So the past few years I’ve done favourite songs of the year posts but I’ve decided this year to condense down my favourite songs, books, films and TV shows into a top 5 list post.
Top 5 Songs
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ‘Can’t Hold Us’
While I loved Thriftshop, One Love and other Macklemore songs, this is definitely my favourite. It’s so uplifting and happy.
Iggy Azalea ‘Bounce’
Looking at the comments on this video, a lot of people seem to dislike it! But I like it purely because it makes me dance.
Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams ‘Get Lucky’
It’s a scientific fact that everything Pharrell touches is gold and this is no exception. Though the less said for Linda Martin’s cover, the better!
Mayer Hawthorne ‘Her Favourite Song’
I came across Mayer Hawthorne on a BuzzFeed article and just loved this song. Video is quite unique as well!
Miley Cyrus vs Sinead O Connor ‘Nothing Compared to Wrecking Ball’
There was no getting away from Miley Cyrus this year! I really liked this mash up of Wrecking Ball and Nothing Compares 2 U. I just think it’s beautiful and kinda haunting.
Top 5 Fiction Books
These were hard to choose, even after I picked them I kept wanting to change my mind. Some other books are rated higher in my Goodreads than some of these but I might have overlooked them as these books stuck out in my mind more or I liked how unique the story was.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book made me cry! It follows the story of Liesel, a 9 year old in Nazi Germany who is sent to foster parents. The book is unique, as the narrator is Death, who tells Liesel’s story and how she grows and the relationships she forms in her new home.
Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
I hadn’t read any of Marian Keyes before 2013. I’ve read all the Walsh Family books, this one being my favourite. It follows Helen, the youngest of the Walsh sisters, her mental health problems, and her failing private detective business. Her ex-boyfriend approaches her for her help and Helen gets sucked into finding Laddz boyband member, who has disappeared before the Laddz big comeback tour. I was very pleased with how Keyes approached Helen’s story, and it definitely helped humanize her character.
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
J.K. Rowling writing under a pseudonym, The Cuckoo’s Calling is about failing private detective (another one!) Cormoran Strike, down on luck in life. He’s asked to investigate the death of supermodel Luna Landry, 3 months after her death was ruled as suicide. Along with his newly appointed temporary secretary Robin, Strike is plunged into the world of the rich and famous as he tries to unravel the story. It was a bit slow to get going but once it did I was hooked and it made me realise I really do like detective/mystery novels. I’m looking forward to follow up.
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
This series had me hooked the second I started reading it. It begins with PC Grant, as he stands on duty during the night at the crime scene where a man has had his head knocked off his shoulders. While standing in the cold and dark, PC Grant talks to the only witness, a ghost. The book weaves a great magical realism story as PC Grant gets introduced to his new boss DCI Nightgale, who investigates crimes of a magical nature and just so happens to be a wizard. PC Grant must also try keep the peace between the God of the Thames and the Godness of the Thames, and their children. I loved the urban fantasy feel of the book and quickly read the other 3 books in the series too.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Another book with an interesting idea, Ready Player One is set in 2044, a bleak world where most people spend their lives online in the OASIS, a virtual reality. The creator of OASIS died a few years previously and has left a series of clues and puzzles, steeped in 1980s pop culture references, throughout the OASIS and the first person to solve all these will win his fortune. Wade Watts discovers the first key and there’s sudden mad dash to be the first to solve these puzzles. I just loved the idea behind this and I really liked the characters.
Top 5 Non Fiction Books
I just couldn’t pick a Top 5 Books, it would have been too hard, hence why I separated it into fiction and non-fiction!
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of a poor Southern tobacco farmer in the 50s,Heriettia Lacks. While being treated for cervical cancer, Henrietta had some of her cells removed to be tested without her consent. From here they were discovered to be ‘immortal’, they never died off and HeLa cells were born. They have been one of the most important discoveries for science and the book tells how they have been used in science. But more importantly Rebecca Skloot works together with the Lacks family to try and tell the unknown story of Henrietta’s life and how it has affected her family. I found it very interesting and I couldn’t help but feel for the Lacks family, who can’t even afford to go to see a doctor when sick while companies make millions off their mother’s cells.
Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson
While I read other Ronson books this year (The Pyschopath Test and Them, both I recommend), I probably liked Lost At Sea best, a collection of essays and articles, spanning a wide range of topics. First topic is behind the scenes of Deal or No Deal, which I just found fascinating!
Quiet by Susan Cain
This book is about introverts, how to interact with introverts, and how sometimes introverts approach things differently to extroverts. As an introvert myself, I loved the book, there were bits of information that really clicked with me and made me realise different things about myself.
Walk the Lines: The London Underground, Overground by Mark Mason
I was dying to read this for ages and was so glad to get my hands on it! Mason decides to walk each line of the Underground. If you’re interested in books about the Underground, London or epic quests, then you should enjoy this. I’m looking forward to his other book about bussing it from Lands End to John O’Groats.
Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones
One of two audiobooks I listened to this year, this book is a very in depth look into the life of the extraordinary Jim Henson. Sometimes there seems like just a little bit too much information but with interviews from all that were close to Henson, it’s definitely a must read if you’re a Henson, Muppets or Sesame Street fan. It made me smile so much listening to it. Bonus to listening to it too was that that narrator did great accents and impressions and seemed to add to the book.
Top 5 TV Shows
Yes, I was late to the party but boy what a party! Love it so much, made my boyfriend rewatch the series with me and he’s hooked too. We have last episode of Season 2 to watch and then on to the new episode. I can not wait!
2. Orange is the New Black
So funny, love that it’s mainly females, such a diverse cast (Laverne Cox is amazing) and I’m just so excited for it to return!
3. Game of Thrones
Another one I was late too but again, I got hooked. Feels like I’ve been waiting forever for it to return on screen!
4. House of Cards
Another Netflix original, one that I found a bit slow during first few episodes but once it got started I found it gripping. New series back in February!
5. Arrested Development/Luther
Ok, I actually can’t decide between these two. Let me point out I do not mean the new series of AD, I didn’t actually finish it. But it was my first time watching the series and oh how it made me laugh out loud so much! Luther is right up my alley as well, I loved detective/police shows like CSI and Lie to Me and it was a great series.
No films, I only seem to have made it to cinema 5 times this year, with 2 of those being old releases (Labyrinth and Die Hard).