Taken at the apex of a hike up nearby Bailey Canyon on Labor Day.
This is my eleventh Best of the Year post! Here's a list of all of them, mainly for my own convenience.
I know that when it comes to the world at large, 2016 was annus horribilis. But for me, personally (when I don't think about politics), this year has been terrific. I've loved my first two semesters of grad school. I got to take my mother to Paris for a week to celebrate our milestone birthdays. (I turned fifty, but I'll let Mom tell you her age...or not.)
Our dog is still delightful. Our kids are growing in all the right ways. I've made new friends. Patrick continues to be the best husband of all time. And I've consumed a lot of great media and delicious food (as you'll see).*
As always, books are first. In the past twelve months, I've read 130 novel-length books and 120 new-to-me picture books--both all-time highs spurred by my MFA program. (My previous recorded high number of novel-length books was 85, and I've never kept track of picture books before.)
Top Ten Novel-Length Books Read:**
1) My Book of Life by Angel, by Martine Leavitt
2) Symphony for the City of the Dead, by M.T. Anderson
3) Calvin, by Martine Leavitt
4) Long Lankin, by Lindsey Barraclough
5) Jellicoe Road, by Malina Marchetta
6) The Elementals, by Michael McDowell
7) Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson
8) Bellweather Rhapsody, by Kate Racciula
9) Exit, Pursued by a Bear, by E.K. Johnston
10) The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey
Most Disappointing (not the worst) Book:
Favorite New-To-Me Picture Books:
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters, by K.G. Campbell
The Iridescence of Birds, by Patricia McLachlan
The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, by Michelle Markel
Monsters Eat Whiny Children, by Bruce Eric Kaplan
The Dark, by Lemony Snicket
Duck, Death, and the Tulip, by Wolf Erlbruch
Boxes for Katje, by Candace Fleming
The Lion and the Bird, by Marianne Dubai
The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, by Neil Gaiman
Jane, the Fox, and Me, by Fanny Britt
Because of school, I didn't see that many movies this year. But there were some good ones.
Best 2016 Movies Seen:
9) Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
8) The Legend of Tarzan
7) Midnight Special
6) Batman v. Superman
5) Mr. Right
4) Suicide Squad
3) 10 Cloverfield Lane
2) Eye in the Sky
Ditto on the TV (but I never watch that much, anyway).
1) The Magicians
2) Stranger Things
Best Music Downloaded:
Summary: A whole lotta French pop--and another terrific album by one of my new favorite bands.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones: Sea of Noise
Vianney: "Pas là"
Soleil: "Ce qui guide mes pas"
Best Resturant Experiences:
Maison Christian Faure, Montreal
Au Pied de Cochon, Montreal
Aux Merveilleux de Fred, Paris
Bistro de la Gare, South Pasadena
101 Noodle Express, Arcadia
Goals for 2017 include further improving my French and writing and turning in both theses (critical and creative) required for my MFA. Happy New Year!
* Sometimes I rank things in ascending order. Sometimes I rank them in descending order. Sometimes I don't rank them at all. It just depends on what I feel like doing.
** I am not and have never been an Amazon affiliate. I include links purely in case you're interested in knowing more.