The Best of 2014, J-Mart Style

Alex kicked things off for our end-of-the-year roundup, and now it’s my turn to share a few of my favorite things of 2014. These are the things that rocked my world, wound up on repeat, and made a mark this year.


The Martian by Andy Weir: I LOVED this book. I didn’t expect to love it quite as much as I did, but The Martian just rocked my world. It’s a story about a guy named Mark Watney, who gets left behind on Mars when his astronaut team thinks he’s been killed during a storm, and how he tries to survive. Mark is a fantastic narrator, and just a great character; he is reason enough to read this book. Also, there’s going to be a movie with Matt Damon as Mark Watney, and it’s going to be awesome.

The White Album by Joan Didion: Read my first Joan Didion collection this year, and holy crap. Joan Didion is my spirit animal. Her writing is incredible, and this is absolutely one of the best essay collections I’ve ever read.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: I might not have picked this book up if it hadn’t been on this year’s Tournament of Books list, but I am incredibly glad that I did. Ruth Ozeki’s writing is stunning but, more importantly, the characters she created wormed their way under my skin and stuck with me. I still find myself thinking about this book, months and months after reading it.


The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie: Every 90 years, 12 gods incarnate as humans. In two years, they will be dead. Intrigued, yet? This one is a little bit rock ‘n’ roll — the gods incarnate this time around as rock stars. It’s a beautiful comic, and one of the ones that got me into comic books this year.

Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky: Girl meets boy. Girl sleeps with boy. Things get a little unusual . . . Suzie’s just a girl, with a quirk — when she has sex, time stops. One day she meets Jon and lo and behold, he has the same cool trick. So what should a couple do when they can stop time? Rob banks, obviously.

Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe: The Rat Queens are a bad-ass group of lady mercenaries. Cross Lord of the Rings with bad-ass women and lots of sass, alcohol, sorcery, and major girl power and you have the Rat Queens.

Moral of the story? Image Comics is rocking the shit out of the comic book world right now. All three of these are Image Comics. And don’t even get me started on Saga and the other amazing comics coming out of Image right now. So hard to pick just a few favorites!


Lazaretto by Jack White: I’m obsessed with Jack White. Men with guitars are my favorite. Not much more to say than that. I’m going to see Jack White at Madison Square Garden in January, and I AM. SO. EXCITED.


The Grand Budapest Hotel: I am a major Wes Anderson fangirl. Saw this one on my birthday this year with two girlfriends, and have already watched and re-watched it a million times since. Absolutely my favorite movie of the year.

Mockingjay: Hunger Games, part 3. No question, an amazing movie. I may have shed a few tears at Philip Seymour Hoffman being on screen.


Bob’s Burgers: If you haven’t watched Bob’s Burgers, you are missing out in a major way. Reminiscent of Family Guy and The Simpsons, this show is my absolute favorite of the moment. I adore Tina and Louise in particular, but the Belcher family as a whole is incredibly charming and lovable. Also, the puns! The humor in Bob’s Burgers is so clever, and I love the punny-ness of the Burger of the Day and everything else in this show.

The Affair: I am a few episodes behind on this show still, but I adore every moment that I’ve seen. The Affair unfolds in dual story lines, with the viewer seeing each part of the story from the perspectives of Noah and Alison, showing the ways in which two different people can experience the same things in very different ways. Plus, there’s a mystery to solve! Watch it. It’s good. Ruth Wilson and Dominic West rock the shit out of this show.

True Detective: There is basically nothing I could say at this point about True Detective that hasn’t already been said this year. It deserves the hype.


The Last Amazon: Wonder Woman Returns

The Man with the Golden Blood





Thug Notes: Gangsta literary analysis.



John Oliver: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has evolved to be even better than The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, both shows I adore. Yep, I said it. Gauntlet thrown down.

Serial: Most. addicting. podcast. ever.


IMG_7383Rdio: Spotify ain’t got nothing on Rdio.IMG_7384

Oyster: Netflix for ebooks. Obviously up my alley. Also a beautifully-designed app.




Hedwig & the Angry Inch: I saw Andrew Rannells during his run as Hedwig in this Broadway show, and HOLY SHIT. Such an incredible show! I would’ve loved to have seen Neil Patrick Harris during his run (and Michael C. Hall has taken over the show now), but the show was just amazing. It takes some serious star power to rock the stage as Hedwig.


Word Crimes

Bitch in Business

Ballad of a Wi-Fi Hero


Finding out I passed the bar exam. ‘Nuff said.


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