Miracles Do Happen!: A Tale of fiftyfifty.me Magic
I didn’t think it was possible. I was 30ish books in, and we were closing in on Thanksgiving. I was close to giving up and slacking through the rest of the year indulging in my new Netflix tv obsession. Then Susie gave me a look, the look sisters can give you, and said audibly what her eyes already said. “You started this. You can do it.”
So I went home armed with books I would never have picked up myself – short story collections, graphic novels, books she thought would absorb me and haul me, like an Iditarod team, across the icy plains of PROCRASTINATION.
I’m proud to announce that I just put down book #50. I did it! The recap:
Favorite book this year:
NIGHT FILM by Marisha Pessl. I waited a long time for the sophomore novel from the author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics, and I was not disappointed. It’s an intense read, and I was couch-bound, enraptured with the world she had created. Well worth the social points you’ll lose for being a hermit as you read it.
Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life by Melody Moezzi. The term bipolar is thrown around, we hear a celebrity diagnosed and then the term fades away again. Moezzi pulls the curtain back in what is one of the most raw, beautiful books I’ve ever read. She compiles her experience, that of the people around her, and medical records, to provide a 360 degree view of something people are often too scared to talk about.
The Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn. It was refreshing to read a humorous, honest narrative of the challenges women who are married with kids might think and feel when they think no one is listening. The voice of this nov
el was one of the most memorable I’ve read in years.
Books I powered through because I felt like I should:
Cyndi Lauper’s memoir. Also - Don’t Hassle the Hoff. I know, I know, I deserved it.
Book that surprised me:
The Language of Flowers. Sometimes I forget the ways in which fiction can crack open a new world for you. The Victorian language of flowers was a beautiful theme in this novel.
Favorite movie this year:
Saving Mr. Banks. I’ve never once paused when asked what my favorite movie is (Mary Poppins), so to hear the story behind the making was a complete treat. The fact that they didn’t destroy my favorite movie was a bonus.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. An amazing documentary that reminded me how much of our own health is in our control if we’re willing to take that first step. I know, a documentary about juicing. I didn’t expect it either!
Movies I powered through because I felt like I should:
Jiro Dreams of Sushi. YAWN.
Movie I would recommend to anyone who listens:
The Sapphires. A movie about an Aboriginal soul group touring during Vietnam. A sleeper, but so good and educational at the same time. The music is outstanding.
Movie that surprised me:
Senna, documentary about the Brazilian race car driver. Any film that can make me care about something I didn’t care anything about, much less cry about, is a masterpiece.
Same for Craigslist Joe. Such a powerful movie about connecting.
It’s been a good year! Thank you all for being part of the madness and thank you especially to Jon for being the pilot of this wild ride and Susie for your beautiful art and Olympic-style coaching to get me across the finish line.
See you all for fiftyfifty.me in 2014 – and Happy New Year!
Full 2013 consumption list with favorites in bold:
|Matched, Ally Condie|
|The Soulmate Secret, Arielle Ford|
|Just Kids, Patti Smith|
|State of Wonder, Ann Patchett|
|The Age of Miracles|
|Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir|
|The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbough|
|Priceless Memories, Bob Barker|
|The Mermaid of Brooklyn, Amy Shearn|
|Suri’s Burn Book|
|Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg|
|My Lives, Roseanne Arnold|
|Life After Life, Kate Atkinson|
|Sleepwalk with Me|
|Don’t Hassel the Hoff|
|Haldol and Hyacinths|
|Since You Asked, Maurene Goo|
|It’s So Easy (and Other Lies), Duff McKagan|
|The Art Forger, B.A. Shapiro|
|Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris|
|Love, Lucy, Lucille Ball|
|Night Film, Marisha Pessl|
|(Night Film is a doorstop of a book = 2 books)|
|Pretty Little Liars|
|Pure Drivel, Steve Martin|
|I Never Liked You, Chester Brown|
|The Night Circus|
|Abundance of Katherines|
|The Silent Wife|
|Stitches, Anne Lamott|
|The Impostor’s Daughter, Laurie Sandell|
|Isadora Duncan, Sabrina Jones|
|The Vietnam War (graphic novel by Zimmerman)|
|Ghost World (Daniel Clowes)|
|Perfect Example (John Porcellino)|
|Together Tea (Marjan Kamali)|
|The Reason I Jump (Naoki Higashida)|
|Thoreau at Walden (John Porcellino)|
|Awaken the Spirit Within (Rebecca Rosen)|
|Never Ending Summer, Allison Cole|
|The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway|
|Everything Was Fine Until Whatever, Chelsea Martin|
|Elements of Content Strategy, Erin Kissane|
|Chasing Utopia, Nikki Giovanni|
|Incarnadine, Mary Szybist|
|101 Great American Poems|
|The Key, Cheri Huber|
|The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros|
|Life of Pi|
|Hemingway & Gellhorn|
|Silver Linings Playbook|
|Don’t Stop Believin’|
|Jiro Dreams of Sushi|
|Piece of Work (the Joan Rivers docu)|
|The Place Beyond the Pines|
|The Queen of Versailles|
|The Great Gatsby|
|The Guilt Trip|
|The Golden Child|
|What To Expect When You’re Expecting|
|Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead|
|Ira & Abby|
|Along Came Polly|
|After Porn Ends|
|Jeff Who Lives at Home|
|Mission Impossible 3|
|Best Man Christmas|
|Breakin All the Rules|
|The Island President|
|I Don’t Know How She Does It|
|Saving Mr. Banks|
|The Italian Job|