Favorites of 2011

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You know when you have really bad writer’s block? After you’ve been to three states in nine days and thought about nothing but family and Christmas for weeks.

Since imitation truly is the highest form of flattery, I decided to copy Simple Mom and share my favorite books, movies, TV shows, and music of 2011. (As she said, ones that were new to me, not necessarily new to 2011.)

Sometimes it takes the act of writing to spark further writing, which is why “they” say all the best writers write every day. A practice I’ve fallen out of. I write a lot in my head. Does that count?

So without further ado …

BOOKS (of course)

I read so, so, SO many amazing books in 2011. I don’t know what sparked that, if it was just a streak of luck or coming into contact with great recommendations, but I am certainly glad for it.

You can read my treatise on why I think everyone should read Heaven Is for Real. I zipped through the small book a few short hours and found it very affecting. Read it.

I don’t think there’s much you haven’t heard about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or The Help. Both are wonderful, fast-paced reads that have spurred movies. (The former, movies in both Swedish and English!) There is a reason both are so popular: plots full of detail and excitement, rendering the reader completely unable to put them down. Read when you have the hours to devote to them!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was an unexpected favorite from this year. The author created another world … just after the one in which we currently live. (After reading The Hunger Games, fear of the government is starting to get to me!) Atwood is a word artist and I left this book wanting to read everything she’s written.

You can see everything I read in 2011 on this page. A few other favorites: Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks; The Paris Wife by Paula McClain; Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.


I loved watching Top Chef: All-Stars. I suppose it’s part of the little voice in my head that tells me I could be a chef if I REALLY wanted to (I don’t.) that convinces me to watch the crazy cooking shows. I’d seen most of the prior seasons of Top Chef, though, and enjoyed watching the old favorites. (As I am sure I will love Project Runway All-Stars. Woohoo!) 

I am pretty sure Modern Family is the best show on television. (At least if you vastly prefer sitcoms, as I do. I’m just not a drama girl.) It never fails to crack me up; and mid-week, a girl just needs a good laugh.

Mr. V and I still watch How I Met Your Mother, and we will ’til the end. I won’t say it’s the best show out there … it’s had its ups and downs and maybe peaked at season 2. But in all its ridiculousness, it just makes me smile a lot of the time.

Honorable mentions to Once Upon a Time and Firefly, which Mr. V and I saw for the first time and proceeded to mourn the loss of all the seasons it should have had.


I confess I am not into movies like I used to be. Mr. V and I went with the crowd and changed to just Netflix instant streaming with the price increase, and we mostly use it to watch old TV shows anyway.

The only movies I saw in the theater this year were Something Borrowed (and you know that was a great cinema masterpiece) and two-thirds of Monsters vs. Aliens ($1 summer movie with the kids, who started crying, so we left).

So, as I can remember, the best movies I watched this year (for the first time) were The Social Network, Edward Scissorhands, and Despicable Me.


Thanks to the wonder that is Spotify, we’ve listened to a lot of new music this year. (I am not someone who thinks your music, make-up, exercise, etc, need to be “social,” but we definitely enjoy being able to listen to anything under the sun!)

Here are some new favorites.

Station Wagon: Songs for Parents by Sara Groves – If you are a parent, you MUST give this at least one listen. All of the songs ring true and some crack me up. (The line “Do you have any idea how much it hurts to give birth?” is sung in the background of one song. Love it.)

Kari Jobe by … well, Kari Jobe – A great album of praises to God. Love her voice.

The Band Perry – Another great breakout album. Fills my country fix. (Since when do I need a country fix?? I HATED country music growing up. I’ve been in Tennessee too long!)

Kuhzoo by Bellaruse – The lead singer of this group happens to be my uber-talented cousin, Kay Gillette … but if I didn’t like the music, I still wouldn’t listen to it. And I do. It’s crazy, jazz/folk/something type stuff. Just trying listening to The Kazoo Song and see if you aren’t addicted!

If you’ve made it through this lengthy ordeal, you must tell me: what were your favorites of 2011?

Let’s pretend this is a top ten plus, oh, eight list and link it to Top Ten Tuesday. I think Amanda loves me too much to call me out on it. 😉

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2 thoughts on “Favorites of 2011

  1. I discovered the joys of Dr. Who (netflix for seasons (British "series") up to the second most recent). The kindle has made it easier to read at almost my old 2-books-per-week pace; catching up on old Kathy Reichs (Temperance Brennan novels) books, Cleo Coyle novels (coffeehouse based) and a load of Christian non-fiction. Imaginary Jesus sticks out in that genre, as well as A Meal with Jesus,

    Music – both Glory Revealed CDs (various Christian artists doing songs that were written entirely with Scripture as the lyrics, produced by Mac Powell of Third Day).

  2. Saw a couple of the Firefly episodes on DVD and liked it. When I saw that one of the cable channels had a marathon, I recorded the entire thing.

    Liked your list! Found you through Oh Amanda's Top Ten.

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