Best of 2010

Happy 2011!  In honor of the New Year, I thought I’d reflect on my personal favorites of last year (which is SO 2010 of me).

FAVORITE YA BOOK: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  Catching Fire was my favorite book of 2009 so this really should come to no surprise, especially to people who read it.  It’s very hard to talk about this book without giving anything away and there were many twists and turns.  All I can say was that as a member of Team Peeta, I was a nervous wreck for most of the book.  And I burst into tears at the end (all I’ll say for those who read it was it was the word “real” that caused me to break down).  I’ve known Suzanne for years (yep, I’m a total namedropper!) and couldn’t be happier for her success.  Good things really do happen to good people.  Not to mention extremely talented people!

FAVORITE ADULT BOOK (SERIOUS): Room by Emma Donoghue.  This book has received a lot of year end accolades and rightfully so.  The story of a five-year-old boy who has lived his life in a single room with his mother is simply amazing.  I can’t say much about the book without giving anything away, but I will say that it isn’t as sad as you would think.  What stuck with me the most is Donoghue’s ability to channel the innocence of a five-year-old and what we, as adults, take for granted.

FAVORITE ADULT BOOK (FUN): The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen.  I first heard about this book from one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Weiner, on Twitter.  Then I had the privilege to meet Sarah at the Gaithersburg Book Festival where we were both presenting.  The Opposite of Me is about two fraternal twin sisters who have very little in common – both in looks and personality.  When Lindsey (“the smart one”) gets fired from her NYC advertising job, she moves back home to Maryland where her sister Alex (“the pretty one”) is getting ready to marry an extremely wealthy man.   I don’t want to say too much (can you tell I hate spoilers?), but if you think you know where this book is going, believe me, you don’t.  I read this book while on vacation and several times I turned to my friend and said, “I can’t believe XYZ just happened!”  It even started to downpour while we were sitting by the pool, but I stayed under my umbrella and kept reading.  Before the book was over, I knew I found a new author to add to my “favorites” list.  While extremely entertaining, this book also made me think about identity and other’s perception of you.  Can’t recommend this enough!

FAVORITE CD: The Suburbs, Arcade Fire.  A great year for music, but this album is tops for me.  I’ve been a fan of Arcade Fire for years and was looking forward to this album all year.  I’m so happy it didn’t disappoint.  They are also an amazing live band.  It’s really hard for me to pick my favorite track, so I’ll give you several: “The Suburbs,” “Ready to Start,” “Empty Room,” “City With No Children,” “Suburban War,” “Month of May,” “We Used to Wait.”  Runner-up for favorite CD of the year: Tired Pony’s The Place We Ran From.

FAVORITE TV SHOW – COMEDY: Modern Family. I was late to the Modern Family bandwagon.  I had friends (and Entertainment Weekly which is my entertainment Bible) keep telling me to watch it.  So I went online and watched the first few episodes and was hooked.  This season it has gotten even better.  There is not a single character on the show that isn’t hysterical.  If I HAD to choose my favorites, it would be Mitchell and Cameron.  It’s the only show where I consistently laugh out loud.  As much as I love Glee, Modern Family totally deserved their Emmy this year.  Honorable Mention: Community (and I can’t wait for Parks and Recreation to return in January!)

FAVORITE TV SHOW – DRAMA: The Walking Dead.  At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to watch the show, but it is AMC and Mad Men is made of awesome.  After the first episode I was hooked.  I still can’t believe the first season was only six episodes – they created such well-drawn characters that you already felt invested in their safety after knowing them for a few minutes.  I can’t wait for the second season…I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

FAVORITE MOVIE:  The Social Network.  I can’t remember the last time the end titles came up for a movie and I was disappointed it was over.  That was exactly what happened when I was watching The Social Network.  It was smart, funny, compelling and the actors were at the top of their game.  I’ll totally admit to coming home and Googling all of people the movie is based on.  And you’ll never look at Facebook the same way again.  Honorable Mention: Toy Story 3 (totally bawled at the end, Pixar can do no wrong in my eyes)

FAVORITE CONCERT:  Prince.  I saw Prince several years ago and it was one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever seen (Sir Paul McCartney is my absolute favorite concert of all time).  While Price didn’t play as long or as many classic songs this time, he is simply one of the greatest showman of all time.  He can sing, dance, play guitar and writes some of the most infectious pop songs ever written.  When the organ cane on and I heard “Dearly beloved…” I grabbed my friend and totally freaked out.  Honorable Mentions: Florence + the Machine and Tired Pony

What were your favorites of 2010? (Please note, I’m trying to open the comments back up, but I used to get a ton of spam, so I’m going to have to approve all the comments – please be patient!). UPDATE: I had to shut down the comments again because I kept getting spam - I'm having it worked on so I can have them up again soon.

Looking forward to lots of amazing books, music, movies and TV in 2011! XO, Elizabeth