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Miracles Do Happen!: A Tale of fiftyfifty.me Magic

December 31, 2013 in Books, Movies

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.

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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. 

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Honorable Mentions:

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.

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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:

10032672The 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.

Honorable mention:

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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:

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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:

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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!

-Lilly

 

Full 2013 consumption list with favorites in bold:

BOOKS 

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
Beautiful Ruins
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
Clumsy
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

 

MOVIES

Life of Pi  
Broken City
Happy Accidents
Extract
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Identity Thief
Silver Linings Playbook
Quartet 
Don’t Stop Believin’
Campaign
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Piece of Work (the Joan Rivers docu)
The Place Beyond the Pines
The Queen of Versailles 
Matrimonio all’Italiano
The Great Gatsby
The Guilt Trip
Butter
The Internship
The Golden Child
Religulous
What To Expect When You’re Expecting
Despicable Me
The Heat
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
Anchorman
Ira & Abby
Along Came Polly
56 Up
After Porn Ends
Jeff Who Lives at Home
Senna
Joyful Noise
Craiglist Joe
Gravity
Mission Impossible 3
Best Man Christmas
Breakin All the Rules
Pitch Perfect
Catching Fire
The Sapphires
Philomena
Romantics Anonymous
The Island President
Skyfall
I Don’t Know How She Does It
Saving Mr. Banks
The Italian Job
Paradise
The Freebie

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