Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My favourites and least favourites of 2013

Shamelessly “inspired” by my friend Lucas Costi’s post on a similar topic, here’s a list of some of the stuff I liked most and least this year. I quite specifically make no representation about the quality or otherwise of any of these things: their inclusion here signifies nothing other than how much or how little I personally enjoyed them.


Per Goodreads, here’s a list of what I read in 2013. I only got through 32 out of the 50 books that I told myself I’d read this year, but there were some wonderful things in there. It’s not a new publication, but the book I enjoyed most was Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex: intelligent, lyrical, and surprising. My review is on Goodreads.

The book I enjoyed least was Intrusion by Ken MacLeod. I felt it was a senseless squandering of some genuinely interesting ideas, that only got worse the longer it went on. My review is here. It narrowly beats out Christopher Gerrib’s The Pirates of Mars, because at least that book stuck to what it set out to do and didn’t change horses in mid-stream.


I only went to one dance performance this year: Project Rameau by the Sydney Dance Company. I was amazed by how much I enjoyed the juxtaposition of modern dance with the stately elegance of Rameau’s music. “Favourite” is meaningless in a field of one, but I loved this.

Live music

I think the only live music performance I went to this year was the Badinerie Players’ Concert of French- and Italian-Style Baroque Music at the ABC studios. I really love this ensemble, and am very disappointed that while researching the above link I found that they performed twice in November and I never knew about it! I would totally have gone to that!


Another single-entry category. My one excursion to the theatre this year was to Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I enjoyed as much as I usually enjoy this company’s work—which is to say, very much indeed!


I didn’t watch many movies this year. Of that small bunch, Gravity is the one I liked most; my review is on IMDb. In short, I found it incredibly beautiful and moving.

By a long margin, the movie I liked least in 2013 (and one of the films I enjoyed least out of everything I’ve ever sat through including a low-fi, low budget feature film of some Korean teenager SMSing his friends) is J.J.’s Space Adventure II, aka Star Trek Into Darkness. My review is elsewhere here on my blog, but in short, I found it a mediocre (at best) action film, poor science fiction, and practically unrecognisable as Star Trek. Fail.


2013 saw me continue my survey mission to seek out shows I might enjoy out of what has been broadcast in the 20 or so years since Star Trek: The Next Generation ended. The results have been very hit-and-miss, but I was blown away by the one episode of Rome that I trialled. I am just itching to return and watch this series through!

For sheer oh-my-God-stop-this-now hatred, I immediately point to Louie. Not only did I find this horribly unfunny (pretty much a deal-breaker for a comedy for me...)  but the smugness of its central character actually made me angry. Every minute of watching this was unpleasant for me.

Board games

I just realised with horror that I played a grand total of only two new board games this year: Red November and A Game of Thrones. That’s too few to rank a most or least favourite, but I found both games quite fun.

Computer games

I also tried only two computer games in 2013, and really enjoyed both, even if, again, this doesn’t make for a meaningful “most favourite” and “least favourite”. One was XCOM: Enemy Unknown, for which I wrote a long review here on my blog. The other is a relatively recent discovery: Fsim Space Shuttle, which I’m still struggling with, but it feels like a worthy challenge! I’m sure I’ll review it in due course :)

So there it is. Clearly, I need to make more effort to get out more in 2014! Although, that said, I don’t feel like I missed out on anything this year that I knew was on but didn’t get to.

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