Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Best and Worst of 2009

I love these lists but the problem with ME doing one is 1) I can never remember if something I loved or hated was this year or ten years ago and 2) I can never totally remember what I loved and hated and 3) these lists are always best compiled at a bar over many drinks. But since the drunk writers are flung to the far corners - this will have to suffice. But it sure would be fun to see all of you at a bar...

Anywho - my best books of 2009

By far and without compare - Hunger Games. Best thing I read in probably the last few years.
Followed by my Russian War period: City of Thieves and The People's Republic of Love. Both excellent. Truly truly excellent.
Not Quite a Husband was brilliant.
The Shadow Of The Wind - an amazing, scary Gothic little gem that I can't get out of my head.

After that things get messy. I loved Covet and I really really enjoyed Catching Fire. I liked Meredith Duran's next two books (I had some problems with them, like Steph - but that is for another post). To Beguile a Beast was good - not top five, but good. I really enjoyed the Victoria Dahl books that I read this year - Talk Me Down and Start Me Up. I read some fantastic Category romance this year - She's Got It Bad, Hot Under Pressure, and Debra Salonen's fabulous Finding Their Son.

As far as disappointments - I was a little down on Ward's Rehvenge book. Good - but not a stand out in the series. I think as she slips from romance into Urban fantasy - I'll stay a great fan, but I won't be obsessively re-reading those books, which honestly makes me sad.

The last of the Hoyt series really disappointed me. It just fizzled a little. Beguile A Beast was a tough act to follow.

Best TV-
Mad Men and Glee - two shows on the opposite ends of the spectrum, but they got me every time. 30 Rock - the episode when they tapped the opening credits to Liz's talk show? Did you see that? Laughed so hard I pulled something. Honestly, funniest thing on television I have ever seen.

Generation Kill. For the writing. For the performances. For Stephanie's boyfriend.

Disappointing TV. Dexter. Oh, Dexter. How they ruined you. Californication. Oh, Frank Moody. How they ruined you.

Movies....what's a movie again? Does it involve animated elephants and talking dogs?
I did manage to see a few things - Away We Go totally destroyed me in it's simple perfect brilliance. Same with Sunshine Cleaning.

Disappointing - we had one night out to see a movie and husband and I love the Coen Brothers so off we go to see A Serious Man. Oy. Brilliant performances, excellent characters, dialogue that's sharp like razor wire. But, what a downer. Honestly.

All right - let's hear yours....


Sinead M said...

Oooh, we do usually dicuss these lists before posting them.. sigh! too little drinking these past few months.
lots more in 2010... soon..

Am now thinking of my list, and Molly, it's scary close to yours...

Karen said...

Hunger Games and the second book were FANTASTIC. I literally could not put them down. Which surprised me - I didn't expect to enjoy them so much.

There were a lot of worst movies. Sadly, I can't remember a best.

Maureen McGowan said...

Hmmm... My list is close to yours, too, with a few disagreements. I might think on this and post a mini-list on Wed.

I actually liked the Revenge book, a lot... While jury's still out for me on Covet. I'm just under half-way through it.

But my big disagreement is Dexter. I wasn't sure the first couple of episodes this season, but the last few? Holy toledo! Did you watch it to the end, Molly?

I do fear for next season now the show runner guy has left... and **spoiler alert** Dexter has a very new and challenging family situation to deal with. But boy, I gasped several times during the last 4 or so episodes and loved how all the story lines from this season kind of wound together at the end..

I never got out to see A Serious Man. Maureen missed a Coen brother's film. Can you believe it? Seriously. ;-) Still a little shocked at myself, but was never in the mood when I went out to movies. I'll catch on pay-per-view or DVD.

Eileen said...

Hmmm. I'm going to have to read Hunger Games.

Let's see what I can come up with off the top of my head . . .

Books - These are ones I read this year, who knows when they were published?

Virginia Kantra's Children of the Sea series.
Jo Graham's Black Ships
Suzanne Brockmann - I can't tell you the titles. They never make sense to me, but I love love love those Troubleshooter books!
Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. I'm on the third one now. The first one was good and each subsequent book in the series has gotten even better.

TV Shows
The Good Wife
White Collar
In Plain Sight
Burn Notice

Young @ Heart - watch it with a box of tissues by your side.
Mamma Mia (but only because I watched it with my sisters and my mother and we all sang along at the top of our lungs)
In the Valley of Elah - devastating commentary on what war does to people
Gran Torino - Okay. Maybe I like this one because if Clint Eastwood just wore his pants a few inches higher, he'd look a little like my dad. Although my daddy would have NEVER talked like that!

I know I'm forgetting things. I might have to add more later!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Maureen watched the last few episodes of Dexter the last few nights and yes. Wow. Big stuff happening, but honestly it feels so totally drowned out by Dexter talking to his father about crap we already know. When he was looking in the four way mirror - oh god. so bad.

Simone said...

Eileen, maybe Clint is more like your Shit My Dad Says uncle.

I'd put Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie pretty close to the top of my 2009 list, with Not Quite a Husband, but I haven't excavated the Durans from my TBR yet.

I loved Hoyt's Beguile a Beast. Was Desire a Devil written under a crazy deadline or something?

District 19 was my fave movie. I can't think of a disappointment off the top of my head - I didn't go to the movies very often this year!

Simone said...

Oops, I mean District 9. I always call it District 19 for some reason...

Eileen said...

Well, my uncle sure as sh*t has the potty talk down! The racist thing? Not exactly his cup of tea. :-)

I can't believe I forgot District 9. That was a VERY powerful movie.

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