Best of 2013: A Look Back


Happy New Year, everyone! While I had every intention of posting this prior to 2014, real life intervened and I was forced to complete this a little later than I had initially hoped. You know what they say about the best laid plans. Better late than never, though, right? Right!? But I digress. Below you’ll find a small selection of non-book-related things that made 2013 a little bit brighter. I hope you enjoyed some of them as much as I did!

Searching for even more ‘Best of 2013’? Visit Jamie over at the The Perpetual Page-Turner for her choices of the best music, television, moments and more of 2013! You can find her post Here!

Best New Albums (Released in 2013)

Tennis   Small Sound
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Mean Streets, Dimming Light & 100 Lovers

Tessa Rose Jackson   (Songs From) The Sandbox
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Stepping Stone, Lost and Found & Again and Again

Katy Perry   Prism
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Roar, Unconditionally & Dark Horse

HAIM   Days Are Gone
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Falling, The Wire & Honey & I

Little Green Cars   Absolute Zero
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Harper Lee, My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me & The John Wayne

Lucius   Wildewoman
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Wildewoman, Turn It Around & Go Home

Agnes Obel   Aventine
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Fuel To Fire, The Curse & Words Are Dead

Wilde Belle   Isles
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: It’s Too Late, Twisted & Backslider

Tegan and Sara   Heartthrob
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Closer, I Was A Fool & I’m Not Your Hero

Lorde   Pure Heroine
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Tennis Court, 400 Lux & Team

The Civil Wars   The Civil Wars
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: The One That Got Away, Dust To Dust & The Devil’s Backbone

She & Him   Volume 3
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: I Could’ve Been Your Girl, Somebody Sweet To Talk To & Something’s Haunting You

Best New-To-Me Albums (Released Before 2013)

Best Coast   The Only Place
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: The Only Place, No One Like You & How They Want Me To Be

Serena Ryder   Harmony
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: What I Wouldn’t Do, For You & Stompa

Marina and the Diamonds   Electra Heart
(Find it on iTunes!)
Favourite Songs: Bubblegum Bitch, Starring Role & Sex Yeah

Best Returning Series

Elementary
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller & Lucy Liu

Boardwalk Empire
Starring: Steve Buscemi, Michael K. Williams, Gretchen Mol, Jack Huston, et al.

Parks and Recreation
Starring: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, et al.

Homeland
Starring: Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, et al.

Justified
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Joelle Carter, Natalie Zea, et al.

Mad Men
Starring: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, et al.

Best New Series (Premiered in 2013)

Marvel: Agents of Shield
Starring: Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, et al.

Sleepy Hollow
Starring: Tom Mison & Nicole Beharie

Bates Motel
Starring: Vera Farmiga & Freddie Highmore

Best New-To-Me Series (Premiered Before 2013)

Smallville
Starring: Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, et al.

Best Series Finale

Fringe
Starring: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, et al.

Worst Series Finale

Dexter
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, James Remar, et al.

Most Disappointing Cancellation

Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23
Starring: Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker & James Van Der Beek

Happy Endings
Starring: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Casey Wilson, Damon Wayans Jr., Adam Pally & Zachary Knighton

Southland
Starring: Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Regina King, Ben McKenzie, et al.



Unbelievable though it might seem, I do occasionally venture outside of the realm of book blogs. Here are just a few of the non-book-related websites I enjoyed most in 2013!

This Happy Place

For those of you who are unaware, I’m a passionate, unapologetic, wholehearted Disney enthusiast. My family and I ordinarily visit Walt Disney World in Florida at least every other year (we visited in 2013) and when I’m not at the parks themselves, I’m dreaming about them or planning my next trip. Estelle, who you also might know as one of the co-bloggers over at Rather Be Reading, created This Happy Place, a delightful blog dedicated to all things Disney. With fun features like ‘Muppet Monday’ and ‘Kill, Refurb, Marry’, This Happy Place allows me to reconnect with Disney when geography or money might otherwise separates us. There’s a little bit of magic in every post Estelle writes. That said, how she manages to maintain two blogs is something I’ll never understand – One is more than enough for me!

Modcloth

This isn’t a new favourite by any means, but, as per usual, I spent an inordinate amount of time browsing through Modcloth this year. This website and I have a somewhat strained relationship as exorbitant shipping and import costs to Canada often prevent me from shopping there as often as I would otherwise like, but I typically splurge and place one or two large orders each year. Thankfully, 2013 was no exception. I love Modcloth’s vintage-inspired pieces and the unique, quirky sensibility that I can’t seem to find anywhere else. While I’ve always sworn by their swimsuits, like the Blanket Bingo One Piece that I own in at least three colours and/or patterns, this year, among other things, I purchased the On A Roller Derby Jeans, which I can’t recommend highly enough. They make me feel sexy without having to sacrifice comfort, and they are easily one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe.

Vixen Vintage

Vixen Vintage was one of my more recent discoveries in 2013, and I quickly fell in love. I’ve always been fascinated by all things vintage and often try to incorporate vintage and retro-inspired pieces into my own wardrobe. Solanah has a sense of style to which I can only aspire, and her photography is nothing short of stunning. I would love to become a little more confident when it comes to incorporating a 1950’s aesthetic into my own look, and I hope to find inspiration in blogs like Vixen Vintage. Unafraid to think outside the box and dress not as social mores dictate but as she likes, Solanah’s self assurance is her most attractive accessory, and I can only hope a little bit of it will rub off on me!

Obscurus Lupa Presents

Given the purpose of this blog, it should come as no surprise that I love writing, reading, and watching reviews, whether they be of films, television shows, or books (I blame this on my penchant for watching endless hours of At The Movies with Siskel and Ebert as a child.) While I discovered a number of new reviewers this year who I quickly fell in love with like The Cinema Snob and Phelous, there’s none whose work I enjoy more than Obscurus Lupa. Known for reviewing so-bad-they’re-good productions, Lupa has reviewed everything from Birdemic and The Room to Baywatch and the Withcraft series. While I love them all for various reasons, I’ve watched her reviews of The Amazing Bulk and Subspecies (and the accompanying three sequels) more times than I can count, and they never fail to make me laugh. She’s brilliant, and I can’t wait to see more from her in 2014. I highly recommend checking out her work if you’re in need of a laugh!

15 responses to “Best of 2013: A Look Back”

  1. Frasier says:

    Your graphics continue to be some of the cutest things ever. Also, 2013 looks like a pretty good year my brother.
    Frasier recently posted…Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren MorrillMy Profile

  2. Tammy says:

    Amen to Dexter! Serious what were they thinking? And I can’t believe some of the shows that are on TV right now but no more Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B. Who watches some of these current shows that are on and how do we stop them? 🙂

    • Speaking as someone who had watched the series since its premiere in 2006 and was a passionate fan, I don’t think I could have been more disappointed in the direction the writers chose to take the final season. I will pay anyone who can rationally explain to me how Dexter becoming a lumberjack was a logical progression for his character. Because I for the life of me can’t figure out what they were thinking.

      I couldn’t agree more re: Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23. There are so few comedies I like to watch, and the numbers continue to dwindle. While I understand that some people were put off by the latter’s title, the show was just beginning to hit its stride when it was cancelled. I’m so disappointed it wasn’t given a better chance to thrive. As to the former, I’ll always love it, and I’m so glad I can endlessly re-watch my DVDs 🙂 I’ll never understand how shows like Two And A Half Men continue to thrive, while the ones that I enjoy watching continually get cancelled far before their time.
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Best of 2013: A Look BackMy Profile

  3. Nnenna says:

    The layout for this post is so beautiful- I love it! Also, I totally agree about Sleepy Hollow being one of the best new shows last year. It’s so good!

  4. Alexa S. says:

    I am loving these music suggestions! I’m going to check out these albums shortly, perhaps after I leave this comment. Also — I love that you love Agents of SHIELD too. We will need to discuss this at some point!
    Alexa S. recently posted…I Simply Remember My Favorite Things, And Then I Don’t Feel So BadMy Profile

    • 2013 was definitely a great year for music. I discovered so many new favourites, and was excited to see new releases from some of my favourite artists like The Civil Wars, Tegan and Sara and She & Him 😀

      I definitely agree re: Agents of Shield! The show certainly had big shoes to fill and expectations to meet, and I think it did an admirable job. While it’s not perfect by any means, I have such a great time watching it, and absolutely love the characters and their dynamic together.
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Best of 2013: A Look BackMy Profile

  5. alice-jane says:

    Can I say I love your Instagram feed? Every picture is so pretty and perfect! That squirrel (chipmunk?) is super cute, hahaha.

    I love Modcloth’s look but I feel like I can never pull off the vintage look. D: Do you follow Keiko Lynn’s blog (keikolynn.com) by any chance because she has a vintage style and if you like Modcloth, I think you’d like her blog, too!

    And yes, Marina and the Diamonds Electra Heart is sooooooo good.
    alice-jane recently posted…The Numbers Game: the Obsession with Stats & Follower CountsMy Profile

    • Thank you! 😀 It’s a chipmunk at our summer cottage. He’s extremely friendly and will eat out of our hands if we let him.

      I had never heard of Keiko Lynn’s blog before but I’m so, so thankful you brought it to my attention! Her photos are stunning and I adore her style. Thank you so much for sharing it with me!
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Best of 2013: A Look BackMy Profile

  6. What a lovely post, Jen! I love a few of the albums I own – Tegan & Sara, Katy Perry, The Civil Wars – but a lot of the other ones on your list are totally new to me. Seems like I’ve got some listening to do! And this is terrible to admit, but I haven’t watched any of the shows on your (aside from maybe one episode of a few of them). Glad to have some of your recommendations for whenever I’m looking for a new show.

    Hope you have a wonderful 2014!
    Hannah @ So Obsessed With recently posted…Stories Are My RefugeMy Profile

    • Thanks, Hannah! It was a lot of fun to put together and helped me to better reflect on the past year. The music section was my favourite to work on – I didn’t realize how many wonderful albums had been released until I began to compile the list. I would highly recommend any and all of them 😀

      I’m definitely your go-to girl if you’re ever in need of a television show recommendation! Speaking as someone who watches upwards of twenty-two shows a week, I’m sure I can think of something you would like 😉
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Best of 2013: A Look BackMy Profile

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I loooooooove Sleepy Hollow!! And Fringe was one of my favourite TV shows when that was on. I’m still undecided on Agents of SHIELD. I figure I’ll give it the rest of the season, because I so desperately want to like it, but that remains to be seen.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Circle of Magic – Tamora PierceMy Profile

  8. Ah! The Civil Wars album is absolutely amazing. My favorite song on there is ‘The One That Got Away’, too! I am also loving some of the Walt Disney World instagram photos 🙂
    Kayla Elizabeth recently posted…Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 9.0 Wrap UpMy Profile

  9. I just started listening to HAIM on Spotify and I luff them!

    SO GLAD you found Parks & Rec.

    I really need to get in on that Fringe game, yo.

    How are your images so dang cute?! SO CUTE I SAY.
    Lisa Schensted recently posted…Review: Such a RushMy Profile

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