This is my six hundredth post here, which is pretty significant, I think, even though the vast majority of my posts have been rather insignificant. I’ve had this site for almost exactly four years [the anniversary is on Wednesday] and I’ve received about 31,000 visitors, have about 1,000 followers, and have now made six hundred posts.
I don’t know. It’s something.
It’s also the end of the year, and it’s been a very strange year in almost every way. As a reader, I read over 100 books, many of them quite short, and most of them not what I planned on reading. My reading goal for the year was to finally get to some of these mammoth sized books I have lying around, but I only got to a few of them. Most of my reading got taken over when I became the interviewer for Monkeybicycle’s 52 Weeks/52 Interviews series. I’m glad I did it, but maybe even more glad that it’s over, though now I’m the Interview editor there, which is a cool result.
As a writer, I wrote about 400,000 words this year, but only completed one novel, which I only did a few weeks ago, and which is only about 40,000 words. I wrote two poetry collections, though, a few novellas, and compiled a short story collection, as well as writing about 60 new short stories this year, 52 of them in my Year in Stories project. But I have about 150,000 words of a novel I began last January just sitting around, and a bunch of other started but stalled projects. Oh, I wrote a graphic novel this year too. I often forget about that because I can’t publish it. But I’m about to begin a new graphic novel, so that’s cool. This one is publishable, which is also cool.
I was going to make this a longer post, but I think I’ll just do it sort of quick and randomly with silly lists. I read many more poetry collections than I’ve read in a long time, and way more books written in the last couple years than I normally do. Typically, only probably 10% of my reading is really new stuff, with the rest being, well, the rest of literature. None of these are in any sort of order, so don’t worry about that, if you’re reading. These are just my favorite things I read this year.
Best Novels I read this Year
- 2666 by Roberto Bolano
- The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe
- Viriconium Trilogy by M John Harrison
- Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
- United States of Banana by Giannina Braschi
Best Novels I read Published this Year
- The Least of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones
- The Desert Places by Robert Kloss and Amber Sparks
- Colony Collapse by JA Tyler
- Edie & The Low-Hung Hands by Brian Allen Car
- The Laughter of Strangers by Michael J Seidlinger
Best Short Story Collections
- Watering Heaven by Peter Tieryas
- Salamandrine: 8 Gotchis by Joyelle McSweeney
- Understories by Tim Horvath
- Fish Bites Cops! by David James Keaton
- At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson
Best Poetry Collections
- Moon Woke Up Nine Times: Selected Haiku of Basho
- For All These Wretched, Beautiful, & Insignificant Things so Uselessly & Carelessly Destroyed by Hosho McCreesh
- The Waiting Tide by Ryan W Bradley
- Dark Matter by Aase Berg
- Butcher’s Tree by Feng Sun Chen
I’ll leave it at that. I read a lot of great things this year, and it’s impossible to really list them all, but this should give some indication and some praise where it’s deserved.
Best films is a whole other category and something I can’t really even categorise properly without writing a thousand essays about each film, so I’ll stick to the best films I saw this year that came out this year. Also in no particular order.
- Pacific Rim by Guillermo Del Toro
- To the Wonder by Terrence Malick
- Ain’t them Bodies Saints by David Lowery
- 12 Years a Slave by Steve McQueen
- Blue is the Warmest Colour by Abdellatif Kechiche
- Upstream Color by Shane Carruth
And there are probably a thousand more films I could list there. My whole life is film and it’s all I love in art and everything, but I’ll keep it there. I probably forgot something super amazing that someone will tell me about, but I don’t care. Those are my favorites, probably. At least today. There the ones I’ll be watching again and again. And, of course, should be mentioned that there are a lot of great films that came out this year that I just haven’t seen yet. So, yeah.
But, I suppose that’s good enough.
I have big plans for 2014, but we’ll see if any of that goes according to plan.
Nothing in 2013 did.
It’s been an all right year.