As with most years, 2013 brought highs and lows to my life.  Unfortunately, the lows have had more lasting consequences than the highs, so I’m not sorry to see this year pass.  Hopefully, 2014 will offer opportunity for positive changes.Good-bye-bye-2013-wallpaper

But let’s not be maudlin.  Looking back, I want to acknowledge some of my favorite books and songs of the year (because a good love story or song can brighten any day, week, month, or year!).

Books:

My favorite read last year was probably Me Before You by JoJo Moynes.  This story really hit all the right notes for me emotionally (but have Kleenex handy).   I also read my first Courtney Milan book (the first of many to follow), Unveiled, and fell head over heels for the charming Ash Turner.  I also fell for a hot, cocky, serial-killing ghost (well, by the end of the second book, I’m pretty convinced he was wrongly accused) in Karen Robards‘ new series The Last Victim/The Last Kiss Goodbye (he reminded me of Sawyer from LOST).  Unfortunately, I have to wait until August for the third book…sigh.  I read a few more Kresley Cole books, my favorite being Shadow’s Claim.  I should give a nod to the one and only work of literary fiction I read this year, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, a gritty, compelling, disturbing story.

Music:

I discovered a couple of new-to-me bands I really like, including Australia’s The Paper Kites (the song Bloom is super sweet, and there are a few others on that album that are equally nice), and Family of the Year (their song Hero is great).  Lyric-master Sara Bareilles put out another great album, which includes a song that will long reside on my favorites list (Brave…love every word of this anthem).   While my long-time crush, Justin Timberlake’s, new album was a disappointment, I do enjoy the songs Mirror and Blue Ocean Floor.   I also enjoyed tapping my toes to ZZ Ward’s Put The Gun Down.  And like so many others, totally indulged in the guilty pleasure of dancing around my house (or car, or vacation pool) to Robin Thicke’s cheesy but fun Blurred Lines.

How about you?  Any favorite books or songs you’d like to share with me?

XO-Jamie