Emilie’s 2012 Best List

I thought about not doing this post this year as I tend to dislike “best lists” lately. But, since I love to brag and my best list is all positive, it seemed a shame not to give the folks who created the following media, my best of 2012, a big ol’ shout-out. Still, if you particularly like this end-of-the-year tradition of mine, I hope you’ll say so.


These are roughly in the order I read them. I am not ranking them. That would be way too difficult and this is hard enough. Last year, almost half my list was nonfiction, which surprised me. This year the numbers are the same: 4 out of my best 10 titles were nonfiction.

1. Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson (1st Quarter)

2. Delirium and Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver (both 2nd Quarter)

3. Zone One, Colson Whitehead (2nd Quarter)

4. Oyster, John Biguenet (3rd Quarter)

5. Tiny Beautiful Things, Dear Sugar/Cheryl Strayed (3rd Quarter)

6. The Lover’s Dictionary, David Levithan (3rd Quarter)

7. How to Be a Woman, Caitlin Moran (4th Quarter)

8. Wild, Cheryl Strayed (4th Quarter)

9. Torch, Cheryl Strayed (4th Quarter)

10. Reached, Ally Condie (4th Quarter)

Notables: Most of these would’ve been on my best list any other year, if they hadn’t been nudged out by my obsession with three books by the same author that I couldn’t legitimately count as one. The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Ed. Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Mindy Kaling; Bayou Vol 1 and 2, Jeremy Love + Patrick Morgan; River Road, Suzanne Johnson; Wife 22, Melanie Gideon; The Mapmaker’s War, Ronlyn Domingue and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami.


This list includes movies I saw in the theater (1-5) and watched at home (6-10), and is also not ranked but listed in the rough order that I watched them.

1. Hunger Games

2. The Five-Year Engagement

3. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

4. Pitch Perfect

5. Argo

6. Friends with Kids

7. First Position

8. Buck

9. Ruby Sparks

10. Your Sister’s Sister

I was really impressed with kids’ movies this year and I had the opportunity to see quite a few. This year, I really enjoyed: Brave, Madagascar 3, ParaNorman, Hotel Transylvania, Wreck It Ralph and Rise of the Guardians.


This was a rough year for me and TV. Between work and dancing once or twice a week, not to mention other distractions, I largely abandoned my TV. When I did watch a show, I caught up on several episodes or an entire season all at once, either online or DVD. The shows below are the ones I stuck with the most loyally.

1. Falling Skies

2. Dancing with the Stars

3. So You Think You Can Dance

4. Castle

5. Downton Abbey

6. Survivor

7. Revenge

8. The New Girl

Notables include another sadly canceled show, favorites I can get into anytime and a new show that is much better than the commercials make it look: Breakout Kings, 30 Rock, Law & Order SVU, Leverage, Big Bang Theory, The Mindy Project.


It’s probably not an accident that you can tango to a lot of my favorite music this year. The first single listed was the song my partner and I performed to and most of them are highly danceable.

Albums –

1. Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel…

2. Danger Mouse & Daniele Lupi’s Rome (ft. Jack White and Norah Jones)

3. Jack White’s Blunderbuss

4. Norah Jone’s …Little Broken Hearts

5. Just Tell Me That You Want Me, a Fleetwood Mac tribute album

Singles (not from any of the above) –

1. Karen Choi’s “Tangled” (free download)

2. Guillermo Figueroa’s “Insula III – Las Indieras de Maricao: Andantino misterioso”

3. Iggy Pop’s “Nightclubbin'”

4. Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up”

5. Emily Wells’ “Symphony #2 Click Clack Boom”

6. Alex Clare’s “Too Close”

7. Lianne la Havas “Is Your Love Big Enough?”

8. Clare Bowen + Sam Palladio “If I Didn’t Know Better” / The Civil Wars version

9. Gotye “Somebody I Used to Know”

10. Taylor Swift + The Civil Wars “Safe and Sound”

This list would be different if I created it at the beginning of the year, or the middle. I suspect I’ve forgotten about a lot of things that I really loved, though the Quarterly Reading Reports helps me be very “accurate” with my favorite books of the year. Regardless, everything on this list is quality media that I really, really obsessed over and enjoyed in 2012. Enjoy!


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Filed under books, literature, movies, music, musing, pop culture, what I'm reading

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