My Favorite Things of 2013: Film, Music, Restaurants and Books

Every year at this time, I publish a list of my favorite things from the year, and this year I decided  to do it all in one post. As I always like to remind my readers, this is a list of my personal favorite things — not a list of the “best” of the year. I’d like to think that I have good tastes, and I do carefully research all of these before I experience them. However, these are simply the movies, songs, restaurants and books that brought me the most joy this year, and I hope by my recommendation that they might bring happiness to others too. Here are my lists for 2013:

My Favorite Films of 2013


1. Her

2. Gravity

3. Nebraska

4. Blue Jasmine

5. Inside Llewyn Davis

6. Short Term 12

7. Saving Mr. Banks

8. Frances Ha

9. 12 Years a Slave

10. The Act of Killing

Honorable Mention: Frozen, Lee Daniels’ The ButlerDallas Buyers Club, Before MidnightDon Jon, All Is Lost, 20 Feet From Stardom, The GatekeepersCaptain PhillipsNebraskaThe Great Beauty, The Great Gatsby, Wolf of Wall Street, August: Osage County, Mud, The Spectacular Now, This Is The End, American Hustle, Philomena.

The Spectacular Now contained my favorite soundtrack song of the year “Song for Zula” by Phosphorent. You can watch the video here.

For all of my movie reviews of 2013, see my profile “Todd Bouldin” on Flixter here.

My Favorite Books of 2013:


1. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham

2. Focus by Daniel Goleman

3. To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink

4. Immortal Diamond, Richard Rohr

5. My Bright Abyss, Christian Wiman

6. David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell

7. Obama: The Center Holds by Jonathan Alter

8. Zealot: The Life and TImes of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

9. This Town by Mark Leibovich

10. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A. G. Lafley

For all of my book reviews, follow me on “Goodreads”.

My Favorite Songs of 2013:


1. Wrecking Ball, Miley Cyrus (I am owning this choice! Amazing song.)

2. Mirrors, Justin Timberlake

3. Brave, Sara Bareilles

4. Try, P!nk

5. Wake Me Up, Avicii

6. Royals, Lorde

7. Timber, Ke$ha and Pitbull

8. Unconditionally, Katy Perry

9. Follow Your Arrow, Kasey Musgroves. It is my favorite country song of the year, and the video is here.

10. Reflektor, Arcade Fire

Honorable Mention: Ho Hey, The Lumineers; Inside Llewyn Davis, Soundtrack; The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake; Trouble Will Find Me, The Nationals;The Wire, Haim; Take Me Home, Cash Cash; The Story of My Life, One Direction; When the Stars Burn Down, Phillips, Craig and Dean.

One of my favorite songs of the year sparked also one of my favorite videos. Kacey Musgroves, Follow Your Arrow.

My Five Favorite Broadway Shows of 2013:


1. Vanya, Sonya, Sosha and Spike 

2. The Glass Menagerie

3. Pippin

4. Orphans

5. Choir Boy (off-Broadway)

My Top 20 Favorite Restaurants of 2013

2013-04-25 21.23.50

1. State Bird Provisions, New American. San Francisco

2. FT33, New American / Farm to Table. Dallas

3. Etch, Farm to Table. SoBro, Nashville

4. Hinoki and the Bird, Japanese Fusion Tapas. Century City, Los Angeles.

5. Celeste, Italian. Upper West Side, New York City

6. Casa Guinart, Tapas. Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain

7. Restaurant R’evolution, French Creole. French Quarter, New Orleans

8. Casa Nonna, Italian. Hell’s Kitchen,New York City

9. Settebello Pizzeria, Pizza. Henderson, Las Vegas.

10. Buvette, French. Greenwich Village, New York City

11. Peche Seafood, Seafood. New Orleans

12. Toulouse Petit, Creole Tapas. Queen Anne, Seattle

13. Baco Mercat, New American. Downtown, Los Angeles

14. Szechuan Gourmet, Hell’s Kitchen, New York City

15. Good Luck Cafe, Rochester, New York

16. Sripraphai, Thai. Queens, New York City

17. Bluebeard, Farm to Table. Indianapolis

18. Bamboo Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar, Fusion and Sushi. Allentown, PA

19. Buddakan, Asian Fusion. Downtown, Philadelphia

20. Mas Tapas, Spanish Tapas. Charlottesville, VA

Honorable Mention: Three of my Nashville favorites: Lockland Table, Rolff & Daughters, and City House. New York City regulars: Jacob’s Pickles, The Marshall, 44X10, Szechuan Palace, Pam’s Real Thai, Giorgo’s of Gramercy, Roberta’s.

You can find all of my restaurants reviews of 2013 at my Yelp profile here, searchable by city.

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