01 January 2014

2013



As the year 2013 bids us farewell, many fond memories will remain. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to travel, spend quality time with my family and friends, discover music that touched my heart, books and films which made me laugh, think and cry. Here is what I will remember of 2013, and think to be worth sharing.


Book: Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I am aware that this book hasn't been written in 2013 - but after hearing about it for so many years, it is the first time I actually read the whole text. I hadn't been so touched by a book in so many years. Presented like a children's tale, le Petit Prince is so much more: an ode to imagination and fantasy, a critic of how adults forget who they are, a reminder of what is really important in life.

Music: Daft Punk, Random Access Memory
Anybody who has been exposed to mass media in 2013 has heard about Daft Punk's new album. I have always liked their music, and, although I admit I prefer Discovery, Random Access Memory is a piece of quality. Besides, I have showered too many time humming Get Lucky in 2013.

TV Serie: Vikings
There are so many new series premiering every year, I have a hard time finding something I really appreciate. Vikings was a great discovery of 2013. Realistic, with deep characters and a different take on the Viking culture. Definitely worth watching, if you like historical environments and don't mind a bit of blood...

Game: Diablo III
I have lost so many days to Diablo II  over ten years ago, getting my hands on number 3 was both an experience of nostalgia and teenage crazy shrieking excitement. Blizzard delivered on the quality standard of the brand, and many demons were slain in 2013.

Film: Blue Jasmine
I haven't watched many films this year, and most of them on planes. Among all I saw, I was particularly moved by the performance of Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's latest film, Blue Jasmine.

Book: Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Who said I could only pick one of each? I have been very cautious with Young Adult novels, especially on the dystopic genre, as many Hunger Games knock-offs have popped lately. I have been completely absorbed by the universe of Divergent, and read the first volume in less than 2 days, which is the mark of a good book. A tale on the importance of choice, identity searching, and human values, on which I will dedicate an article once I'm finished with the trilogy.

Music: Alt-J, an Awesome wave
When was the last time you listened to an album and liked every single song of it? And listened to it continually for months without tiring? That's what happened to me in 2013 with Alt-J. One of my top 10 albums ever.

TV series: House of Cards
I heard that they created this series based on Big Data analysis. What would people be most interested in? And they put it all together in a TV series. That sounds a bit anti-creative, but the result is actually a success. It may be linked to the great performance of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, too.

Game: Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag
Here is to all the ships I plundered and rum I drank since October 29. And to a charismatic Assassin (doesn't he look like Chris Hemsworth? A bit?). And because I worked on it for months, too.

Film: Star Trek Into Darkness
I would call it a personal favourite rather than a film of the year. I love space operas, I love science fiction, and I love Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch. I loved Star Trek Into Darkness.

And much more...
To the end of David Suchet's Poirot, Jonas Jonasson's hilarious Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, the skill of jazz violonist Matthias Levy and his quartet, the discovery of Singapore and Los Angeles, Despicable Me 2 because banana. To Paganini's wonderful Caprices and Julia Fischer's fantastic interpretation of these violin solo pieces. To the perfect Cinammon & Pumkin cake, oysters & champagne for one, Naoki Higashima's wonderful testimony in The Reason I Jump. To Umberto Eco's wonderful stories and the end of True Blood. Here is to 2013.


12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your list-- Le Petit Prince is one of my favorite books ever, and it seems that we have similar tastes in music :) Hope to check out Blue Jasmine at some point, I've heard some very good things about that film!

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    1. Glad to hear you like it! Le Petit Prince has become one of my all-time favourites as well. If we have similar taste in music, I'd love to hear recommendations from you :)

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  2. I love George Blagden in Vikings!

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    1. He's the monk, isn't he? I love this character's complexity and relationship to Ragnar and everything - I'll stop here to avoid spoilers :)

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  3. I remember the first time I read the Little Prince (as an adult), and I had the same feelings as you. Such a good book! And I'm glad to hear you liked Vikings; I'd been curious about it. Happy new year!

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    1. Happy New Year to you too! There is this pang of nostalgia when reading a book like le Petit Prince as a adult, don't you think? Vikings is a very specific genre, and I imagine it's quite polarizing (I'm sure my mother would hate it). But I find the characters deep and complex, and I like how this is different than the stereotyped image we have of vikings.

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  4. I shall have to check out Vikings, it keeps popping up on my radar, recommended by different people. I love these lists - I think my world would be much narrower without the recommendations of others!

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    1. I totally agree with you - my best finds come from recommendations from friends, journalists, bloggers etc. That's why I love the tumblr "Go Book Yourself" so much :)

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  5. I have such fond memories of David Suchet's Poirot. My top 2 TV-bonding memories from my childhood are watching Monty Python with my dad and Poirot with my mom. I have only watched one episode from the final season, so I think I have something like four left? He's so wonderful!

    I have only semi-watched a few episodes of Vikings (I might have done something like scrolled through Tumblr while The Boyfriend was watching) but it seems good. There has been some discussion of the historical accuracy (or lack thereof) of the show in Norwegian media, which I suppose is unavoidable - the vikings are pretty much the one cool thing we have going for us, so we tend to get a bit uppity when we discover creative liberties that we don't agree with ;)

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    1. It's true that Suchet's Poirot ran from 1989 to 2013, it's quite impressive. In one of the last episodes, we see Hastings and miss Lemon again, it was quite nostalgic! I envy you to still have unwatched episodes. The last one, "Curtain", is particularly good. I couldn't imagine Hercule Poirot ending another way.

      As for Vikings, I can imagine it suscitates debate. I don't know enough about this historical period to confirm if there are any inaccuracies, but I totally imagine how French media would babble, would there be a series on the French Revolution or something haha.

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  6. You introduced me to Alt-J and I'm so thankful! I've been listening to them non-stop since your post :)

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    1. I'm so glad you like them so much, enjoy :)

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