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Everyone Loves a Comeback Kid?

January 10, 2022 in Books, Movies

comebackI begin this year with a confession.

I didn’t make it in 2014. I want to tell you I tried, that I was reading until the final hours of 2013, but I’m too lazy to lie to you. I realized I was in trouble sometime around mid-June, but I didn’t stop long enough to plan a strategy for a return to grace. Here I am, your shamed co-founder, admitting that I read all of 23 books this year and saw 38 movies. Those 50 new recipes I was going to cook? Got through 21 of them.

I would tell you about how I was on a plane every other week, but that would only give you the impression that I have no good excuses. So let’s just fast forward to that impression, shall we? Because it’s about on point.

Favorite book discoveries of 2014:

I Suck at Girls by Justin Halprin (the guy who created Sh*t My Dad Says) – the first time I believe I’ve publicly snorted while reading and laughing.

Calling Dr. Laura (Nicole Georges) – a reminder of how powerful graphic novels can be. And a great title.

If You Have to Cry, Go Outside (Kelly Cutrone) – a nonfiction book that makes you fairly sure you can kick a little ass before you put it down

(My) best movies seen in 2014:

The Book Thief – Exactly twice in my life have I said the movie lived up to the book. The first was The Firm. Now, The Book Thief. One of the most creative and beautifully-written books I’ve read; I may have actually enjoyed the movie more. The opening scene is one of the most gorgeously shot I’ve seen in a film - ever.

August: Osage County – One look at the cast and you knew this would be powerful. I had no idea how funny and relatable it would be. Loved every minute of it; it felt like going to the theater.

I Give It A Year – Let it be said that I will watch any romantic comedy on Netflix. It’s an addiction, it’s openly acknowledged, and I understand that my lack of quality control must be addressed. However, this movie was one of my favorite finds of the year. So awkward, so perfect. Total sleeper find – I watched it a few times!

American Hustle – I’m always up for a good gangster or hustle flick. The absurd costumes and great acting made this one a favorite.

20 Feet From Stardom - A documentary (thank you, Netflix!) about background singers. The people whose voices have powered the back sound for our favorite stars. Absolutely fascinating, whether or not you’re a music aficionado. If you are, you will absolutely love it.

Wolf of Wall Street – See gangster/hustle comment above.

Fab 5 – This was an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary. I am now officially obsessed with this series. This particular installation covers the Fab 5 basketball team at University of Michigan, their effect on hip hop culture, and more. Riveting, can’t believe it took me this long to watch it.

Finding Fanny – Randomly saw this Indian film (a major release, in English), which probably only had limited distribution in the US. Absolutely charming, beautiful writing, wonderful acting. The story of an older man who goes on a road trip with a motley crew to track down his childhood love.

Parent Trap & Freaky Friday – This year I had a reckoning with the youthful acting days of one Lindsay Lohan. I found out that not only did I like, but I absolutely loved her sassy personality and adult delivery. While it’s hard to replace a childhood favorite like Parent Trap, the remake was actually pretty great and I found myself as fascinated with the split screens as I was back in the 80s when I first saw Hayley Mills play the role. I went on a Lindsay Lohan bender at the end of the year, but it was cheerful and wonderful and I will not take that back!!

Looking forward, in 2015 I’m hoping to step out of my comfort zone with books a bit more. I’m beginning my first read of the year with a recommendation – a book my mom picked up at the local bookstore Warwick’s, and hasn’t even read herself. This goes against my reading protocol, where books are heavily weighted and researched before I dive in. I tore through the first fifty pages of Crazy Rich Asians and can’t wait to get back to it. Stay tuned.

This year I will NOT be taking on a third “50” category (last year: recipes). If I couldn’t get through a basic 50/50 last year, who am I to add to the challenge, really?

Stay tuned for more updates on what I’ve consumed and I’ll look forward to yours, too.

Here’s to 2015: The Year of the Comeback Kid.

- Lilly

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