Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Ultimate Nerd List 2014


Well, almost. But I did promise that at least one blog this year would be done both properly and on time. And look at that: This one’s a whole day early!

And that kind of defeats the point of it being a blog to ultimately end off the year, but whatever. Let’s just get on with it.

Hallelujah. 2014 has finally ended. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I would make it through a year of minimal reading, maximum stress, and then a struggle to pull together the mess of my life right at the end. Thank goodness I at least made it to my 50-book goal (barely – I just finished book number 50 about twenty minutes ago) so I can pretend I have a shred of dignity left after 2014 stripped me of… well… everything.

Despite its horrific cruelty, 2014 was without a doubt an eventful year and that made my latest list of ‘Best Things Of The Year That Managed Not To Kill Me (Yet)’ very very very difficult to compile. Nevertheless, I hope it’s enjoyable, and here’s to another year of frantic blogging and reading while I try to keep up a vague interest in my last year of schooling.


Books I’ve finished this year: 50 (view my 2014 shelf)

Best Books of the Year:

Book of the year: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (Goodreads | my review)

In a word: Phenomenal. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a book that absolutely everybody needs to read, regardless of your taste in books, regardless of your taste in authors, regardless of whether you are even a reader. It’s not even that long. You have no excuses.

Fiction: Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres (Goodreads | my review)

YA Fiction: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Goodreads | my review)

Series: The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter 

Sci-Fi: A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, no. 3) by George R. R. Martin (Goodreads)

Worst Book of the year: The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messaud (Goodreads)
(I couldn’t even finish it. I don’t not finish books. It was that bad.)

Other notable reads:
The Cider House Rules by John Irving (Goodreads)
Swimming Through Clouds by Rajdeep Paulus (Goodreads | my review)
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres (Goodreads)
The Three by Sarah Lotz (Goodreads)


Fangirl Moment of the Year:

This year I was incredibly privileged to be able to travel overseas not once but twice – firstly on my school’s Cultural Tour in April, and then on the Global Young Leaders Coneference in June/July. Both were life-changing experiences, and included several bouts of laughter, tears and squealing, so I think they both count as ‘fangirl’ moments.

Also: Mockingjay: Part One, The Queen of Zombie Hearts, Opposition, and I got to see The Fray live. (I believe these stunted freak-out sessions of note that were largely less-glamorous than my excursions overseas.)

Facepalm Moment of the Year:

You remember those overseas excursions I just mentioned? Well, let’s just say that they provided me with many, many more surfaces to trip over, and a wider, more varied audience to shame myself in front of. But I suppose I should consider myself lucky that I was able to trip in the Colosseum and amuse a bunch of British and American tourists (I’ll do anything for my fans).

Also: The Kim Kardashian Hollywood game, the rise of Iggy Azalia (‘Igloo Azahaha’ as my six-year-old cousin calls her), and new twelve-year-old clothing styles. Mega-Facepalm.

Movies and Music:

Song of the Year: Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift.
Not really my favourite song, but I think it’s really very representative of the feeling of getting through yet another tough year. You know - if you look at it all metaphorically with the woods being 2014. No? Never mind.

Album of the Year: 1989 by Taylor Swift
Life's too short to pretend to hate Taylor Swift.

Lyric of the Year:

“Take off your makeup and put down the camera. Choke on the drama that makes me want to tear up the pictures, the pages you’ve saved creating a life of friends and make-believe.”
- All Time Low, The Girl’s A Straight-Up Hustler

A Note: Ironically, the two most-played songs on my iPod are A Little Party Never Killed Nobody by Fergie, Q-tip and Goonrock, and Happy Endings Are Stories That Haven’t Ended Yet by Mayday Parade. I think that accurately describes the year as a whole and its major bipolarity.

Movie of the Year: Divergent
The Divergent film was as good as the book. Perhaps even slightly better (PERHAPS). I loved it, and I loved the way the director got everything as close to the book as possible, but also made the story watchable, not just readable. It was amazing. 

Movie Scene of the Year:

I can’t think ‘epic’ without thinking ‘Dianna Agron in The Family’. If you haven’t seen the scene where she beats up a bunch of pervy teenage boys with a tennis racquet, I suggest you do so now. It is 50% hilarious, 50% totally disturbing, and 100% inspirational. (YouTube link)

HAPPY NEW YEAR – again. I hope 2015 is entertaining (if not entirely relaxing) and overall enjoyable (if not filled to the brim with stress). Thanks for sticking with this blog for another year!