Things I Loved in 2014 (that weren’t books)

With the closing of another year, the internet is inundated with ‘Best of’ lists. I tried to steer clear of posting one of these for a while, but the enormous amount of downtime on my Christmas break has lead to me crafting some end of year posts, as well as one that looks ahead to 2015.

I read a lot of books, but that’s for another post. Here I’m going to talk about the non-bookish things that I became totally obsessed with this year. Here are those five fun things:

Chris Evans’ movies (and his arms) 

Two of my favorite movies this year both had one thing in common: Chris Evans. He started out his year really strong with his reappearance as Captain America, but I’ll get to that. What really took me aback was his film Snowpiercer.

Directed by a South Korean revelation by the name of Bong-Ho, Snowpiercer is the story of an uprising on a train…the train where the rest of civilization resides post-some-huge-apocolyptic-event. It has a stellar cast and Chris Evans is one of the leads. He’s gritty and raw and real and as I was watching it (it’s gripping as a visual art as well) a siren went off in my head. Chris Evans isn’t just a pretty face, the dude can act.

He doesn’t get to stretch himself the same way in Captain America, but he’s a compelling force that holds the screen and your attention in what is so far the best movie to come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The reason it’s so freaking good is the directors treated it like a 1970s spy thriller with a dash of Argo and comic book action sequences. Plus, the title of the movie is taken from a poem and has multiple meanings. This appeals to my inner nerd in multiple ways.  Chris Evans in those tight suits and kicking the ass of twenty bad guys in an elevator appeals to my ovaries in multiple ways. All sides of me win on this one.

“1989” by Taylor Swift

I have a confession to make—I am a Taylor Swift fan. I tried to keep my unabashed love for her on the down-lo for a while because for some reason I felt guilty liking her. Well, I don’t feel guilty anymore. With the release of “1989,” arguably my favorite album of 2014, I felt all shame slip away. I love Taylor Swift. There, I said it. Her music just speaks to me. This album lets me indulge in every emotion, from wanderlust in “Welcome to New York” to nostalgia and longing and love in “Wildest Dreams” to optimistic romanticism in “How You Get the Girl” and catty vengefulness in “Blank Space.” “Clean” is just a great song, and the one I relate to most. I’ve cried at more than one song more than once and I have no qualms admitting it here on the internet. It’s just a great album and T. Swift herself is great.

Murder Mysteries 

I probably shouldn’t revel in the deaths of others, but boy did I discover a love for mysteries this year. I’ve always liked them (underneath all the wands and potions, the Harry Potter series are a bunch of whodunits), but this year I’ve been absorbed by them in various formata. I binged True Detective, which was great, and Top of the Lake, which is EVEN BETTER. My friend Katie got me into Sherlock, I became obsessed with the podcast Serial, and I’m slowly making my way through the Swedish version of The Killing (it’s good even if I have to read it) and I’m about to start the TV version of Fargo. On top of all of this I put lots of great mysteries on my TBR and I’m anxiously awaiting all of Broadchurch (the UK version, hello David Tennant!) to be available. I’ve had some pretty weird dreams, but my sleuthing skills are getting better.

Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon

I once again have my friend Katie to thank for introducing me to Reese’s instagram. This is where my newfound respect for this Hollywood badass started. First of all, her pictures are adorable, and she has such refined, beautiful taste. Second, it’s a great glimpse into what an awesome mom and person she is. She truly cares about stuff! She’s also a savvy businesswoman, something I really admire. She was one of the producers of Gone Girl and she’s the anchor of Wild which was just heartbreaking and lovely. She works on projects she is passionate about and it shows in their quality. In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, she said that her production company wants to focus on lead women who are complex. It’s a wild idea for Tinseltown, but I’m down! I plan on fully supporting her.

To top it all off, Reese was a joke on The Mindy Project which is the only show that keeps me consistently laughing with it’s clever, timely jokes and hilarious asides. The captain of that ship is Mindy Kaling, another awesome lady who I stalk on social media. Mindy is funny and fashionable. She’s smart and she likes things like the Kardashians and Edith Wharton. She carries herself so well and she had the most hilarious story about the recent Nobel Peace Prize Winner. I can’t say enough good things. Are there people out there who don’t like Mindy Kaling?

My dream for 2015 is to have lunch with Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon. Maybe you can come, Katie.

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