A Few of My Favorite Things from 2015: 2015 Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour

2015 Merry Go Round Blog TourWhen I read this topic, what immediately came to mind was the song from Sound of Music, hence my title.

Choosing favorites is one of the worst jobs in the world because you’re not really choosing favorites if you’re doing it right. Everything I enjoyed this year is a favorite or I wouldn’t have enjoyed it, and as in the song, there are so many favorites small or large that no single post could cover them.

A lot of my favorite things are nature-oriented such as delighting in the strength of the trees in my neighborhood (it was newish when we moved in 10 years ago, so the trees took a bit to grow), especially now with them displaying their fall colors. I love the way there is snow on the mountains in all four directions as much as it hints at a hard winter because we need the water and there’s something magical about the crisp snow air.

Those above are the easy ones. With things like books, movies, etc., it depends on my mood. Here are some of the ones that come to mind today, though a different group might float to the top tomorrow:

One of the great things about this year has been the amount of reading I’ve managed to sneak in amongst my work and though not every story was a blow-me-away hit, I didn’t have any I didn’t enjoy (and so wouldn’t have reviewed). You can see the whole of my reading cornucopia (and I use the word to mean both plenty and variety) here.

Some highlights? Two of the books I read took a different twist on traditional fantasy in neat and unexpected ways: Uprooted by Naomi Novik and An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet. The Christmas Tree Farm Murders by Sara Penhallow reminded me there is a type of mystery (cozies) I can enjoy wholeheartedly because the mystery is only one element and the people are the primary. And to round it out a bit, A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise by Alex Sheshunoff had a wonderful voice and some life lessons to offer.

That’s fantasy, mystery, and memoir, but I read numerous romance novels, including some that stunned me with how they addressed serious issues to spread understanding; science fiction novels that entertained and got me thinking; urban fantasy; and historical fiction, each of which had something to compel. This is why I love to read and regret when I don’t make the time.

I saw a lot of movies this year, not so many in the theaters, but more in the “home theater” (because that sounds snazzier than crashed on the couch). I’m horrible with titles, and didn’t keep good notes, but for one of each, I’ll give:

Jupiter Ascending. This movie was beautiful to watch, had poignant and amusing moments, and demanded a lot of reader 50% fill in. My comment when we got back from the theater was what I saw as hinting at depth and filled in with my own ideas my husband saw as holes which undermined the whole movie. We usually match experiences, so I find this curious.

The other is Big Hero 6. I saw it at home with my adult son because we thought my husband wasn’t interested. We were wrong…oops…but we saw it again with him. It’s got a lot of depth and character hidden inside an overt story with traditional roots in the unlikely hero. I especially like the growth in defining person that occurs through the movie, but mainly it’s fun.

How about you? What is your favorite in any category from this year?

In case you’ve forgotten or didn’t know the song in my title, here’s an earworm to enjoy:

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “Favorites from 2015 (fiction, nonfiction, blogs, music, whatever…)” — November’s topic in Forward Motion’s Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Read the thoughts of nearly twenty different authors at various stages in their careers on this same topic. The next posts in the series are by Lisa Janice Cohen and Bonnie R. Schultzman.

Check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour to learn more. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour on the group site. Read and enjoy!

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