2009 Was Good, But 2010 Is Fabulous!
A few “yay!” items. First, congrats to Amanda for winning Stephanie Morrill's Out With the In Crowd. Amanda, just email me with your addy. (Jen at jennybjones dot com) You'll love the book.
Second, I have been off allll week! Woo! Snow days are the best. I've had a three week Christmas vacation. But it's freezing here. I mean it's like zero. Zero degrees. The kind of cold that seeps through the house and your heater can't quite keep up with. Fuh-reezing. I've started drinking so much hot tea I'm probably going to start baking crumpets and shouting “God save the Queen!” any moment. And I'm not talking about a little spot of tea. I mean like tea from a man thermos.
Stephanie Morrill asked me what my faves for 2009 were. I had to really think about this. I think my favorite movie was The Proposal. My second would be Blindside. My third probably I Can Do Bad All By Myself by Tyler Perry. I see so many movies I kind of forget them all, so I'm sure I've left something out. But my gosh, I loved The Proposal. Ryan Reynolds' performance should be studied in college or acting classes for comedy and timing. It's perfection when you can say nothing and all and yet the audience is still laughing hysterically. Some great writing too. My favorite movie was not Julie and Julia, but my favorite performance definitely came from there. If Meryl Streep doesn't get an Oscar for her turn as Julia Child, then Hollywood can kiss it. She WAS Julia Child. The movie kinda bored me, but watching her was so worth it. And the theme of going after your dreams and just living life with gusto and passion was great too. (Added later: I also liked Whip It! a LOT. It didn't see much success at the theater, but I have no idea why. I loved it.)
My favorite CD would probably be…um, I dunno. I have worn out the two Jon McLaughlin CDs I downloaded. One of my favorites is “Indiana.”
And as far as new release CDs, I really liked Gloriana's debut CD. I'm a sucker for harmony. It's country though, so you've been warned.
And I've listened to Taylor Swift's album to the point of gagging a little bit every time I hear it now. And I discovered Tenth Avenue North this year too. Like them a lot. And I usually have a yearly favorite CD in the running category–something that has been good to motivate me on the trail. And that would be the soundtrack from Michael Jackson's This is It. (Though to get the full effect, you have to additionally download “Dirty Diana,” because some shortsighted person or persons did not include it on the soundtrack or tour. And I hope they are ashamed of themselves.)
Favorite book…wow. I don't know. I read a lot of health books for nonfiction this year. I also liked Paperdoll by my friend Natalie Lloyd.
It is such a great book for teen girls. Natalie is honestly one of the best writers I know. (Are you checking out her blog? It's HERE.) The book is just like sitting down with a close girlfriend who has lived as a young adult and experienced the ramifications of how she lived as a teen–the effects of worrying about what others think, what you look like, the things you valued then, etc. The advice she gives is so dead on. And the personal stories–her own and those she's collected from others–the best. Totally made the book for me. And I kept highlighting and underlining stuff. It's THAT type of book. So if you know of a tween or teen girl, or even a young 2o something, this book is a must.
For YA fiction I loved the DiCamillo books I read, Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and The Magician's Elephant (thanks to Natalie for that recommendation). I was a little late to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid party, but when I got there…LOVED it. It probably says something that my favorite YA books this year could be found on the shelf belonging to a ten year old, but I'm too cold to think about that one right now.
My favorite books for big girls would have to be first of all The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. My Lord I loved this book. I've said this before, but this is the book that inspired a few people in an airport in Ireland to approach me and talk about it. In the bathroom. Now that's a book. My second favorite was The Help. It's probably much better written literary-wise than Guernsey, but it's not near as much fun or love-filled. Or quaint. Guernsey just had a warm spirit about it. But Guernsey was better in terms of plot and pace. I can't find that The Help has sold a movie deal yet, but Guernsey has. And if they miscast Guernsey, I will not be responsible for my actions. It's encouraging that the rights were bought by the producer of Nim's Island and a Florida bookstore owner. Interesting partnership. Might just be perfect. Also might take half of forever. My grandma bought the movie rights to my first novelette, I'm Gonna Kill You Dead, a little thing I wrote in the fourth grade, but I've yet to see anything develop from that deal. And don't think that doesn't affect her yearly birthday presents.
I feel like I'm leaving out some really obvious favorite reads, so I'm sure I'll shoot straight out of bed at two a.m. with a title burst forth. But I got nothing. I will say what I missed about 2009 (and 2008…) was a good chick lit. I MISS chick lit. I miss smart, funny books. Meg Cabot is releasing a vamp chick lit this year. I'm weirdly interested in that. It's either gonna be hit or miss for me. I'm both “Ew, seriously?” and “It's perfect!” on that idea. If anyone can pull it off, it's her.
Have a great weekend. I'm gonna enjoy mine and have pizza for the first time in FOREVER. But this weekend…Hawaiian pizza and I will be reunited. There will not be crumbs.