December 29, 2014

New to Me Media 2014

 This year, for the first time ever, I kept track of every single new book, film, or television show I read/watched in 2014. It was a fun experiment, and one I will be doing again in 2015. Today I want to talk about my favorite new-to-me media from 2014!

I only read 8 books this year! A dismal total seeing as it was my goal to read 25! I hope to do better in 2015.

In 2014 I read:

The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)
Divirgent (Veronica Roth)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
London Under (Peter Ackroyd)
Paper Towns (John Green)
Allegiant (Veronica Roth)
Insurgent (Veronica Roth)
An Abundance of Katherine's (John Green)

I have to say I enjoyed all of these books but one, London Under. I was excited to read about the secret tunnels and passageways of London but this book was actually rather dry and mostly about London's underground rivers. I really enjoyed The Night Circus and I must recommend it if any of you have yet to read it. It was really enchanting and the settings were so beautiful written! Anyone would want to visit the Night Circus after reading this book!

There were 2 books I started and didn't finish this year, one was Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and the other was A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Uglies was okay but I just couldn't connect with the narrator/protagonist in a way I felt compelled to finish the book. A Game of Thrones was quite good but I lost steam, possibly because of a lack of tension seeing as I have watched all of the TV show, which is far ahead of the first book by now.

Looking at this list, I realized I read mostly young adult fiction this year! Which is fine, I hold no prejudice against young adult fiction, I was just hoping to fit in a few classics this year. Next year I have some Shakespeare, Dickens, and Fitzgerald on my reading list too!

 Are you ready for this crazy list? I watched 41 new-to-me films in 2014!

The Artist
Saving Mr Banks
August Osage County
In a World
The Monuments Men
The Only Lovers Left Alive
American Hustle
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Tinker Tailor Solider Spy
The Host
How to Marry a Millionaire
In Bruges
Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-sec
The Fault in Our Stars
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Mission Impossible 1
Mission Impossible 2
Mission Impossible 3
Mission Impossible 4
The 100 Foot Journey
Funny Girl
Althorp documentary
Hampton Court documentary
Pulp Fiction
Violet and Daisy
The Maze Runner
His Girl Friday
How I Live Now
X Men First Class
The Adams Family
The Adams Family Values
Diana Vreeland documentary
Ashes at Bergdorf's documentary
How to Train Your Dragon II
The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1
Monkey Business
The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies
The Imitation Game

I can't tell you how difficult it was for me to get that list into two columns, I am HTML challenged! Not all of the films I watched this year were great, (some of those Mission Impossible sequels were quite unfortunate plot wise) but some were amazing! I highly recommend: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Belle, American Hustle, and The Imitation Game. For those of you who don't mind a slower paced film and something a bit indie, I also recommend The Only Lovers Left Alive and How I Live Now.

 I feel like I don't watch a lot of television compared to the average person, and what I do watch I usually stream on my laptop as opposed to watching on our actual TV set. I watched the new 2014 seasons of my favorite shows like Sherlock, Game of Thrones, Mr Selfridge, and of course Downton Abbey. I also watched both series of Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries (a new favorite for 2014!), the first 2 seasons of The Borgias, and the first 5 (!) series of the Clone Wars animated Star Wars series (nerdy and proud). A show I really wanted to watch this year was Outlander, but so far I have been unable to, as Starz had not made it available outside their channel which my family does not get. I am hoping for a netflix/hulu/other release soon! My TV goals for 2015 include finally watching more Mad Men, watching Boardwalk Empire, finishing The Borgias, and finally seeing series 2 of Ripper Street. 

So, that's a lot of media! I love (LOVE) movies so it isn't surprising to me that I ended up seeing over 40 new-to-me films this year. This list doesn't even count the many repeat watches of films I have adored for ages! I am hoping to watch even more old Hollywood films in 2015, and can't believe this time next year I will have seen the next Star Wars film. I am a big Star Wars fan, in case you couldn't tell! I also intend to actually succeed at reading 25 books next year! That's only 2 books a month (roughly) which seems like nothing when I break it down. I am also hoping to finish a big edit of my own fiction novel in 2015 too though, so...we shall see. There are only so many hours in each day, and some of them have to be spent sewing! (or working, sadly)

Please tell me what your favorite books, films, and programs were in 2014! I'd love suggestions for things to add to my 2015 list!

PS: Honorable mentions to three new podcasts I started listening to this year, Welcome to Night Vale (so excellent), Game of Owns (a superb and funny Game of Thrones podcast), and Hello Internet (two intelligent guys chat).


  1. This is seriously cool!!! I often tracked all the books I read as a youngster, but have never documented all of the media I viewed and read over the course of a year. I really enjoyed seeing what you've been viewing lately.

    I suspect that you're going to adore Boardwalk Empire. Tony and I were/are huge fans and saw every episode together. Some seasons are better than others, IMO, but each has its merit and the show never wavered from its spot in my top five that were airing at the time while it was on TV (ditto completely for Mad Men).

    Two other series that I suspect you might really enjoy are Call the Midwife (sooo good!) and Masters of Sex. I love CTM so much, I literally ration epsides and save them for either a treat after "one of those days" or for when I'm going through an especially rough patch on the health front. MOS came out last year and addictively enjoyable, too.

    Happy watching and reading in 2015, dear gal!
    ♥ Jessica

    1. I really can't wait to start Boardwalk Empire, as you know I love the 1920's! I am certainly going to add Call the Midwife to my watch list for next year because I have heard such great things about it! I can relate to rationing episodes of my favorite shows, sometimes you have to stretch these things out. I'm a pretty serious re-watching offender though so I don't mind repeated binges of shows. For example I am currently watching Miss Fishers season 1 yet again with my mom as she has never seen it!

  2. It is interesting to see your media list for the year. I keep a list of the books I read but have never listed films and that is such a good idea. I echo Jessica's recommendation to watch Call the Midwife, it is fabulous. Two other British tv series to look out for are Peaky Blinders - set just after WW1 in Birmingham about a family gang, the second series is set in the 1929's. The other is The Paradise, set in the 1900's in a department store but is sufficiently different from Mr Selfridge.

    1. I had never thought to keep a list before but it was actually really cool to look back on the new films I had seen this year! I am really excited to watch Call the Midwife now! I am always happy to binge watch a costume drama :)


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