Monday, 2 January 2017

2016 Favourites

I started collecting my 2016 favourites back in January. Every time an album, book, TV show or something on stage has excited or inspired me over the past year, it’s been added to a list I’ve been keeping in the mess that is my iPhone notes. And I can now confirm, it hasn’t made the task of choosing my absolute favourites any easier.

As much as the over-organised side of me would love this collection things to consist only of TV, books and music that have been released during 2016, my consumption habits were not willing to cooperate. So, while most of the below were in fact 2016 babies, expect a few older competitors to have snuck their way onto the list.

Most played albums

Hamilton – Original Broadway Cast Recording
Hands down my most played, my favourite and the best album I discovered this year. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius. And I am so not done with this album just yet…

The Colour in Anything - James Blake
A stunning album, full of haunting vocal melodies and hypnotic loops. Best listened to all in one go, when you have time to let each track pour into the next. Read my full review here.

With an album full of hits, Sia really proved herself this year as a brilliant songwriter and vocalist like no other.

Everything You’ve Come to Expect - The Last Shadow Puppets
It wasn’t one that immediately sprung to mind, but my Spotify ‘Your Top Songs of 2016’ playlist included the majority of songs on the album – and that speaks for itself.

Cardinal - Pinegrove
I have Katy Belle to thank for this obsession – long may it continue!

Television addictions

I spent a lot of time (and words) deliberating whether to catch up on the series before finishing the books, but I am so glad I decided to go against my firm must-read-book-before-watching rule and marathon the lot. BRING ON season seven.

I’d seen a lot of Gilmore Girls episodes sporadically over the years, but when Netflix added the entire seven seasons, I spent months watching it from start to finish in anticipation of this year’s revival.

With the end of Downton Abbey in 2015, Victoria filled my period drama needs in 2016. And I’m so glad there’s more to come.

Nashville is a longstanding obsession of mine, and although season four was a little slow to get going, it was still a great final season.

This is a very late addition to the list since I’ve only watched a few episodes so far, but already I’m hooked.

Top reads

The Blackbird Singularity – Matt Wilven
My favourite book that I reviewed for Legend Press, and potentially my favourite book of the year. Read my full review here.

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
Earlier in the year I decided to read all the books in Zoella’s first Book Club for WH Smith (full post on this to follow). The book that stood out from the rest, and one that I would really recommend, was We Were Liars.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is the first Mitch Albom novel I’ve read, and I’m now adding a lot more to my to-read list. Full review can be read here.

#GIRLBOSS – Sophie Amoruso
Although I found a few of the messages a little confusing, #GIRLBOSS was a fascinating read. Find out exactly what I thought here.

milk and honey – Rupi Kaur
This poetry collection is another recent addition to my favourites, but having devoured it in one sitting, it definitely earned its spot. It will be a book that I continue to pick up throughout 2017, without a doubt.

Best theatre

Guys and Dolls – Savoy Theatre
I caught Guys and Dolls at the end of its run at the Savoy Theatre and loved every second. Read my full review here.

In the Heights – King’s Cross Theatre
Having seen In the Heights three times in 2016, this one was a given. Read my initial review here and an interview with Gabriela Garcia here.

Nell Gwynn – Apollo Theatre
Eight months on and I’m still thinking about Gemma Arterton’s captivating performance in Nell Gwynn. Read more of my thoughts on the production here.

Half a Sixpence – Noël Coward Theatre

A charming and triumphant production, and probably the most polished of 2016. Read my full review here.

Stalking the Bogeyman – Southwark Playhouse
Based on true events, Stalking the Bogeyman was an important and moving play. Find out more from my full review here.

I would love to know what made it onto your 2016 favourites list – let me know in the comments or leave a link to your post!

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