Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top 3 Movies, Books and Albums of 2013

Okay, I'll start by saying that the title of this post is completely inaccurate. "Top 3" is necessarily subjective, but "of 2013" is a bit of a misnomer, too.

Because what I've got here is actually a list of the top 3 movies, books, and albums I watched, read, and listened to in 2013.  They're not necessarily movies, books, or albums that were released, published, or dropped in 2013.  In fact, I don't think any of them are.

Top 3 Movies

Pariah (2011): The film was recommended to me by all-round awesome author Richard Van Camp and, man, does he ever know my taste! Pariah is the story of a Brooklyn teenager navigating gender and sexual identities through poetry, love, and life.  Literature surrounding the film describes the main character as a lesbian, ignoring the strong trans and genderqueer themes in the film, which I found to be more prevalent (could just be my focus).  I actually appreciated that [spoiler--sorry!] the film didn't force itself to resolution on any count.  There are no happily-ever-afters, here. Everything falls apart for this character, and yet it's an incredibly uplifting film.

Les emotifs anonymes

Les √©motifs anonymes (2010): Yeah, it's French. Don't bust my balls.  I watched it on Netflix and it was listed as Romantics Anonymous, with English subtitles. So you too can watch this movie and be entertained! Actually, it's pretty much the polar opposite to Pariah. I can't believe I turned it on, because I hate romantic comedies, but this film about two chocolatiers with social anxiety disorder is just so motherfucking cute that I couldn't get enough. I watched it twice.

Monsieur Ibrahim (2003) Poster
Monsieur Ibrahim

Monsieur Ibrahim (2003): Omar Sharif and a kid star in this film set in Paris in the 60's. Just a great movie. I'm a sucker for inter-generational friendships. Also French. So what? Stop calling me a snob.

Top 3 Books

Stephen King On Writing: This thoughtful gift from my girlfriend was my first encounter with Stephen King, if you can believe it. I would call this a book "of special interest to writers" rather than a book "for writers" because I think any reader would find it entertaining. There's a ton of autobiography, and in fact relatively little "on writing" but... oh well. It's still great.

Opening Up by Tristan Taormino: I think I've reviewed this guide to creating and sustaining open relationships at least twice on the blog (and on other blogs, and on Amazon) so I won't go into too much detail. Suffice to say this is a great book for anyone, whether or not you're in/considering open relationships. If you've got issues with jealousy (in or out of romantic/sexual relationships), this book could be really helpful.

Missing Pieces by Joy Fielding: My reason for including this book is kind of weird. Joy Fielding sometimes teaches writing courses through my Alma Mater's continuing education department, but I've never read her work. Missing Pieces is an older book (from 1997?) and as I read it I was amazed by how many of my own writing mistakes I could pick out of her work. It's always easier to see your faults in other people, but I still hold this stupid belief that other authors are "real authors" and I'm a fake. When I see faults my editors catch in a respected writer's published book, I feel a little less like a fraud. 

Top 3 Albums

Snowblink: Inner Classics

Snowblink: Inner Classics (2012): Only half an hour of music on this disc of surf songs, but buy it if you have trouble sleeping. This is the perfect lullaby album. That sounds like an insult, but it's not. The songs are gorgeous.

Austra: Feel It Break

Austra: Feel It Break (2011): Trippy and hypnotic, this album has been my anthem since I bought it in the summer.  I have no idea what she's saying half the time, but I don't care. I like to be mesmerized by music and Feel It Break does the trick.

Love This Giant

St. Vincent and David Byrne: Love This Giant (2012): This album won my heart the first time I heard the first track playing on CBC Radio. I've never heard anything like it. Jazz ensembles, which vary by track, come together in this inter-generational collaboration (hey hey!) to produce some wonderful, weird-ass music. I've played this album for everyone close to me and when it starts they screw up their faces and say, "What IS this?" and when it ends they say, "Can we listen to it again?" Every. Time.

Top 3 Me

You know, as I was typing up my favourite reads from 2013, I asked myself which were the 3 best books I WROTE in 2013. I didn't even have to think about it: my Adam and Sheree novellas, absolutely.  All three.

What's so great about them?  They're just smut.  And, what's worse, they're taboo smut.  They've all been banned by Amazon, and, more recently, Kobo. Don't even
try finding them at any of the romance ebook specialty stores. (You'll have to check out Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, or the publisher--eXcessica Eden)

So what makes three novellas about a brother and sister fucking unapologetically my best of 2013? Well... because they are SMUT. Just like it says on the packet.  They're not trying to be anything they're not. They're three books full of sex. And
the sex is damn good. There's nothing redeeming about them. Just pure taboo erotica.

In fact, screw 2013, Adam and Sheree's Family Vacation, Family Business, and Family Christmas are the best books I've ever written.

Over to you: which movies, books, and albums made an impact on you in 2013?

Happy New Year,

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