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.
Paperdoll
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.

JEN

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 12 comments
Brittney - January 8, 2010

After reading this, I just had to whip out my notepad and write the names of these books down. I plan to add these to my already over sized collection of library books.
You’re my absolute favorite author, and I’ve read all of your books, and just now finished “I’m So Sure.” LOVED IT! 😀

-Brittney < 33

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hannah - January 8, 2010

it snowed like 1/2 an inch here- down south. me and my brother had no school so we sledded down the street, was pretty fun, until it melted. but its still pretty cold.

i have got to read paperdoll! 😀

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Erin McFarland - January 8, 2010

Holy moly I love your blog!! Wish I knew you in real life cuz you’ve got the best combo of heart and humor! And wish I could send a bit of our 70 degree AZ weather your way… this is the one time of year we desert rats have bragging rights 🙂 I’m usually more of a blog stalker, but this year I resoluted (is that a word?!?) or resolved to comment on blogs I love. Luckily I just found you, so no stalking to report 🙂 Just told all my friends they need to go read Just Between You and Me, while I’m off to start your Charmed Life novels. Cheers!

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Kristin - January 8, 2010

I bought “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” at Target a few months ago, after hearing either you or Natalie mention/recommend it. I really liked it…it was one of those really unique (for lack of a better word) books that sticks with you for a long time.

~Kristin

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Shauna - January 8, 2010

I loved The Help and Guernsey and have heard both have movies in the works.

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Sarah - January 8, 2010

Ok, sometimes I think we’re the same person. I found Julie and Julia boring too, but Meryl is a goddess and she better win a shiny award for that movie for sure! If she can make me care about Julia Child and french cooking, than she needs an award!

I still need to read several of the books you mentioned (like Magician’s Elephant, The Help, and Guernsey) but I will!! I’m glad you liked The Help because I was afraid it’d be too book clubish and boring for me.

And Wimpy Kid rocks and makes me laugh so hard I snort. I’m worried about the movie though.

And Meg Cabot writing a vampire book could actually get me on the vampire bandwagon-I’m a little burnt out on paranormal right now.

Oh-and to add to my super long comment, have you read the Georgia Nicolson series? You must if you love laugh out loud humor-and I know you do!:)

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Sarah - January 8, 2010

The Proposal was one of my favs last year too. Love Sandra Bullock!

I need to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I keep forgetting what it’s called (the allocated area for titles in my brain has a maximum capacity of one word) so I’m always like, “The potato book. You know the one. THE POTATO.” Needless to say, I haven’t been able to drum up conversations in airport bathrooms with that one. But I have gotten some weird looks.

I can’t wait to read Insatiable by Meg Cabot. I’m with you – I’ll either really love it or really not-love it. We’ll see!

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Bethany Ellis - January 9, 2010

I’m ever so jealous of your snow days! We’ve had the chance of snow several times, but it’s always stopped just short of us. So sad :(.

I don’t even remember most of the movies I saw this year… haha. Whoops. 🙂

My favorite CD is deff. Casting Crowns’ Until the Whole World Hears. It’s fantastic.

Book… hmm.. I’ve read soo many books this year. I probably have a favorite from each genre, haha. I loved The Justic Game by Randy Singer for mystery/suspense. For YA, deff. So Not Happening & I’m So Sure (and I’m not just saying that because you wrote them; they were really the best YA). I haven’t really read much chick-lit this year. Or at least, not that I remember. Oh well :). For non-fiction I’d have to say it was Be Intolerant by Ryan Dobson. Excellent, short book.

Have you / are you planning to see Leap Year? I went with a friend last night and loved it. It’s so rare to see romantic comedies come out that are pretty much clean. I do loev Amy Adams ever since Enchanted.. and I had never seen Matthew Goode before, but he was great 🙂

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Kim K - January 9, 2010

Jen, the reason you haven’t read any GOOD chick lit is because you don’t read your own books! Maybe you should pick up this really awesome book I read called “So Not Happening,” it was pretty steller! THEY are the best chick lit I read last year by far!! Keep them comin’! When is book 3 releasing?

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Jenny B. Jones - January 10, 2010

Thanks so much, Brittney. Definitely check out those books.

Hannah, so glad you got to sled! I haven’t got to sled this winter yet!

Erin, you have an amazing web site. What an awesome photographer you are. Love all those baby pictures. Amazing!

Kristin, that book DOES stick with you. I couldn’t stop thinking about those characters a long time after I finished it.

Shauna, I really hope they don’t screw up those movies!

Sarah, did you also have some weird guilt over being bored by Julie and Julia? I did. And I gotta check out the Diary of a Wimpy Kid trailer.

Sarah, the title of that book is unnecessarily too long. It takes me a bit to recall it every time. And the word order. And I love the cover to Insatiable. Very un-Cabotlike.

Bethany, you can’t give up hope. It could still happen. Feb. is supposed to be worse than January. And thanks for the book compliments. And I did see Leap Year this weekend. I really WANTED to like it…

Kim, you are FULL of it. But thank you. Book three is out this spring. April or May. : ) And thanks again.

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Sarah - January 11, 2010

Yes! I watched Julie and Julia with a friend of mine and when we finished it we were like-well, it was ok, but way over-hyped-and looong! And there were times I was thinking is this thing over-will she just sell her book already?? Guess I’m not a true film critic. I’ll stick with books:)

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Stephanie Morrill - January 11, 2010

Vamp Chick Lit? I’m SO curious about how that will turn out. I’m with you. If anyone could pull it off, it’d be Meg Cabot.

And I’m glad you answered my question! I thought you were either ignoring me or just hadn’t seen. But this would have been pretty long for a comment.

Heading over to Goodreads to add all these to my list…

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