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[personal profile] boomqueen
Top Ten Books

  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (YA Fiction) - I absolutely loved this. It was gorgeously written: the characters, the world-building, the slow unveiling of the story's secrets, and the prose were all stunning. And I wholeheartedly agree with [profile] missdeviant's review: "kind of American Gods-y".


  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Adult Fiction) - I enjoyed this so much. It was magical realism at its finest. I loved the sensory details and descriptions of the circus (I want to go!). The author did a great job of presenting events out of order in a slow reveal that kept me absolutely invested in the mystery and the romance the whole way. And I loved the romance because it wasn't just about Celia and Marco, it was also about the relationship in terms of its ripple effect on the people and space around them.


  3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (YA Fiction) - So delightful! This book earned major points for making me laugh out loud over and over again, for being such a sharp satire, and for being so explicitly feminist. Loved it!!!


  4. Matched by Ally Condie (YA Fiction) - I really enjoyed this. The love triangle was decent, but I was much more interested in Cassia's progression towards dissent (what is the line between remaining complacent and rebelling in a flawed system, and how do you decide whether fighting the system is worth putting yourself and your loved ones in danger, etc). I'd have a hard time putting my finger on why I preferred this one out of the Big Three YA Dystopias that came out this year (Matched, Delirium and Divergent), as I know plenty of others who disagreed with me. It doesn't have the believably swoony romance of Delirium or the crammed-with-action-ness of Divergent. Like other YA dystopias, it owes a lot to The Giver, Brave New World and 1984. But what it does have is a gorgeous reconstruction of what it is like to completely lose faith in something you have always believed wholeheartedly and to have to decide whether being honest to your disillusionment and discovery is worth hurting others. What, so maybe I overidentified with that a little... :)


  5. The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart (Adult Non-Fiction) - I really enjoyed this: for the quality of her prose, for her sharp and funny insights in to the impact of media on families, and for how much she made me think about my own relationship to technology and how that affects my social interactions.


  6. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Adult Fiction) - The idea of mutual interest and then romance blossoming over a mysterious historical document reminded me of A.S. Byatt's Possession (which I love), but with a unique universe of daemons, witches and vampires to add a supernatural element. I'm looking forward to the sequel.


  7. Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein (Picture Book) - So hilarious. This captures the voice of adorable interrupting children SO WELL. And it's a great read-aloud.


  8. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C Stead (Picture Book) - A lovely feel-good story of friendship. It totally deserved the Caldecott Medal.


  9. Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na (Picture Book) - Such gorgeous illustrations! I would hang each panel of this book on all my walls. Na is brilliant.


  10. Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human by Grant Morrison (Adult Non-Fiction) - A fascinating look at the cultural forces (Great Depression, WWII, 9/11, etc) that have shaped superhero storytelling. An analysis that is equal parts pop culture, art history, and theology. And 100% pure nerd glee.


Top Ten Albums/Bands

  • Adele - 21


  • Austra - Feel It Break


  • Cut Copy - Zonoscope


  • Jamiroquai - Rock Dust Light Star


  • The Sounds - Something To Die For


  • Digitalism - I Love You Dude


  • The Black Keys - El Camino


  • Loreena McKennitt - The Olive and the Cedar


  • Washed Out - Within And Without


  • M83 - Hurry Up We're Dreaming


Top Ten Songs
I definitely couldn't narrow this one down to ten. I will post separately with mixes to download instead :)

Top Ten TV Shows
  • Doctor Who - I fell in love with Doctor Who this year. I adore Eleven. River Song is made of awesome.


  • Vampire Diaries - I downloaded the first two seasons during summer hiatus on a whim (after some really good vids and seeing the interest of several flisters). It is as cheesy as I had feared but it is also AWESOME. I love Caroline Forbes with the fire of a thousand suns.


  • Misfits - It's like a supernatural version of The Breakfast Club (with a bit of Heroes plus Runaways thrown in) with snarky Brit teens. So much love.


  • Game of Thrones - Arya! Tyrion! Daenerys! Jon Snow! Plus Momoa's manboobies!


  • White Collar - I don't know how I didn't start watching this earlier. It's delightful.


  • Project Runway - Also don't know why I waited until this year to watch. New favorite reality show!


  • Once Upon a Time - Shiny fairy tale crack!


  • Community - Troy and Abed!


  • Lost Girl - Still so good. I love my hotass succubus, her adorable snarky sidekick and their wacky supernatural adventures.
  • Supernatural - I still love the Winchesters <3 <3 <3


  • Honorable mentions to Warehouse 13, Eureka, Castle, Big Bang Theory and So You Think You Can Dance, which I continue to watch and enjoy


Top Ten Random Happy Making Things

  • new iPhones - we upgraded our phones this year and I am still amazed and delighted by how much they can do. I actually think I use it more than my computer now.


  • FYA Book Club - I've been enjoying the book and TV episode reviews on Forever Young Adult for a while, so I shouldn't be surprised that their book club is totally delightfult too. Good reading selections (many of which I wouldn't pick up otherwise) and great conversations!


  • Pinterest - this is my new crack. I love collecting and sharing pretty pictures of different things. Yummy foods I want to try! Crafts I want to make! Nerdy things I love! Everything!!!


  • Nerd Shirts - my hubby got a new job, where the dress code is very casual, and I have had so much fun shopping for nerdy t-shirts. TeeFury, Threadless and ShirtWoot are a few faves so far.


  • Couch to 5k program and RunKeeper app - Such a great way to get back in to running. It starts out at a totally manageable level for couch potatoes and gradually increases to longer workouts and bigger distances. The RunKeeper app is great because it tracks your rate on your phone's GPS, let's you store interval workouts and it works with your iPod playlists--love it!


  • Girl with Curves - Gorgeous fashion ideas for curvy ladies. Of course, I don't have her budget or her figure exactly, but it is still great for outfit ideas.


  • Spotify - Pretty much everything I have ever listened to or wanted to listen to again, immediately available online. TOTAL AWESOMENESS.


  • Board Games: King of Tokyo, Quarriors, Smallworld, Flash Point, more! My hubby got huge in to board games this year (he's always been more a video gamer to this point), so we've been experimenting with different games. Tons of fun so far :)


  • My library - I love it. It saves me so much money on books. It spoils me rotten. And I love getting to gush over books with other people.


Top Ten YouTube

  1. The Doctor Who Kid - this was my year of falling in love with DW and Eleven, so to see an adorable kid screaming this monologue pretty much made my year :)


  2. Acapella version of Call Your Girlfriend - How can people be so talented?!?


  3. Hello, a Harry Potter Book of Mormon Parody - I saw this during the pre-show entertainment before HP7.2 this summer and it was so brilliant. This book WILL change your life!


  4. Hunger Games Trailer - I've rewatched this a bunch and I STILL get chills during the countdown at the end. CANNOT WAIT!!!


  5. Jared about Misha's coin pranks - Another prime example of why these are some of my favorite actors and why I love this show: funny, sharp, smartasses who prank each other mercilessly at work


  6. Tom Waits / Cookie Monster Mashup - Hilarious!


  7. Zach Wahls Speaks About Family - I love this guy. So articulate and so brave!


  8. Lost Girl Top 40 of Season 1 - A great recruiter batch of clips for the hilarious snark and physical comedy on this show, particularly by the Kenzi character. Love her to pieces <3


  9. History of the Aquabats from Comic Con 2011 - I have been listening to this band for over ten years. They are so campy and over the top (crazy outfits! battling large monsters on stage! wacky lyrics!). I got a huge kick out of seeing this mini-history of their band.


  10. Twitch and Alex on SYTYCD - Not technically from this year, but I rewatched it about a million times. Probably my favorite bit from this show ever!


Top Ten Vids

  1. Run Fast by [personal profile] gigglemonster (TVD) - A gorgeous character vid for Caroline through season 2--lovely flow and emotion.


  2. The Price by [personal profile] thingswithwings (Multi) - Clever visual critique of manpain and the way fandom fetishizes it: "Mr Billowy Coat King of Pain."


  3. Teenage Crime by [personal profile] ash48 (Misfits) - Ash did a marvelous job of showing the premise, the characters + their powers, their relationships and the humor of the show. A totally awesome recruitment video. "A snap shot of the characters in the TV show Misfits."


  4. Fudge You by [personal profile] deirdre_c (SPN) - Dei has the most amazing comic timing. This vid has me howling out loud every time.


  5. Come On by [personal profile] charmax (Firefly) - A country hoedown. Her flow + movement was stunning and the tone of the entire vid is perfection.


  6. Wretches and Kings by [personal profile] jarrow (BSG) - Dark and angsty beatwork. Intense and relentless movement. Such flawless technique. I was totally sucked in and flaily from the start.


  7. Smooth Criminal by [personal profile] f1renze (Office) - Brilliant cutting/pacing in this totally hilarious look at the Dwight / Jim rivalry and friendship.


  8. Tonight (I'm F**cking You) by [personal profile] talitha78 (White Collar) - I hadn't watched this show yet when I first saw this vid but the flirtiness and maddening hotness she crafted here is sublime. An awesome recruiter vid for those of us with our slash goggles permanently intact.


  9. She's a Rebel by [personal profile] kaydeefalls (Multi) - All the kickass ladies all the time (for halfmoon 2011)!


  10. No You Girls by [profile] gwyn_r (Multi) - Best gender-bending drag king/queen vid ever!


Top Ten J2 AU Fic Recs

  • Home Is Where the Hurt Is by [personal profile] tebtosca - Librarian!Jensen and Cowboy!Jared FTW!!! "Librarian Jensen Ackles has been secretly in love with cattle rancher Jared Padalecki since high school, but Jared's been pining after the Big Oil socialite that got away. When said socialite returns to their small town newly single, Jared decides to finally woo her by having Jensen teach him how to be a proper gentleman. Jensen never could say no to those stupid dimples."


  • Sure to Lure Someone Bad by [profile] obsinatrix and [personal profile] mistyzeo - The mounting tension of the heat, the interesting twist on the alpha/omega dynamics, the OMGWICKEDHOT elevator sex and the delightful hopeful schmoopiness of the ending = perfection. "Jensen plans to take care of his heat the way he normally does: alone. But there’s a stranger on the subway who has a better idea."


  • Life's Not-so-little Surprises by [personal profile] silverraven - Fun twist on kid!fic with Jensen on the outside looking in. "Jensen’s life is pretty sweet. He has a successful career, an awesome apartment, great friends, and his choice of bed partners. He’s got life all planned out. But what happens when he finds out he has a five-year-old daughter and meets her adoptive father? "


  • Get No Harder by [personal profile] kelleigh - A gorgeous slow build, just as much about rebuilding the individuals as it is about their coming together. Jensen starts to work at a farm, Jared is the farmer's son. "It was the summer that made coming back to life worthwhile."


  • Screw You We're From Texas by [profile] makeit_takeit - Amazing, long slow build fic. And it's like a love letter to Central Texas. It makes me swoon. "Everyone knows the story - Jensen had plans to enroll at Texas Tech and become a Physical Therapist, Jared was heading for the University of Texas to become an Engineer. Instead, they both got against-all-odds breaks in Hollywood and ended up on a totally different path. This is the story of what could have happened if fate twisted differently, if they never got those big Hollywood breaks, and instead ended up living the lives they grew up expecting to lead."


  • Get Some Ink by [personal profile] bewaretheides15 - Unf. "Most high school kids who got lewd, cryptic notes from their bosses would probably have said bosses sued for sexual harassment. Most high school kids don't have bosses like Jensen."


  • People-Who-Can't-Stand-Each-Other-With-Benefits by [personal profile] mistyzeo - Smoking hot hate!sex. "Jared's the only sophomore on the Varsity soccer team, so he thinks he's a little better than dirt, but Jensen Ackles might not agree. But that's okay, because Jensen Ackles is a first-class douchebag."


  • Come Into My Parlour by [personal profile] lazy_daze - Seriously yummy. Jensen has a tattoo parlor and Jared is ready for his next tattoo. guhhhhh.


  • Bang-bang Play by [personal profile] drvsilla - Wicked hot angry-shower-sex in the locker room after a tense baseball game.


  • Jared Padalecki and the Pitch of Destiny by [personal profile] longsufferingly - It's hard to narrow it down to one chash fic, but I'm going to go with this one. It's schmooptastically nerdy. "Jared was going to hide his dorkiness in college. And then his roommate wanted to join the Quidditch league."

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