Bjütie’s Best of 2015

One of the great joys of reaching the end of the year is all of the lists. Best books of the year lists are the best, but I enjoy it all — worst trends of 2015, best Instagram pics, most underrated internet cats, everything.

New beginnings are the best, but looking back fondly comes in a close second. Here are my personal discoveries of 2015 (not all are of 2015, sometimes I’m a bit slow).

Reading Station Eleven in the garden

Reading Station Eleven in the garden

Best BOOK I read: I read many good books, but only one haunts me still. Months later, I still think about Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. It’s exactly the kind of book I normally don’t read: a post-apocalyptic sci-fi type thing. It starts in present day Toronto with an actor having a heart attack during a performance of King Lear. What hooked me was the young paramedic who tries to save him and his reaction to the rumoured flu epidemic. The book jumps back and forth in time revealing the stories of the main characters. Here’s what is so freaking poignant about this novel — I am convinced that if/when the apocalypse comes, it will happen exactly like this. It’s a quiet sort of creepy. I also love that what survives is art, Shakespeare, beauty.

Honourable mentions: The Sweet Spot by Christine Carter (sums up all the great advice you could read about in 10 other books), Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (perfectly illustrates why dating nowadays is so awful and what to do about it), Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus (I thought I would hate it but I seriously could not put it down… and if I explained the premise, you would think it sounded annoying so I won’t).

Best MOVIE I saw: Even though I do like good cinema, I don’t watch many films besides documentaries on Netflix. I recently went to see Brooklyn and found it deeply touching. But if I’m being honest, the movie I most enjoyed this year was Magic Mike XXL. It’s just your basic road movie with uneven performances and throwaway romances. Oh, AND sweaty gyrating muscly male entertainers. So. Much. Fun. Many have declared it a secretly feminist movie. In that it is 100% centred on female pleasure, I concur.

JTvogueME

Trying to be prime ministerial in a Vogue sort of way (“North Star,” Vogue, Jan 2016, p.90)

Best TV SHOW I watched: As autumn rolled around, I really wanted to sink my teeth into a good series. I’d enjoyed the camp of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, but now I was looking for something serious. So I asked Netflix what was rated highest, and that’s how I discovered Scott & Bailey. First off, thank you United Kingdom for making a drama about women in the their 40s whose faces aren’t pumped full of fillers and who wear believable clothing (police detectives wearing suits you can buy at the mall, not at Anne Klein… imagine). Scott and Bailey are major incidents (murder) detectives in Manchester; they are super smart, their lives are messy, they are imperfect and loveable. My favourite character is the pair’s fast-talking ultra-competent boss, DCI Gill Murray. Superior writing and excellent (female) characters make this my #1.

Honourable mention: In addition to reading about food, I also have a great attention span for watching food preparation. And yet, I’d never seen any food show quite as remarkable as Netflix’s documentary series Chef’s Table. Each episode features a great chef and their unique story. The Patagonian episode (episode 3, Francis Mallmann) quite blew my mind.

Best MUSIC I heard: Grimes has a new album out and it’s super poppy and danceable, weee! The first single, Flesh Without Blood,will make you bounce around the room.

Honourable mentions: I don’t know how I landed on MØ. I don’t follow what the kids listen to at all but when I saw the Kamikaze video, I couldn’t stop. It’s catchy, it’s weird, plus the video both repulses and attracts me. Other songs that made me dance like crazy this year include Jason Collett’s Charlyn, Angel of Kensington, and The Souljazz Orchestra’s Greet the Dawn.

Grimes's new album is called Art Angels

Grimes’s new album is called Art Angels

DANCE MOVES of the year: After much searching for a dance class that suits my schedule and abilities, as well as my fancy, I have discovered African club dances. I’d never heard of azonto or coupé-décalé before, but shaking my booty in class to these beats every Friday makes my heart (and my hips) happy.

SURPRISE of the year: Canada’s new Prime Minister is so hot, even Vogue wants him! I never thought I’d see the day.

And now onwards and upwards into 2016. This will be the year I turn a very big age that starts with a 4! I’d like this next year to be a little less scattered, a little more intentional. The last couple of years featured some turbulence (mostly the good kind!) and required some major adjustments on my part. In 2016, I am following advice from one of the books mentioned above, The Sweet Spot, and focusing on a few key areas. I’ll let you know later how that turns out. Happy New Year!!!

What did you discover in 2015? Where are you headed in the new year?

Comments

  1. Sounds like a great year – love this roundup post! Thanks for the tip about Scott and Bailey, it sounds right up my alley and is going on my to-watch list.

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