don't usually rag on books much, but really this was like reading some bad Mary Sue fan fiction written by a 10 year old. After that is when I finally got internet hooked up at my new apartment and started catching up on 2 years worth of shows I'd missed. Sadly, I didn't pick up a book again until around April.
  • "Divine by Mistake" - P.C. Cast. (not finished) - As noted above, I just couldn't bring myself to finish this.
  • "Collapse" - Jared Diamond - After watching the fantastic documentary 180 degrees south I picked up this book by Jared Diamond that was referenced in the film. It's a fascinating look at what has caused civilizations to thrive and collapse throughout history. I plan on reading one of his other bestsellers Guns, Germs & Steel this year.
  • “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman - I was actually looking in the bookstore for a novel by Lynn Flewelling when I came across this novel. It sounded interesting so I grabbed it since they didn't have the book I was looking for. It ended up being a quick read with some interesting characters. I later found out Neil Gaiman would be writing some episodes of Doctor Who this upcoming year and I'm excited to see what he comes up with!
  • The Host” by Stephanie Myer - I know what you're thinking! But I promise I'm not even remotely a Stephanie Myer fangirl. In fact out of the Twilight series I really only liked the first book, the rest took me forever to finish. However, that said I picked up the "The Host" while lounging at the bookstore this summer and found the premise rather interesting so I bought it and finished it within a few days. It's a character driven sci-fi-ish novel about an alien species that takes over the human race ala Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  I actually found some of the secondary characters more interesting than the main girl Melanie, however the alien, Wanderer is quite fascinating. 
  • "Her Fearful Symmetry" - Audrey Niffenegger - Given that Audrey's The Time Traveler's Wife is among one of my very favorite novels I picked this up at the end of 2009 when it was released. I think it says a lot that it took me two attempts to finish the novel. It's not horrible, but I didn't find it as emotionally gripping or page-turning as TTTW.
  • "The Time Traveler's Wife" - Audrey Niffenegger (re-read) After reading HFS I decided to re-read this to confirm that, yes, I still loved it as much as I remembered I did.
  • "Persuasion"  - Jane Austen (re-read) This is probably my favorite Austen Novel. It's one of the very few I like to re-read about once a year and I can't count the number of times I watched the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds movie adaption.
  • "The Lovely Bones" - Alice Sebold (re-read) It's funny because when I first read this book about four years ago I didn't think I would ever re-read it, especially given it's dark material and that I rarely re-read anything. However, when a girl in my city was murdered and her body found in the woods at the end of 2009 I kept thinking about it and this book and how it had haunted me. Then I began seeing trailers for the movie they made of it and I decided to re-read it. It is a dark book but at the same time uplifting and imaginative.
  • "Still Alice" Lisa Genova - (not finished) I picked up this book because of all the rave reviews, however at the time I started reading this I was in a really bad mental frame of mind, so it's dark subject dealing with a woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's wasn't one I was ready to deal with at the time. I put it aside hoping to finish it later. It's on my "to finish" list for this year.

Music Highlights
I'm an indie/alternative/hard rock girl through and through. (iI you couldn't already tell by my recent fanmixes) However I also really like some pop & r&b as well. Here are just a few bands/artists off the top of my head that I liked a lot this year.
  • A Fine Frenzy - nothing new from them, but they continued to be on heavy rotation on my ipod.
  • Rihanna - Only Girl In the World is one of my very favorite songs from the end of the year. I keep meaning to check out the album, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
  • Mumford & Sons - I love their insightful songs unique and fresh sound.
  • Broken Bells - I'm a big fan of The Shins, so color me surprised when I discovered I adored this side project of his even more! The whole album is great, but I especially love "The Ghost Inside" which I could put on repeat for several rotations.
  • The Black Keys - A friend introduced me to this band in '09 and I haven't been able to get enough of them since!
  • P!nk - This chick is just golden. I know many of my fellow BSG/Starbuck fans like her too since she practically seems like Starbucks rock star alter ego. :) Raise Your Glass is one of my favorite songs from the end of this year too. So fun to just blast on the radio. And her other new song F*ckin' Perfect is damn good as well.
  • Lady Gaga -  I'm almost embarassed to admit I like Lady Gaga after all the strange controversy around her. But I do like her songs, they're fun to dance, work out and clean to. :)
  • Jack Johnson - This man is my music boyfriend. I don't think there's a song he's done that I don't like. I got to see him in concert this summer and I think my cold heart melted into a slushy puddle when he sang "My Little Girl" a song he wrote for his newborn daughter. *sigh*
  • Vienna Teng - She's like the female equivalent to Jack Johnson in my head. There's not an album of hers that I don't like.
  • E.S. Posthumous - Ever since I discovered these guys 5 years ago (when no one knew who was actually behind the album's music) I find myself anticipating each new album that always seem to come way too far apart. I can't get enough of their sweeping orchestral and epic choral music. They released their most recent album in early 2010 and I still think they're fantastic and can't wait for more from them. Good stuff, especially if you like soundtrack scores and trailer music
Ok... I could keep going and going with the music/bands so I think I'll just stop here. :)

I honestly didn't go to the theater as much this year as I usually do, but wow did I ever watch a boat load of Netflix this last year. Also, I generally tend to save rom-coms/comedies and indie/foreign films for DVD rental and use my theater going money for sci-fi and action movies which are worth the extra $$'s to me since you just can't get that experience at home later.
  • Avatar - I know this was a polarizing love it/hate it movie. I really liked it though. Not so much because of the story, which less face it, was less than original. But I thought the 3D was really well done. It wasn't so pop in your face as what most people think of when they hear 3D which I really enjoyed. The story was sweet and I think it should be interesting to see the follow up movie(s) to this. 
  • Inception- I didn't think it was as groundbreaking as many people hailed it to be. That said, it was by far the best blockbuster this summer and I thought the premise was very original.
  • The Lovely Bones - I thought this was a big stinker sadly. I think the book didn't translate to film very well and the pace was just horribly slow.
  • Shutter Island -  Speaking of stinkers... I was terribly disappointed in this film. Either I'm terribly clever or this movie was ridiculously predictable. Let's just say, I'm really not that clever...
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - It's not going to win any Oscars or anything, but I thought this film was a lot of fun!
  • The Town - Ben Affleck really surprised me with this tense and surprisingly romantic movie. It had some great action sequences with bits of cheeky humor thrown in. I liked it a lot and would put it right up there with The Departed.
  • Iron Man 2 - Again, not expecting anything Oscar-worthy from my action movies. I thought it was good fun and I generally geek out over most comic book movies. (With the rare exceptions of the horrendous Daredevil and Spider Man 3)
  • Remember Me - I watched this because I really like Emilie de Ravin on LOST. The movie seemed like your average quirky indie love story. Not bad but not amazing either, then the ending happened and it totally surprised the hell out of me. I won't soon forget it.
  • Alice In Wonderland - Sadly I wasn't impressed by the story. The actors, costumes and set designs however were fantastic!
  • Salt - Was ok, but nothing to write home about.
  • Due Date - I have a twisted sense of humor and even I thought this went way overboard. And not in a oh no they didn't kind of way, but in a ew that's just wrong kind of way. Surprising fail for RDJ and Zach Galifianakis.
  • Leap Year,    Eat, Pray Love    &    Letters to Juliet - I thought all three were pretty decent for rom-coms. Nothing spectacular, but again I don't expect Oscar performances for those kinds of movies.
  • Harry Potter 7 Pt. 1 - I know why they split this up into 2 movies, but they could've packed a little more action into the first part. Also, at this point I'm positive that those who haven't read the books will be completely lost. I think there' s just too much going on not to keep everything straight if you haven't read the stories.

There are tons more movies and documentaries I watched via Netflix, but there are far to many to get into them now. Also, I have a big list of 2010 movies to rent that I didn't see in theaters, but this about wraps up my rather small list of movies I actually saw in the theaters, with the exception of Remember Me and Leap Year which I rented a couple months ago - so I do count them.

Ok... that covers 2010. Moving on!

Tags: a fine frenzy, audrey niffenegger, austen, avatar, black keys, books, broken bells, es psthumous, harry potter, inception, iron man, jack johnson, lovely bones, movies, mumfortd and sons, pink, the host, the town, tttw, vienna teng, year end
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