Note: I started this post right before my mom had her stroke. Since this is so clearly a January sort of post, I considered trashing it and moving on, but you know what? These things are still pretty rad and I still want to share them. Besides, I called a New Year’s do-over for February, remember? So without further ado…
I was originally planning to list my favorite books from 2017, but then I thought, why stop there? Especially because the latest obsession that I’m dying to talk about isn’t a book. So feast your eyeballs on the things that made me ridiculously happy, that inspired me or that were just really helpful or useful in 2017.
Note: Amazon links are affiliate links, because why not? But that in no way alters my feelings about the books in question.
The Greatest Showman – There were still three days left in 2017 when I saw this, so it counts. You guys. YOU GUYS! Go see this movie! You won’t be sorry, I promise. I’ve become pretty cynical when it comes to the movies these days. It’s gotten to a point where I rarely go, and when I do I usually don’t enjoy myself that much, and usually walk out of the theater feeling let down. I didn’t know what to expect from this movie going in, but from the first note, it was a sheer DELIGHT. Truly the best movie-going experience I’ve had in ages. I can’t wait to see it again.
The Greatest Showman Soundtrack – I’ve been listening to this practically non-stop. And when I’m not actually listening to it, it’s stuck on a loop in my head and I’m totally okay with that. This is my happy music. And I think Come Alive is my theme song for 2018. Or maybe This is Me. Can I have two theme songs?
iZombie – I already devoted a whole blog post to how much I love this show, and I can tell you that Season 3 did nothing to diminish my love. In fact, I think the addition of Logan Echolls I mean Jason Dohring to the cast only expanded it. Can’t wait for Season 4!
Supernatural – You guys, I was really skeptical about another season of this show, especially after the way they left things in last season’s finale. I really thought this might be the year I finally break up with the Winchesters for good. But I’m so glad I didn’t, because Season 13 has been amazing. Definitely the best season in a long time, and possibly one of the best seasons in the entire long run of the show.
Essentialism: The Discliplined Pursuit of Less – This was an extremely helpful book for helping me sort out what truly matters in my life and examining where I’m allowing my time and energy to be spent. This book has a lot to do with why my life no longer feels overwhelming and why I’m pretty confident that I can write three whole books this year.
A Million Little Ways – I did a slow re-read of this book in 2017 after having already devoured it the previous year. If you struggle with feeling like your art is unimportant, or like you don’t have anything to offer and your small contributions don’t matter, I highly recommend this book.
Jane Steele – Jane, a Victorian governess, is obsessed with the novel Jane Eyre, largely because her life trajectory is so similar to her literary heroine’s, except for one glaring difference: this Jane is actually a serial killer. Sort of. This was one of the most fun books I read in 2017, and a definite new favorite.
The Golem and the Jinni – A golem and a jinni strike up an unexpected friendship as they both try to navigate life among humans in their respective immigrant communities in late 19th-century New York. This book is magical.
The Girl with All the Gifts – I don’t want to say too much about this book, because if you don’t already know going in, you spend the first several chapters trying to figure out just what in the heck is going on with these children, and that’s a lot of fun. Then once you figure it out, it’s quite a ride, and a pretty original take on this particular genre. My favorite thing about this novel was how well developed each of the characters were. Even the “villains” had sympathetic motivations, and one character in particular goes from villainous and unlikable to downright heroic–one of my favorite character arcs. A fantastic read.
My Alphasmart Neo2 – I actually got this for my birthday in 2016, but it got a real workout this past year as I used it exclusively to draft Bound Spirits. It remains one of, if not THE, best writing tools in my arsenal. Lightweight, runs on AA batteries so I never need to worry about where to plug it in, no Internet, and a screen small enough to overcome my temptation to go back and edit as I go, this is a perfect story drafting machine. And the best part is it doesn’t even cost much.
The Lazy Genius Podcast – You guys, Kendra is so smart about how to be a grown-up person without exhausting yourself or driving yourself crazy. Her blog is hilarious and inspirational as well as being educational, and the podcast takes it up a notch.
The Popcast – Speaking of hilarious… this podcast about “things that entertain, but do not matter” is one of my favorite things, period. Hosts Knox and Jamie share their completely unbiased opinions on pop culture from the perspective of people deeply entrenched in the Bible Belt. It is a sheer delight.
Dog Rates – And speaking of sheer delights, this account is the best thing ever to happen to Twitter. I’m not going to say any more because if you don’t know what it is you should just go ahead and click through and be instantly happy.
41Strange – This account might be the second best thing to happen to Twitter. It’s full of the wonderfully weird, strange and macabre. If you like that sort of thing, check it out.
Erin H. Moon on Instagram – The third and silent member of the Popcast team is not silent on Instagram. Her Stories are the best thing on there. Worth it for everything, but especially for the ongoing saga of the apparent serial killer hiding in her walls.
There you have it. This list also includes knitting, writing in my journal, practicing gratitude, Jingle Jangle and Aldi dark chocolate, but you probably don’t need me to elaborate on the joy of any of those things.
What things saved your life, or at least made it easier or more bearable, in 2017? Share some of your own favorites in the comments!