Looking Back: Goodbye 2011

As the calendar flipped its way into 2012 and we reached the top of another new year, I had no real thoughts of resolutions or posting about the year we just left behind.  I was lying in bed unable to sleep the other night, and began thinking of what books I read in 2011 that I really loved and had a hard time coming up with any. Which led to a sudden desire to turn on the light and make a list of things I enjoyed in 2011. I find my days slip away too easily, between work and motherhood and pregnancy, and unless I write stuff down, it gets sucked into the neverwhere of lost moments.

Here is what I came up with. The only “rules” I gave myself was to write down the first answers that came to mind. If I actually had to pick a favorite book of 2011, or the “best” anything, I would still be making a list. Instead, I picked moments or things that defined the year for me (good or bad).

Best Trip I Took: Belize, Victoria House. Sheer perfection.

Best Concert I Attended: Arcade Fire, The Woodlands, May 4.

Best New TV Show: Revenge. First one that came to mind, and because it’s the one show I watch live and can’t wait for the DVR. Total delicious escapist television, with some great campy acting.

Best “Old” TV Show: I’m going with How I Met Your Mother on this one. Always hilarious, the show really stepped up its game this year. From the episode where Marshall’s father died, to the last two game-changers regarding Robin and Barney, no other show made me laugh and cry at the same time.

Best TV Show I’m Watching on DVD: Doctor Who.

Song I Can’t Get Out of My Head (and Don’t Want To): Rolling In The Deep, Adele; Someone Like You, Adele; and Little Lion Man, Mumford & Songs (this one is O’s preferred soundtrack when riding in the car).

Song I Can’t Get Out of My Head (But Wish I Could): Party Rock Anthem, LMFAO. This one is due to O’s inexplicable obsession and constant requests. And yes, he likes their newest one too, something about wiggling and rocking that body. Nice.

CD’s I Can’t Stop Listening To: Caitlin Rose’s amazing Own Side Now (try Own Side Now, Shanghai Cigarettes or Things Change) . Also, The National’s High Violet (try Runaway and Anyone’s Ghost).

Best Movie: Umm, can’t think of any movies I saw. This is sad. Ok, going with The Town and Bridesmaids (funny, yes, but great writing). Oh and 2011 will always be the year of  Cars: The Movie to me since O insists on watching it over and over. And over and over.

Best Short StoryRobin Black’s entire story collection, If I Loved You I Would Tell You This, especially the title story. Couldn’t put it down or stop thinking about it.

Book I Couldn’t Put Down: A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan. The Likeness and Faithful Place, both by Tana French. Play It As It Lays, Joan Didion. April and Oliver, Tess Callahan. Oh and of course The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins.

Best Poetry Reading That Made Me Buy a Poetry Book: Toss up between Kevin Prufer’s A  Beautiful Country (read an excerpt here) and Allison Benis White’s Self-Portrait With Crayon (read an excerpt here).

What were your faves from 2011?



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3 responses to “Looking Back: Goodbye 2011

  1. Love this list Alisa. Best books for me: The Same Kind of Different As Me (Ron Hall and Denver Moore), The Long Goodbye (Megan O’Rourke), and The Sense of An Ending (Julian Barnes).

    I can’t get Adele out of my head either. By far one of the best music investments I made in 2011. Tori Amos and Coldplay’s new albums also make the list.

    Will definitely check out the poetry you mentioned and will start Robin Black’s collection of short stories (has been sitting on my shelf for a long time).


  2. As someone who feels that motherhood has left a huge culture gap in her life, I’m impressed! I like to think that if I wasn’t so busy being a mompreneur with 3 kids, I could comment on your choices. One day . . . .in the meantime, you have given me some excellent pointers 🙂


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