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The Best (and Worst) of 2017

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message 1: by Bennard (last edited Jan 03, 2018 07:34PM) (new)

Bennard | 730 comments I don't know about you, ladies and gents, but I love making lists. I'm sure that there are a lot of people here (if not all) who shares the same glee for making lists that I do so why don't we welcome 2018 by partaking in such joyous activity.

We would love to know what were your bests for 2018. You can make lists for your favorite books, movies, TV shows, music, what have you. Maybe you'd also like to include your worst/s in each category. Maybe you can also tell us why you loved (or hated) the items on your lists. Maybe we can even discuss them. The possibilities are endless.

I can't wait to make a list of my own but what I'm really looking forward to is reading what you, my dear friends, will write. Huzzah!

PS

I forgot to include that we would also like to know what your reading goals are! Will this be the year that you're going to take your dusty copy of Ulysses off the shelf and finally read it? Do you plan on making your reading more diverse? Do share!


message 2: by Monique (new)

Monique (attymonique) | 2126 comments 2017 was an eventful year for me - so much in fact that I managed to read only 25 books, or an average of 2 books per month, and that includes some of the F2F titles that I haven't read yet. I don't regret not having read all that much; what I do feel sad about is that 25 doesn't make a real dent in my TBR (I know I'm not the only one). But anyway, the reason for the poor reading output? LIFE. And when life happens, well, you just wing it.

Anyway, it's a brand new year! But first, a recap of the reading year that was 2017:

Total number of books read: 25 (no rereads included)
Best Reads: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Least Favorite Read: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
TFG 2017 Bingo Challenge: Completed 1 pattern

For 2018, these are the Reading Goals I'd like to try to achieve:
(1) Read at least 2 books per month apart from the F2F book. That would be a total of at least 3.
(2) Buddy read at least 2 books with whoever is willing to do it with me. I miss read-alongs.
(3) Read one of them Russian tomes within the year.


message 3: by Angus (new)

Angus (angusmiranda) | 4337 comments Books
-Not including F2F books, my best book is The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Bardo is my overall favorite read this year). The author's Nobel win spurred me to read it, and it was magical. It reminded me why I love books (and how can I fall into long reading slumps??). At least Ishiguro pulled me out from that amnesiac reading mist. I was able to get back to all those books I abandoned halfway. But that was near the end of the year, so yeah, my book game is disappointing.

TV
-I've been watching a lot of RuPaul's Drag Race lately. I'm currently on season 6. I sometimes feel my inner drag queen is now too ripe for the picking, and it's all thanks to the queens of the show. Also, I've seen The Handmaid's Tale. Peggy Olson deserved that Best Actress win. I also finished a season of Survivor. Gamechangers, I think it was.

Movies
-Moonlight is my best film. Not far behind is Call Me By Your Name. Okay, both deal with themes that are close to my heart, but I believe that even straight people will not be able to deny the raw emotional power fueling these films (Moonlight is better in some technical aspects though). Digression: I've downloaded a hundred films which are BBC's best films of the century, so far. I want to watch them all this year. I don't know how I'm going to do that.

Apps
-I've played Mobius Final Fantasy on and off and on again, and with the amount of time I spent on it in 2017, it's my app of the year (If you're familiar with gacha games, I just got really, really lucky this year so I'm still gonna be hooked to it). Other apps that have been permanently on my phone are Snoopy Pop (a bubble shooter with the cast of Peanuts), Brainscape's Tarot (flashcards to memorize all those major and minor arcana card meanings), Vanilla Pen (a tool used for making typography posters), and Bookout (an app that keeps track of your reading sessions).

Music
-My top albums this year are Broken Social Scene's Hug of Thunder (just listen to the whole album), Lorde's Melodrama (ditto), Perfume Genius's No Shape (listen to Slip Away please), Bjork's Utopia (of course), and Carly Rae Jepsen's Emotion (gasp!). Sorry, I lied. I really, really, really, really, really, really like Carly. It's just that someone I hate likes her too. Other artists whom I've listened to a lot last year are LANY, Robyn, RuPaul (haha!), 80's new wave musicians.

Bookish Goals:
1. Finish 30 books. I know in my heart I can't read 50 books a year anymore. I didn't have internet and a smartphone when I was able to do that. I'll settle for 30.
2. Spend more time doing moderator stuff, hehe.


message 4: by Tin (new)

Tin (rabbitin) | 560 comments BOOKS
The books that stayed with me long after finishing them are: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood. As for Non-TFG reads, I would say Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was a lot of fun and was a bit of a trip down memory lane. Not the virtual reality (although I wish I was someone from the future), but the retro stuff. Other notable reads were: The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.

MOVIES
I still couldn’t wrap my head around Lady Macbeth. This movie left me well and truly, as the kids would say, "shookt." Columbus Is another movie that I loved because it is visually stunning and because the conversations are fantastic, and the characters feel like actual people. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is a movie that has your trademark quirky Baumbach humor without making the emotions any less hard hitting. It is also the best I’ve seen of Adam Sandler. Get Out totally surprised me. It is gripping and smart and a little bit hilarious. Dunkirk is probably my number one movie of the year because Christopher Nolan movies tend to be an experience and Dunkirk isn’t an exception.


TV
I had a lot of fun piecing together the confusing puzzle that is Legion. Plus Dan Stevens is super cute. The British tv program, Misfits was my Legion withdrawal cure. This is like the foul mouthed, grungy, goofy, delinquent brother of the X-Men. And naturally there’s Game of Thrones S7 because the dragons were magnificent! Riverdale was deliciously melodramatic and full of hot people as a true blue CW show should be. (made me miss the OC). And oh! Chris Gethard: Career Suicide on HBO. This one-man comedy show choked me up.

MUSIC
I had the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol 2 playing on loop. I also listened a lot to retro music such as the Now That’s What I Call 70s – Various Artists compilation.

But as far as albums go, I think those two are it. I mostly did Billboard hits. Bodak Yellow is hard to get off of your head even if you waaaaanted tooo. And you know what, I used to not like Selena Gomez’ songs when she first started singing. But I must say, her music is evolving as years go by. And I like Bad Liar best from among her 2017 releases. I also quite enjoyed the 1D boys’ solo ventures this year. (“You know I used to be in 1d.”. “Now I’m free!”)

I also did a lot of terrible singing to most of the Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars’ 2017 releases.

BOOKISH GOALS
1. To read first, the physical books I already have because my sister is a harpy who has been harping me as to why I keep on acquiring more books when I still have all of these previously acquired, unread books. But I keep saying that the book chooses you and not the other way around! Charot. Anyway, with this new "pick your own book for the month" were doing in TFG, I think I can make this work. I am going to aim for a doable 10 physical books bought during the year 2017 and below.


message 5: by Bennard (new)

Bennard | 730 comments Books

Of the books I've read this year, the best ones that I've read would have to be Dorothy B. Hughes' In A Lonely Place, Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend, Yuri Herrera's Signs Preceding The End of The World, Mia Alvar's In The Country, and Valeria Luiselli's Tell Me How It Ends.

There are also a total of three graphic novels that wowed me: Sonny Liew's The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, The Green Hand and Other Stories by Nicole Claveloux, and Soft City by Pushwagner.

The worst book I've read this year would have to be Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

Movies

I've seen a lot of great movies this year but the ones that stood out were Jim Jarmusch's Paterson (how he made the mundane poignant and interesting is nothing short of genius); Mike Mills' 20th Century Woman (Mike Mills may very well be one of our greats); David Lowery's A Ghost Story (expansive and restrained at the same time); Olivier Assayas' Personal Shopper (If at this point you're still unconvinced of Kristen Stewart's prowess, you're a lost cause); Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird (one of the best portraits of adolescent angst that I've ever seen); Yorgos Lanthimos' The Killing of a Sacred Deer (I'm still thinking of this movie three months after I've seen it) and Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name (from it's first shot to the last, everything about this movie is beautiful).

Of the non-2017 movies that I've seen, the very best were Mike Mills' Beginners, Carol Reed's The Third Man, Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up, Louis Malle's Murmur of the Heart, and Mia Hansen-Løve's Things To Come.

TV

I haven't seen much TV this year but I am certain that The Young Pope is the best one there is.

Bookish Goals
I am still aiming for a diverse reading year. I want to read more literature in translation across all genres.


message 6: by Aaron Vincent (new)

Aaron Vincent (aaronvincent) | 2053 comments BOOKS
I've finished very few novels last year but the one that truly left a lasting impression is George Saunder's Lincoln in the Bardo. The narrative style renders the novel some sort of transcendence. It was alive, sad and beautiful.

TV
HBO's Big Little Lies was a deliciously compelling binge-watch. So is two new Netflix shows, Glow and Dear White People. Star Trek Discovery captures the sense of adventure I sorely missed from watching science fiction tv shows. The Handmaid's Tale took a masterpiece to a completely different level. Lastly, The Good Fight excellently mapped out the current political topography without taking itself too seriously.

MOVIES



MUSIC
Several favorite album releases: Lorde's Melodrama, Haim's Want You Back, Kesha's Rainbow, Lana Del Ray's Lust for Life, Baby Driver's OST. However, the Dear Evan Hansen's Original Broadway Recording had been a companion through tough times.

Bookish Goals:
Finish at least 15 novels this year. Go back to reading some scifi classics.


message 7: by Rhena (last edited Jan 10, 2018 06:11AM) (new)

Rhena | 97 comments Of the 21 books I finished in 2017, my top 5 favorites are:
The First Impulse by Laurel Fantauzzo because its prose grabbed me and demanded all of my attention, keeping me awake all night just so I could finish it. It made me seek out Filipino films again and reminded me what I love about cinema in general.
Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli because her ideas are so unique and a revelation to me.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara because it manipulated me in a good way. I remember wanting to hug the characters and rush to their aid.
Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu just because it has been my most difficult read last year. Lol. But seriously, it's always great to learn something new!
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin because I am amazed at how fluidly Baldwin put emotions into words, like there's a steady channel from his heart to his mind. It's gorgeous.

2017 had been more of a movie-watching year than a book-reading one for me. Of the 97 I've seen, my most notable five would be:
A Ghost Story by David Lowery because throughout the movie, I was just stunned. By its visual beauty and its very concept. Up to this point, I still have the urge to talk about it.
Things to Come by Mia Hansen-Løve because it's not flashy but it is a silent force. It's not even complicated on the outset, but you can feel that there's a lot of brewing going on inside.
Columbus by Kogonada because I love listening in to their conversations. It almost reminds me of Celine and Jesse.
Raise the Red Lantern by Zhang Yimou because it's a film that unfolds elegantly. Also because it showed me Chinese opera in a new, non-annoying light. Haha.
Call Me by Your Name by Luca Guadagnino because it was both beautiful and painful, much like the book.

For music, Spotify said my top 5 most listened-to artists are Ennio Morricone, Sufjan Stevens, Andre Rieu, Sara Bareilles, and Yo-Yo Ma. This year's delightful discoveries are Sigur Ros's Vardeldur and the Dear Evan Hansen Original Broadway Cast Recording.

My reading goal for 2018 is to read 25 books that are diverse in genre (I made myself a bingo challenge) but with slight bias on Filipinana.


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