The other day I had a conversation about favorite movies. This, like favorite books or favorite TV shows or favorite songs, changes depending on mood, the particular moment when I'm asked, if I'm in the middle of a watching or reading binge, etc.
But as it is the end of the year 2014, and so many magazines and newspapers and websites are counting down the Best of, it feels like a good time to look at this particular moment and this particular mood to see what are some of my favorites.
And so what follows is a highly subjective list of my top 5 favorite movies, books, tv shows and songs. It might all change tomorrow, but today these are the ones I love most of all.
1. The Dish -- Australian film about the radio telescope Down Under that broadcast the moon walk on live TV. Lovely movie in every single way.
2. Gross Pointe Blank -- Hitman attends his high school reunion. Probably a little bit how we all feel when faces with that particular blast from the past.
3. Despicable Me -- Super villain reveals heart when he becomes an adopted dad. Some of the best child actors in movies. Hilarious. And sweet.
4. Stardust -- Young man encounters a star in human form and love ensues. Based on a Neil Gaimon book. Need I say more? Plus Robert DeNiro dances around in a pink frilly corset.
5. LOTR (a bit of a cheat as this is all 3 films) -- High fantasy in New Zealand. Great horse scenes, Aragorn, hobbits, sorcery, elves, and an amazing amount of sword play. I saw Return of the King six times in the cinema. A geek's paradise.
My Top 5 Favorite Books:
1. A Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey -- Modern-day cop looks at the murder of the two princes in the tower to determine Richard III's guilt or innocence. A great mix of murder mystery and history. Led to my wholehearted belief that the Tudors done Richard wrong.
2. The Saga series by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples -- Romeo and Juliet in war-torn space, a graphic novel. It's violent and sex-filled, and awesome in every way.
3. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell -- Six tied-together tales in six different genres go backward and forward. Absolutely brilliant, and continually re-readable.
4. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster -- A favorite from my childhood about Milo and his journey to a fantasy land through a toy tollbooth. With its focus on language and words, it was always going to appeal to this word nerd.
5. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak -- Tale of a little girl and books and a hidden Jewish man in Nazi Germany. One of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. I marked page after page just to remember the words and language he wove together so wonderfully.
My Top 5 Favorite Songs:
1. "Orion in the Sky" by Shawn Colvin -- It meant something way back when, and still brings happy feelings despite the past being in the past. And it has meaning too to a lover of the night sky.
2. "Tubthumbing" by Chumbawumba -- Imminently boppable song. Plus, who doesn't need a whisky drink, a vodka drink, a lager drink, and a cider drink?
3. "Airplanes" by B.O.B. ft. Hayley Williams -- Love the combination of rap and soulful singing. Wishing on airplanes is a common habit of mine.
4. "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?" by anybody -- Blame it on working at a country music museum, but this song has now become a huge fave and one that I hold in my head all the time.
5. "Demons" by Imagine Dragons-- Each year there is at least one song that I feel in my inner core when I first hear it, and this song was the one for 2014. I have to blast it when I hear it.
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- Teenage vampire slayer saves the world. Again. Joss Whedon is a genius.
2. Derek -- A Netflix series with Ricky Gervaise as a man with learning difficulties working in a care home. Sounds like a downer, or a joke, but it's an amazingly funny and touching show.
3. Firefly -- Space western with the always-great Nathan Fillion. Joss Whedon again. Have I said he's a genius?
4. Parks & Recreation -- Leslie Knope is my hero. Plus there is Li'l Sebastion. It is literally the funniest show on TV.
5. The Walking Dead -- Apocalyptic nightmare where the living are worse than the dead. Best show on TV right now. Great characters, great acting, great plot. It will rip your heart out every time.
If you've got any suggestions based on this list of things I might enjoy, feel free to share!