Reading List: Powell’s Books staff’s best books of 2017

Powell’s just released their Staff Top 5 Picks of 2017, and I’ve crunched the numbers* in order to calculate their “consensus” Top Ten. Presented in order of most to least total points, they are (links below take you to Powell’s, because that seemed appropriate):

  1. The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld (34 points)
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (29 points)
  3. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (26 points)
  4. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (23 points)
  5. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (21 points)
  6. American War by Omar El Akkad (21 points)
  7. Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh (19 points)
  8. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (19 points)
  9. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie (16 points)
  10. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby (14 points)

So far, the only book on this list that I’ve read is The Hate U Give. That one made my top five best of 2017 list as well. But, I’ve had my eye on Borne and American War for a while now. Both sound fantastic. I may bump these up on my library hold list based on how well loved they were by the Powell’s staff.

Overall, this looks like a pretty solid list of great books. In general, Powell’s staff recommendations are a pretty reliable source for me of great reads, especially for literary fiction. So, I’ve added these to my to-read shelf and created a separate PowellsBestof2017 Goodreads shelf to keep track of them.

If you’ve already read anything on this list, or if you are planning to read anything here, let me know what you think/recommend in the comments.


* In case you’re interested, here’s how I came up with the total points… I did some good old “copying and pasting” of all the lists into a spreadsheet. Then I assigned points to each mention of each book based on where it appeared in each list (5 points for first place, 4 points for second place, etc.). Then I made a pivot table and sorted the results by total number of points in descending order. There was an obvious cut-off after the first ten books. So I capped the list at ten books.

I did this same analysis for the past 2 years. You can check out my analysis and summary of the 2016 best of post here and the 2015 best of post here if you’re looking for more recommendations.

Reading List: Powell’s staff’s best books of 2016

Powell’s just released their Staff Top 5 Picks of 2016 yesterday. I crunched the numbers* and calculated their “consensus” Top Ten. Presented in order of most to least total points, they are (links take you to Powell’s, because that seemed appropriate):


  1. The Lonely City by Olivia Laing (20 points)
  2. The Girls by Emma Cline (17 points)
  3. Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (12 points)
  4. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (12 points)
  5. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (11 points)
  6. What Is Obscenity? by Rokudenashiko (10 points)
  7. The Fireman by Joe Hill (10 points)
  8. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (10 points)
  9. LaRose by Louise Erdrich (10 points)
  10. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (10 points)

What I love about this list is that there are so many books on here that I’d not heard of before. Sure, I knew that The Girls and The Fireman were getting a lot of buzz. I’ve also been hearing great things about Commonwealth. I’ve already started Homegoing and the first few chapters are great. But, other than that, the rest are completely new to me.

As I’ve mentioned before, I trust Powell’s staff recommendations. So, I’ve added these to my to-read shelf and created a separate PowellsBestof2016 Goodreads shelf to keep track of them. I’ve already started Homegoing, but if you’ve read anything else on this list, or are planning to read anything else here, let me know what you think/recommend in the comments.


* In case you’re interested, here’s how I came up with the total points… I did some good old “copying and pasting” of all the lists into a spreadsheet. Then I assigned points to each mention of each book based on where it appeared in each list (5 points for first place, 4 points for second place, etc.). Then I made a pivot table and sorted the results by total number of points in descending order. There was an obvious cut-off after the first ten books. After that, there were a bunch with 9 points each. So I capped the list at ten books.

I did this same analysis last year for the Powell’s Staff Top 5 Picks of 2015. You can check out that post here if you missed it. You can also check out my shelf for those books on Goodreads, where I’m keeping track of what I’m reading.

Top 5 Most Recent Additions to Your #Reading Wishlist

Sorry I haven’t been posting much this month, blog fans. I was out of town and I’ve been swamped with work and PitchWars prep. But, I have two posts planned for next week that you can look forward to… one is my usual month-end summary post for July, and the other is a summary of my PitchWars prep process for anyone out there who’s curious about my writing process and/or how much work goes into preparing for a contest like PitchWars.

In the meantime, I thought I’d do a fun “top five” list from the “Top 5 Wednesday” prompts for this month.

I’ve been doing a lot of book browsing lately. While I was “back East,” I got to visit an amazing bookstore in Ann Arbor that is owned by a swimmer and his wife (Literati). I highly recommend stopping in if you’re in the area. It’s super cute and they have an excellent selection of books. Plus they have a sweet espresso bar upstairs. I could have spent the entire day there.

I’ve also been getting quite a few recommendations from friends–especially my best two reader friends who I got to spend time with recently. And, in my prep for PitchWars, I’ve been introduced to a ton of really great looking books written by the PitchWars mentors.

Since it seems like all I’ve been doing lately is adding books to my wishlist, I thought I’d do the “Top 5 Most Recent Additions to Your Wishlist” prompt. I’ve limited this to books that I currently do not own, but would really like to buy (or borrow from the library). Here are my five picks:


  1. Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz – This one came highly recommended by my two best bookish friends and I’ve learned that if they both like something, I better add it to my TBR immediately and reserve a copy at the library because there is a high likelihood that I will love it.
  2. Zero K by Don DeLillo – I think that one of my very first ever purchases from Amazon was his book Americana. Or maybe it was White Noise. I can’t remember. I could look this up, but I’m too lazy to log in to Amazon. It doesn’t really matter. I only bring it up to point out that I really like his writing style and when I saw he had a new book, I freaked out. The only problem is, something about his writing makes me want to read this in paper instead of on my Kindle. So, I may have to wait for it to come out in paperback…
  3. Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith – I heard one of the Book Riot folks talking about this book on their podcast and I started bouncing in my seat. My first intended major was marine biology (later changed to something much more practical and boring: operations management). But, ever since reading The Arm of the Starfish in my formative years, I REALLY wanted to be a marine biologist like Mr. Murray (aka Calvin from A Wrinkle in Time, aka Polly’s dad). This one doesn’t come out until December. I may have to pre-order the hardcover. That’s how badly I want to read this book.
  4. Girl Underwater by Claire Kells – This one came recommended from a PitchWars mentor who found out about my love of swimming / swimmers. The blurb reads a little like a cross between a high school “swimcest” novel and the TV show Lost. Of course, I’ve never watched Lost, but there’s a plane crash and survival at stake, so that’s immediately what I thought of…
  5. Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration of the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation and Time Travel by Michio Kaku — This was one I saw someone I follow on Twitter talking about. Maybe another PitchWars mentor? It’s pop science that sounds like it would really help me with world building for a novel I’ve wanted to write but is more sci-fi than fantasy. But again, this is one of those books that I think I might enjoy more in paperback. Lucky for me, there appear to be many reasonably priced used copies available.

So, how about you? What’s on your wishlist? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Reading List: Powell’s staff’s best books of 2015

I don’t read a lot of literary fiction, but when I do it’s almost always because it was a Powell’s staff pick. Maybe it’s our shared Pacific Northwest sensibilities, but if Powell’s staff loves something, it’s highly likely that I will also love it. That’s why I subscribe to their Indiespensible box. It’s also why I pay close attention to their end-of-year best of lists. These lists are extra special because every staff member does a “top five” list of their favorite books read in that year. And you know how much I love top five lists.

Last year, I posted about how Buzzfeed created an uber “top thirteen” list using their “top-secret scientific algorithmic process” to determine the best of the best for the year, according to Powell’s. After I saw that list, I created a Goodreads shelf to track these books and keep them on my radar for future reading.

This year, Powell’s staff’s top five lists were posted on New Year’s Day, and I’ve been waiting for another summary post from Buzzfeed. So far, nothing. So I decided to do my own analysis and create my own uber “top thirteen” list.

I’ll be more transparent with my “super secret algorithm” and go ahead and tell you that I did some good old “copying and pasting” of all the lists into Excel. Then I assigned points to each mention of each book based on where it appeared in each list (5 points for first place, 4 points for second place, etc.). Then I made a pivot table and sorted the results by total number of points in descending order. There was an obvious cut-off after the first fourteen books, and one of those books was published in a previous year (Station Eleven). So I dropped that one off this list and capped the list at thirteen.

And the result… Here are the thirteen books that received the most points (mentions) on the Powell’s staff lists:

  1. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (50 points)
  2. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (40 points)
  3. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (38 points)
  4. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (18 points)
  5. A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin (16 points)
  6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (14 points)
  7. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (12 points)
  8. H Is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald (12 points)
  9. A Kim Jong Il Production by Paul Fischer (12 points)
  10. M Train by Patti Smith (10 points)
  11. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (10 points)
  12. The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante (10 points)
  13. Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (10 points)

So far, I’ve only read one of these (Between the World and Me). But several others were already on my “to buy/borrow” list. And there were a few where I had an instant reaction of “no way, I’m never going to read that,” even though they come highly recommended by Powell’s staff.

For example, everyone seems to be in love with A Little Life. It’s the number one book on this list, by far. But every review I’ve read talks about how sad this book is. Here’s an example from one of the Powell’s staff:

Tremendous. Devastating. Torturous. Hard-to-take hurts-your-heart scenes of the deep and dark sides of humanity.

Basically every review I’ve read, or heard in a podcast, says the same thing. But devastating, sad, torturous books are not my jam. The only thing I like less than a tragic sad book is a super scary book. Blood and gore I can handle, but scary stuff creeps me out. As an example, I have never read a Stephen King book. I’m probably missing out, but I just don’t like being scared, or sad. Life is already sad and scary enough. So, even though A Little Life was the clear winner, I will likely skip that one.

Overall, I think this year’s list is a bit heavily weighted towards the non-fiction and memoir categories. Last year’s list felt like it had more novels on it. Regardless, I’m tracking both lists in Goodreads and I’ll be checking them when I’m looking for ideas about books to read. Here’s a link to my 2015 shelf if you want to follow along.

What do you think? Are there books on this list that you’ve read and highly recommend? Do you think you can convince me to change my mind about A Little Life? Which book on this list are you most excited about reading?

#ABookishHoliday Day 31: Ring in the New Year

Nothing like a top five list to “ring in the New Year,” right? (Yes, I’m taking some liberties with today’s #ABookishHoliday theme…)

For today’s post I give you my list of the top five popular sci-fi and fantasy series that are now complete, but that I haven’t read yet and plan to read in 2016 (listed in the order in which I will most likely read them):

  1. MagiciansThe Magicians series — I’m so late to the party on this one that it’s soon to be a series on the SyFy Channel… I bought the first book back in August 2014, but never got around to reading it. This will be rectified in 2016.
  2. SelectionThe Selection Series — I have the first book in this series, but I haven’t read it yet. I guess the series is still going if you count the “next generation” books. But the original series is complete, and it’s a hugely popular series, so I’m including it here.
  3. LunarThe Lunar Chronicles — I own the first three books in this series, but I’ve only read the first book (Cinder). Now that the two companion books (Fairest and Winter) are out, and the series is complete, I probably should just binge-read my way through these.
  4. InheritanceThe Inheritance Trilogy — I bought the whole series on Kindle back in August when the price dropped to $9.99. Basically, the cost of one “normally priced” Kindle book.
  5. AncillaryThe Imperial Radch series — Probably better known as “all those books with Ancillary in the title”… The first book has been on my TBR for a while, but I didn’t own it and there was a long wait at the library. Then the first book went on sale last week for $1.99 on Kindle, and now I have no more excuses.

So that takes care of at least fifteen books of the fifty or so I plan to read in 2016….

Happy New Year! Here’s to another great year in reading!

What’s on my August TBR

It’s #FridayReads and I’m currently reading / can’t get enough of The Library at Mount Char. This might be the last book I finish in July because I think I am getting to the point where it’s going to be very hard to put this down and go to sleep tonight. Must see how it ends…

While I finish this up, I thought I’d share the “top five” books on my August TBR (listed in the order I’m most likely to read/finish them):

  1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Kindle) — Currently in-progress…
  2. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Kindle) — I’ve had several people tell me I will enjoy this series. So, I got the first book from the library. Now I need to read it before my library loan expires.
  3. The Harvest (The Heartland Trilogy, #3) by Chuck Wendig (Kindle) — I’m going on a trip to “the Heartland” in August, so I might as well read some “corn-punk” while I’m there, right? Plus, I’m anxious to see how this trilogy wraps up since book #2 had a huge cliffhanger at the end.
  4. Reamde by Neal Stephenson (Kindle) — This has been on my TBR forever. I promised several people I would read it this summer, and summer is quickly coming to an end…
  5. Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash (paperback) — I got this ARC in the latest Indiespensible box, and I think the book is scheduled to come out in September. So, I plan on finding some time to read this in August.

And, if I finish all those books, I’ll pick something off my “next-up” Goodreads list…

Some mid-year reading stats

And, just like that, half of 2015 is over. Time for some mid-year reading stats.

First let’s talk about June…

June reading stats

And, now let’s have a look back at the first six months of 2015 in total…

Total books finished so far this year: 44

For reference, I usually average about 36 books a year. Last year I finished 39 books. This year my goal was “a book a week” or 52 books total. Granted, I’ve included my comics trades in that total. Those are each about 150 pages, so I think they should count. But, even if you take them out of the count, I’ve still finished 35 books so far this year. That’s a lot of reading.

Top Five favorite books for the first half of 2015

  1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (post-apocalyptic)
  2. The Martian by Andy Weir (sci-fi)
  3. Lock In by John Scalzi (sci-fi)
  4. Sword by Amy Bai (fantasy)
  5. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (fantasy)

Update on 2015 reading projects

This year I gave myself two main reading projects. The first was my “diverse reading” project where I planned to read at least one book each month by an author who was not white and/or not American. The second was to read through those books I’d purchased for more than $3.50, but hadn’t read yet — some of which have been sitting there, unread, for several years.

So far I’ve been successful reading a book a month by a diverse author (not American and/or not white), and it hasn’t even been that hard to do. All the books I’ve read so far are books I wanted to read anyway, for one reason or another. I’m pleased that this hasn’t felt like a “chore.” I’m even more pleased at the new worlds I’m being exposed to. I think the biggest impact has been on my empathy, which I thought was already pretty decent, but seems to be getting even more keen as I dive into characters even more unlike myself or any of the people I am surrounded by on a daily basis.

As for my second project, I have made some substantial progress toward un-read books previously purchased for > $3.50…

When I ran my end of year stats for 2014, I came up with 15 books that I’d purchased for more than $3.50 in either 2013 or 2014, but hadn’t read yet. I don’t mind snapping up books on sale and saving them for later, but I don’t like the idea of holding onto books I’ve purchased at (or close to) full price and then not reading them.

So far this year, I’ve read 9 of the 15 books on that list, and I am reading another one from that list right now. I’ll probably be able to squeeze in two more before the end of the year. I’ll take 10 or 12 out of 15 and call that a success.

Of course, since I made that list, I’ve realized that there are at least two additional books that I purchased at full price prior to 2013 and still haven’t read yet. So, starting with 15, removing 10, and adding 2… Here is the remaining TBR:

  1. Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel ($11.82)
  2. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie ($9.99)
  3. The Feminine Mystique (50th Anniversary Edition) by Betty Friedan, Gail Collins, Anna Quindlen ($9.34)
  4. Hild: A Novel by Nicola Griffith ($6.49)
  5. Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel (Wolf Hall Book 2) by Hilary Mantel ($3.99)
  6. Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit from Global Chaos by Sarah Lacy ($9.34)
  7. The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) by Patrick Rothfuss ($14.99)

I’m not sure how many of these I’ll get to before the end of the year. Probably at least Hild, and maybe The Wise Man’s Fear since those are the two I’m most excited about reading. Everything else will probably roll on into next year…

Speaking of next year… I already have an idea for a new reading project for next year. I’m thinking about trying to read any of the current century’s Hugo and/or Nebula award winning novels that I haven’t read yet. There is a lot of overlap between Hugo and Nebula best novel awards, and I’ve read some of these award winners already. But, I’m thinking I’d like to read the rest. So, I’m making a list just in case I decide I want to tackle that as a project next year.

Overall, I’m shocked at how much reading I’ve been doing this year. Even if I slow down my reading pace and only average a book a week for the rest of the year, that’s still another 26 books in 2015! I am going to blow away my normal reading average this year. I’m calling it now: 2015 is the “year of the books” for me.

Top Five List: books I most want to buy right now

It’s #FridayReads / #WeekendReads time, and I’ve managed to go the whole week without purchasing or borrowing any new books. I’m in the middle of two books that are not holding my attention very well. And there’s nothing available on ebook right now from either of my local libraries that I really want to read.

So… I started looking longingly at my wish list and decided to make a list of the top five books that I most want to purchase right now. And here it is… the top five books, in order of preference, that I would buy right now if I could bring myself to pay full price for a new book when I have a ton of stuff I haven’t read yet that I already own:

  1. Uprooted by Naomi Novi — this one just came out in May and I have heard so many good things that I’m tempted to drop everything and pay the $9.99 just to read it right now.
  2. Vicious by V. E. Schwab — why does my library have Darker Shade of Magic (the sequel) on ebook, but not Vicious? What crazy nonsense is that? I’ve had this on my list since December 2013, and it’s only recently (finally) dropped in price to $9.99
  3. Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds — this is a novella, and I can’t understand why Amazon is charging $8.69 for a < 200 page book on Kindle
  4. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins — this just came out on Tuesday and they want $12.99. For an ebook. Seriously?
  5. The Book Riot “Surprise Beach Reads” box — this one is the major splurge… but the last thing I need is a box of four mystery books (in print, no less), and a bunch of bookish swag for $100… or is it?


Note: This list is limited to only books that are available to buy right now. No pre-order books allowed. And no books that I could otherwise borrow from the library on ebook.

That 10 books meme…

So, I don’t really do Facebook, and because of that, I’m a little late to this party. But, I heard there was a meme a few weeks ago where everyone was posting about the “10 books that have stayed with you in some way…

I made a list of the 10 books that stayed with me, and then I narrowed that list down to the 5 books that are my “desert island” books. Because I like “Top 5” lists.

These are the books I read that stayed with me hard enough, that are loved well enough, loved so much that I own either a well worn paperback copy, or a deluxe hardcover edition, or maybe both. These are the books that I’d put in my go-bag for the Zombie Apocalypse. These are the books that, if forced to give away all the books on my bookshelves, I would keep hidden and never give up. By default, they are books that “stayed with me” and would otherwise be at the top of the “10 books that stayed with me list.”

May I present to you my Top 5 desert island books list:

  1. Dune by Frank Herbert — I read this book in college, for fun, while traveling with the crew team to some spring race (I don’t remember which). One of my rowers recommended that I read it. I resisted at first. Then I started reading it and instantly fell in love. This is still my favorite (hard) science fiction book. Maybe even my all-time favorite book.
  2. Sassinak by Anne McCaffrey — I’ve only mentioned this book on my blog about a hundred times… or at least that’s what it feels like. I think I first read this book in high school. I think I found it in a second-hand book shop. Sassinak has become my gold-standard for kick-ass heroines, and McCaffrey is my favorite female sci-fi writer.
  3. The entire Harry Potter series… but, since that’s probably cheating, if I could only take one: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (aka the book where things get “Sirius” and Harry goes all emo) — my favorite part of these books is always the “back to school” scenes: from shopping for supplies in Diagon Alley, to taking the Hogwarts Express, to the big back-to-school feast in the dining hall. The reason I’d pick OotP as my favorite, is that this is the book where everyone grows up. It’s frustrating and sad and thrilling and so many of the excellent peripheral characters get a chance to shine in this book. (for a quick and funny refresher on the story/plot check out BuzzFeed’s post on “What It’s Like To Watch “Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix” For The First Time“)
  4. An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle — I first read this when I was in high school, I think. The opening chapters created a perfect image for me of my dream house, complete with dream mud-room and indoor pool surrounded by glass. I also love almost-grown-up Polly (from The Arm of the Starfish). She’s my model for well-written, well-rounded female protagonists.
  5. Living By Water by Brenda Peterson — I picked this up on a whim from a bargain book table at a Barnes and Noble (RIP) during my first year out of college, my first year living in Seattle. My copy is a thin, unassuming blue hardcover without a dust jacket. I remember reading it and thinking the author effectively put into words exactly why I moved to Seattle and exactly why I loved Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest.

Now that we got that out of the way… There are other books that “stayed with me” for various reasons and that I would highly recommend to others if you haven’t read them. They didn’t make my desert island book list, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important to me. They’ve each made a serious impression on who I am, and if I had room in my go-bag they’d come with me, too. But for the most part, these books aren’t my go-to comfort food books. They’re not the ones I find myself re-reading again and again. They are:

  1. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut — this book was assigned reading in my high school American Lit class and it was the first time I read anything by Vonnegut. It was the first time we read anything for class that I would have read for fun, and Vonnegut instantly became my new favorite author. “So it goes.”
  2. Graceling by Kirstin Cashore — I love this book and this series. This will be one of the first books I will give to my nieces (when they’re old enough). Katsa would come in right after Sassinak on my Top 5 kick-ass heroines from a novel. Come to think of it… that should be a future post…
  3. The Arm of the Starfish by Madeline L’Engle — we’ve been over this recently, so I won’t repeat myself, just go read my other post if you missed it.
  4. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson — I don’t really remember the details of this story, I only have fuzzy memories of the plot, but I remember deeply loving this book when we read it in elementary school.
  5. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott — yep. That’s not a typo. Little Women was fine, but I really loved Little Men and it stuck with me way more than Little Women did. I loved the idea of having a boarding school for boys.

So, if you haven’t read any of those books, you should go check them out. And if you already did this meme, post a link in the comments. I love learning about other people’s formative books. Maybe there are some I need to add to my reading list.


Best of 2013: Movies

By rough count I watched around 55 movies and/or TV or web series in 2013.

In an attempt to select my “top five” movies of 2013, I decided to only consider movies (not TV or web series), and only movies that I watched for the first time in 2013. That brought the list of contenders to just under 50 movies.

Picking my “top five” movies from that list of 50 was not easy. I ended up with eight favorites and considered making this a “top eight” list instead. But, after careful consideration, I realized that three of these movies were not like the others. You see, sometimes I really enjoy things because they are cheesy, fun, feel-good movies. Other times I am blown away by a more serious or tense drama because of an excellent story and/or casting and filming.

When it came down to it, five movies stood out as the “best” movies I watched this year, and the other three were good, but I realized that I primarily liked them because they fell firmly in the feel-good camp. So, I dropped those three movies from the list (as painful as that was for me).

But, before I give you my “top five” list, I want to highlight the best TV and web series I watched this year…

I don’t watch actual TV. I don’t have time for it and I don’t have the patience to tune in every week to catch the next episode. I really only watched two TV series in 2013: Season 2 of Game of Thrones and Season 1 of House of Cards. As much as I like Game of Thrones, I’m going to have to give this year’s win for best TV series to House of Cards. (Season 2 comes out on 2/14/2014!)

The best (and only) web series I watched in 2013 was The LIzzie Bennet Diaries. This is a modern “video-blog” version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and the creators / actors just nailed it. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Now, what you’ve been waiting for… here are the “top five” movies I watched in 2013 (with the reviews I wrote in previous “By the Numbers” monthly update posts):

  1. Argo — How did I miss this one when it came out? This movie was so good. I absolutely loved it. And now that I’m thinking about it, I want to watch it again.
  2. Much Ado About Nothing — Just watch this. Shakespeare’s words in a modern day setting. It’s so good. And I’m not just saying that because Joss Whedon made this.
  3. Winter’s Bone — resisted watching this for a while because I wasn’t sure I would like it, but boy was I wrong! This was a really good movie.
  4. Star Trek Into Darkness — You have to see this if you like “Space, the final frontier.” It is a really good movie. And not just because brimming with hotties. I love space. The effects in this movie are so good. We saw it in 3D which made it even better.
  5. Salvador — (for some reason I never posted about this movie and Hubby had to remind me of it… this was a mid-eighties movie that Hubby and I were too young to watch at the time it came out, so it was new to us…)

And, in case anyone is interested in the three movies that were left behind as close runners-up to my “top five” movies… they are: Galaxy Quest, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Pitch Perfect. The funny thing is, even though the movies on my “top five” list were better movies than these three, I’ll probably end up re-watching these three movies more times than any on the top five list (except for Star Trek Into Darkness).