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What Movies/TV/Books Did You Enjoy Most This Year?

Best movies books and TV of 2015

December is the month of lists — the best books, the best movies, the best TV shows — which can remind you of all the great things that came out this year. So, as we look back, we’re curious to hear what made you laugh, cry and stay up until 3 a.m. What did you enjoy most? Here are ours…

Joanna:

Holy smokes, TV was SO GOOD this year. (When did TV become better than movies?) I loved Transparent with all its difficult yet lovable characters. Master of None was such a fresh and charming comedy. And, of course, like most people we know, Alex and I are addicted to Homeland. Side note: It’s one of the rare shows that has suspenseful scenes — an ominous walk down an alley, a hacking job in front of a staircase — that don’t always lead somewhere, which makes the show feel less predictable. And it continues to be a great show for women. The female characters are brave and brilliant, which is heartening and inspiring to see. Also, Saul.

For the past few years, my friend Anna and I have hosted an articles club, where female friends come together to drink wine, eat cheese and discuss a recent article. (It’s like a book club, but you can read the article on the way there!) Modern Love essays always stand out. This guide to confidence was right on, and this beautiful article on single motherhood brought me to tears.

For movies, the documentary Tig, about comedian Tig Notaro’s diagnosis of breast cancer, was one of the funniest and most honest documentaries I’ve ever seen. I wanted to tell strangers on the street!

(Also, I’ve mentioned the 2015 books I loved most before, but as a recap: Blackout and After Birth were utterly fantastic, both in very different ways. I thought about them for weeks, even months, after reading them.)

Caroline:

I liked a lot of books this year, but I absolutely loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest book, Big Magic, about creative living beyond fear. Reading it feels like a conversation with your wisest, kindest, most encouraging friend — the one you’d tell your secret dream to quit your job and go to clown school, because you know they’d never laugh. The companion Magic Lessons Podcast — 12 episodes featuring Gilbert in conversation with a roster of amazing humans — is equally inspiring. The final episode, with guest author Brené Brown, made me cry many tears, in the best possible way.

Stella:

A few months ago, I moved to New York from Missouri with two friends from home. We went to see the movie Brooklyn together as soon as it came out. It tells the story of a young Irish woman who moves across the ocean to Brooklyn, not very far from where we live now. Ten minutes in, we were nudging each other with tears in our eyes. Every scene felt like a haunting and beautiful parallel to our new lives, filled with both homesickness and a growing love for our new town. It nails the subtle yet heartbreaking realization that your home is not always your identity.

Lexi:

In 2015 I listened to stories more than I ever have before. I finally joined the Serial revolution and enjoyed it as much as anyone (I’m diving headfirst into the new season), but the two podcast episodes that have stuck with me the most were from Radiolab: Darkode and The Living Room. Both were astonishing, like, how can it be that average human beings experience such strange, haunting corners of reality AND find their way to a genius radio producer who can pipe their lives right into your ears? It’s wonderful. Darkode is the craziest cyber hacking saga ever and The Living Room will make you hug your significant other extremely tightly.

P.S. What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever read? Plus, seven favorite podcasts.

(Photo by Peter King, 1972)

  1. Eleftheria says...

    TV-SHOWS >
    “Rizzoli & Ilses”
    “Baby Daddy”
    “Transparent” (season 2 was so much better than season 1)
    “Shameless” (US)
    “Mom”
    “Grey’s Anatomy”
    “Game of thrones”

    MOVIES>
    “The Martian”
    “Skyfall”
    “Inside out”
    “The lunchbox” (India)
    “Mad Max: Fury road”
    “August rush”
    “Woman in gold”
    “La famille Belier”
    “Pride”
    “5 to 7”
    “Relatos salvajes”
    “Comet”
    “Kokowaah” 1 & 2 (Germany)
    “The imitation game”
    “Brooklyn”
    “Danny Collins”

    Books>
    “A street cat named Bob” by James Bowen
    and other books written by Greek authors.

  2. Cait says...

    so many fantastic suggestions… this post led to several impulse kindle book buys!

    I love the idea of an article reading club. One of my favorite discoveries of the year was This.cm, where people can share just one article a day and a short note on why they picked it. They send out a daily newsletter of 5 selected posts that hits my inbox just in time for my evening bus commute.

    I think my media consumption habits have really shifted in 2015. I am listening to more podcasts, subscribing to more newsletters (Broadsheet, Skimm, NYT headlines), and Instagram has replaced Facebook in a lot of ways for keeping tabs on friends’ lives.

  3. Lana says...

    Best tv show this year…The Affair. It was so damn good

  4. I love this blog! I have to say, though, I’m surprised you love Homeland so much. I find it to be so racist, poorly researched, and irresponsible! Anyways, your picks are always spot on, but thought I’d just offer a differing perspective on Homeland.

    • Sophia says...

      I love this blog and have found some of my favorite books and podcasts through it, but I wholeheartedly agree about Homeland. I think it is very one dimensional, poorly written, and kind of offensive.

  5. Rosalind says...

    I discovered authors Kate Morton & Liane Moriarty. Also loved reading, “We are all completely beside ourselves” – Karen Joy Fowler & “The Rosie Project” – Graeme Simsion.

  6. I blew through the new memoir Hemingway in Love. It’s a beautiful, poignant complement to The Paris Wife’s historical fiction, aching with Hemingway’s regret over the love and loss of his first wife, Hadley.

  7. Yenly says...

    I love these recommendations, definitely will add some to my 2016 list. Here is mine of 2015:
    Books:
    The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah
    US – David Nicholls
    Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
    Career of Evil – JK Rowling
    Contagious, why things catch on – Jonah Berger
    Zero to One – Peter Thiel

    Podcasts (these stay as my usual visits for awhile now):
    The American Life
    Girlboss (new)
    Radio lab (new) – The Living Room was an incredibly moving piece
    Tim Ferris show
    Start up
    Serial

    Documentaries:
    The Wolfpack
    Prophet’s pray
    Going Clear

    TV:
    The Jinx
    Transparent
    UnReal
    The Affair

    Movies:
    Miss you already
    The Intern
    Spy

  8. I need to get on the podcast wagon. Music keeps me going at work (thankfully I’m able to listen at my desk) and I just don’t have a chance to listen to podcasts often. I’m currently reading “Razzle Dazzle” about Broadway, and it’s amazing. I can hardly put it down!

  9. Sandra says...

    The five books of Andrew Woodward – detective novel – all very good!

  10. Mad Max: Fury Road.

    That’s it. That’s all you need to know for this year’s movies.

    TV, surprisingly (if you like sci-fi and or Freaks & Geeks/Bridesmaids), Paul Feig’s “Other Space” on Yahoo TV is the funniest thing I’ve seen since Parks and Recreation. Plus it has badass female characters and adorable geeky guys. https://screen.yahoo.com/other-space/

    Books… I was disappointed with all of the books that I read this year. “The Martian” was only interesting for its plot, not for it’s bland/douchey writing and characters (Mark Watney is annoyingly misogynistic in the book). “The Girl on the Train” was interesting until it became super cliched toward the end.

    Honestly, the best book wasn’t even fiction! The title is a mouthful and I couldn’t repeat it without reading it, but it is so helpful for creative people and I HIGHLY recommend it:

    “Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind”.

  11. Amelia says...

    Lexi’s recommendation of podcast episode “The Living Room” was excellent! I listened to it last night and I was enthralled. I would’ve preferred a different ending but the story was mesmerizing.

  12. Natalie says...

    I read Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper this summer and I was overwhelmed by the imagery she was able to conjure in her beautiful novel. Sparks of adventure paired with an undercurrent of love had and love lost is the best kind of book.

  13. I finished Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff last weekend. The ending. so good. I haven’t stopped thinking about the book.

  14. i loved watching red oaks on amazon prime. set in the 80’s, it’s a “coming of age” tv show. soooo underrated!!!

    the writing is witty, funny, and just so damn catchy!

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  15. Virginia says...

    Great recommendations!

    My favourites this year:
    TV: The Man in the High Castle and the Swedish series Jordskott
    Movies: Testament of Youth and También la lluvia (2010)
    Books: Elizabeth Gilbert – Big Magic (!)

    I’m looking forward to seeing Brooklyn. Read the book in 2009 and was so utterly touched.

  16. Cassie says...

    Tv – I loved The Fall, not the greatest show ever but Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson both made me swoon so hard that I became a bit obsessed and my husband accused me of starting to talk with a bit of of a northern Irish lilt after a few days which I denied but it was true. Also enjoyed Narcos, and Club de Cuervos, a funny Mexican series from Netflix (in Spanish).
    Book – I can’t recommend anything new but I read The Physician this year, a book that was very popular in Europe, and I loved it, just a big satisfying epic that follows a man’s life. It got me interested in Persian history which was unexpected.
    Movie – the only one that really had me was Inside Out, I got a bit emotional at the end!
    Can’t wait to start Christmas holidays to have time to do some reading with all the great recommendations in the comments! The Neapolitan series and Brooklyn are sounding like good bets. thank you!

  17. Madeline Churm says...

    TV Shows (in no specific order): Currently LOVING Master of None, Fargo, The Americans, Jessica Jones, and Jane the Virgin!

    Movies: This is Where I Leave You, Me Earl and the Dying Girl, and Trainwreck, (But there are about 1 million other movies I’m DYING to see over the holiday break, including Brooklyn and, yes, Star Wars! I can’t help it.)

    Books: The Complete Persepolis, Bad Feminist, Why Not Me, and Ex Libris. Creative nonfiction is my absolute favorite genre to read! :)

  18. JANELLE says...

    Podcasts: Totally Laime, Totally Married & Totally Mommy podcast family – all hosted by LA-based comedy writer Elizabeth Laime, always funny and always honest. WTF with Marc Maron (revealing interviews with self-deprecating host). Desert Island Discs (BBC gem that’s been going forever, gives famous guests 8 songs of their choosing to take to a desert island).

    Book: The Goldfinch. All of Donna Tartt’s books are worth the wait. Station Eleven – sad and beautiful. Funny In The Head – Judd Apatow’s collection of interviews that he’s done since he was a teenager.

    Movies: Far From The Madding Crowd (restrained romance!), It Follows (super scary!), Mad Max (crazy cars and handsome Tom Hardy).

    TV: Finally watched all of The Sopranos. Everything else pales in comparison.

  19. Love reading these comments. Thank you for all the great suggestions. I’d like to add just one: Mary-Louise Parker’s “Dear Mr. You,” a series of letters written to various men the actor/author has known, encountered, or sometimes loved, who’ve somehow made an impression on her. So good.

  20. Oops I completely forgot to mention favourite movies:

    The Martian (Matt Damon did such an incredible job playing Mark Watney!) Loved the book as well.

    Desierto – a beyond intense movie that premiered during TIFF. My friend grabbed my arm and screamed several times while we were watching it. Couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks!

    The Ones Below – this was David Farr’s directorial film debut. He’s a British playwright and theatre director. One of the best movies I’ve watched in a long, long time. Also, one of the lead actresses is Clemence Poesy who I love!

  21. Great post, ladies! I got completely hooked on Homeland again this year. I am currently in catch up mode. Just started season 3.
    I read tons of good books this year (currently reading my 56th book of the year!)
    A few favourites:
    Astonish Me by Maggie
    Shipstead
    The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
    The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis
    They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson
    Still Life by Louise Penny
    The Other Language by
    Francesca Marciano
    The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
    The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
    Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce
    Benediction by Kent Haruf

    Happy holidays!

    • Martine says...

      Donna, thank you for putting “Small Mercies” on your list — it happens to be my husband’s debut novel! I know that I’m not objective, but Richard Russo agrees with you, too. Love to see that such an avid reader put it on a list with these other great authors!

    • Melissa says...

      I loved Small Mercies too! Our book club discussed it (at Denino’s in SI) a few months ago and it was a great discussion. Everyone, mostly native Staten Islanders, enjoyed the book and had a lot to say about it! Martine, if you’re reading this, please let Eddie know! :)

  22. I loved “The Living Room” Radiolab podcast too! So hauntingly beautiful.

  23. Katie says...

    Dude, the Muppets. Sometimes, you just want to laugh & take in the hysterical asides. So witty & carefully written! I’ve loved having these characters from my childhood back.

    • Candace says...

      I couldn’t agree more! So fun to see them playing overtly with all of the subtle adult undertones that have always been there. Besides, they’re like long, lost huggable friends.

  24. I thought this year’s Orange is the New Black was great, again.

    I read a lot this year. My favorite new author is Lianne Moriarty, love her books, even though I was worried they would be mindless. They were definitely easier for me to read than “Fates and Furies.” Too much thinking with that one. A middle of the road between the two? “The Book of Unknown Americans” was well written and smart. I loved the Rosie Project but not the sequel. I also discovered Anna Quinlen – love!

    • oh, and “All the Light We Cannot See” and “The Nightingale” were both stunning 2015 reads for me!

    • Katie says...

      Yes! Lianne Moriarty is a wonderful author. I also thought her books would be fluffy and mindless diversions (I think it’s the marketing/cover?), but they are so much more. Highly recommend them all.
      Like they say, never judge a book by it’s cover!

  25. Anni says...

    I am late to the game but I really got into ” Downton Abbey” in the last weeks. You really get invested in the characters like you do when a show is good. I cried and smiled a lot watching this. My only complaint is that my favourite character disappears from the show very quickly, which is utterly heartbreaking. I also watched Scandal which is quite wacky, sometimes surprisingly gruesome but still pretty entertaining.
    For books I have just started “All The Lights We Cannot See” and it is stunning.

  26. Carmen B. says...

    I love this post. I always get the best book recommendations from commenters.
    Fav show: Jessica Jones, because David Tennant.
    Fav book: The Martian. Unputdownable. I couldn’t wait to take my breaks at work so I could read and make sure Mark Watney didn’t die. lol
    Fav movie: Everest. I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. Like, for weeks I googled and read every article I could find on Everest disasters and deaths. I’ve no personal interest in hiking or climbing, but this story fascinates me.

    • I’ve got The Martian waiting on my Kindle for my Christmas work break and let me tell you, it has been so hard staying away from spoilers between buzz about the book and the movie. Every time I hear someone say, “have you read/seen the Martian?” I’m like, “lalalalalala no,no,no, I can’t hear you!” LOL

  27. Heather says...

    Also – I love reading the comments almost as much as the blog posts! What a smart, interesting bunch of readers you have here!

  28. Jane says...

    My best book of the year was Fredrik Beckman’s “A Man Called Ove.” It’s piercingly tender.

    • Christine says...

      I loved “A Man Called Ove” too. I also loved “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanigahara. I found it quite harrowing and confronting, but very well written. I would be so tired but just couldn’t put it down. I also really liked “Us” by David Nichols, “Me Before You” by JoJo Moyes and “the Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion.

    • Stephanie says...

      I second “A Little Life.” So hard to read, but a beautifully written story.

    • Yenly says...

      The Nightingale is utterly beautiful (made me cried like tab towards the end). Other favorite of mine are Modern Romance and Us – David Nicholls

  29. The most beautiful book I read this year was Lauren Groff’s Fates & Furies. Her writing is so beautiful and her characters are so complex- you want to race through, but her writing slows you down so you feel like you’re trying to run through water. So beautiful, both in its descriptions, and both the pain and joy experienced by her characters.

  30. Rebecca says...

    I love reading people’s recommendations! My book list is massive (I work in a bookshop, so I get a *lot* of exposure to new reads!) but the best of the best this year:
    – “A God in Ruins” by Kate Atkinson: much quieter and less explosively amazing than its predecessor, “Life After Life”, but oh my GOODNESS, one of those stunning, knot-in-my-chest books. That ending.
    – “Landmarks” by Robert Macfarlane. Not fiction, but still one of the most beautiful things. I’m notorious for my love for everything this guy does, and his writing always makes me breathe deeply and feel like I’m outside.
    – “The Buried Giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro: ten years since his last book, completely different from all his other stuff, a wee smidgen of fantasy round the edges but at heart this amazing meditation on holding onto the past, and forgetting, and what it means to let things go. Mindblowing.
    – “Wolf Winter” by Cecilia Eckback: Finnish settlers in Lapland in the 18th century may sound a bit of a slog, but it was SO GOOD. Awesome (flawed) female protagonist, struggling to survive with her kids while her passive husband is absent during a terrible winter, sleuthing out a mystery in her strange new tiny town.
    – “Spill Simmer Falter Wither” by Sara Baume: I absolutely did not intend to love this novel, which is about- I kid thee not- a bedraggled, lonely, middle-aged man who adopts a bedraggled, ex-badger-baiting dog called OneEye. Adored this book; completely adored it. It’s lovely but not saccharine, painful in places but still funny, just a gorgeous thing. I wish I’d found it earlier.
    And last of all: “Grief is the Thing With Feathers” by Max Porter. A book like a stunning and sometimes really hard to read punch in the face. If you’re grieving, or have grieved, it’s like someone is holding your hand, and saying, “I know, sweetheart. I get it. Here, let me tell people what it’s like.”

    Sorry for a super long list, but seriously, these books. Mind. Blowing. It’s been an amazing year for books!

    • If you don’t mind my asking, is the bookshop your career? I’ve always fantasized about working in a bookshop full time but I’ve never thought it to be a viable career money-wise….

    • Jennie says...

      Wow, your brief descriptions made me want to add all these to my must-read list!

    • Elizabeth says...

      Love this list! Thank you, I’ve added so many of your suggestions to my reading list.

    • Rebecca says...

      Hi Jaclyn,
      I don’t mind you asking at all! It’s a bit weird- I’m doing a doctorate in English lit (part time) and the bookshop is technically the thing that puts food on the table. It isn’t well paid, I’ll be honest, but it has given me huge joy. We have a pretty big events list, which I organise, so it’s a really varied day of customers, publicists, evening events, reading (in my spare time!), making complimentary tea and coffee for browsers and, to give you the whole picture, a lot of heavy lifting and a lot of dust! When the thesis is finished, I’ll have to decide if this is what I want as a full time career: I’d love it but I (and my husband!) need to weigh up the not-much-money against the loveliness of the work. It’s a tricky one!

  31. Lesley says...

    Books-
    Americanah- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    The Narrow Road to Deep North- Richard Flanagan
    The Garden of Evening Mists- Tan Twan Eng
    All the Light we Cannot See- Anthony Doerr

    TV-
    Deutschland 83
    Rewatching Parks and Rec, Party Down, and Freaks and Geeks. Ha!

    • Kaitlin says...

      I loved loved loved Americanah, too! Such a beautifully written, compelling book about diaspora, feeling like an outsider in America (and then at home), and love. Really great.

      I also seriously loved Just Mercy (in PB this year!) a nonfiction that really put faces on the justice system in America. I’m a gal who always thinks “yeah, I’m against the death penalty”, but reading this book about what Justice and Mercy are, and how they should be applied, and how they’re misapplied currently broke my heart into a thousand pieces. I cried on the subway, in the coffee shop, at the beach… it was tough to read, but WELL worth it.

      I recently saw The Big Short and it was SO good. Glad to see it nominated for a couple Golden Globes. I also really loved The Intern (yes, with Anne Hathaway) and Tig, the documentary on Netflix.

      TV-wise I loved Man in Highcastle on Amazon Prime, Narcos, Sons of Anarchy (WHAT? Why do I love this series about a biker gang?!), and An Honorable Woman (Maggie Gyllenhall. This was amaze.). Also, remember The Jinx? Wasn’t that a 2015 mini series? SO addicting.

    • We have completely the same book choices! SUCH great reads!! :)

  32. Charli says...

    Movie: Creed – I am a huge (HUGE) Rocky fan and this movie seriously delivered.

    TV Shows: Humans, a near future Sci-fi type show that is just SO good! I’m not a big sci-fi fan but this is an exception. I completely loved Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Also Wayward Pines is worth binge watching over a weekend (it’s short) if you want to suspend some of your critical thinking skills and enjoy a dark thriller.

    Books: I don’t think I read any new books this year. I mostly read books I find at the library or second hand shops. Some highlights from the year are All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

  33. The newest book by Italian writer Elena Ferrante came out this year, and it’s amazing! It’s the fourth and final book in her Neapolitan novels – they’re completely engaging and paint a vivid, complex portrait of Naples and Italy and friendship.

    • Whitney says...

      Thanks for your recommendation! I’m picking it up from the library tomorrow to read over the holiday. It also sounds like something my hard-to-shop for best friend might enjoy!

  34. Love these recommendations! I just finished the book Brooklyn and I can’t wait to see the movie. Stella, as a Missouri gal who moved East to Washington, D.C., I can totally relate!

    Some of my favorite TV shows this year: Catastrophe & Fargo.

    http://lessthanaverageheight.com/

  35. Absolutely loved Big Magic and I had no idea there was a podcast! Just subscribed!

  36. i really love the idea of an articles club!! i always wanted to do a book club and i know i should read more but i just don’t have the time. but i could def squeeze in an article! now to find friends to join me

  37. Caitlin Ashley says...

    Great post. I always learn so much from these ultracool women. Thank you for putting such goodness out into the world. If you can help it, please never stop :)

  38. Irene says...

    I don’t think I’ve heard this (audio)books yet!

    Loved, loved, loved Robert Galbraith’s (aka JK Rowling’s!) Cormoran Strike novels. Great detective stories, wonderful character development for both the detective and his female “sidekick”. The first two books came out before 2015, but I only listened to them all this year. More books coming, with the next one due to release in 2016!

    Also REALLY got into Jeffrey Archer’s the Clifton Chronicles – again, via audiobook. The first book is “Only Time Will Tell.” Wonderful historical fiction – the story of a British family told starting in 1921 and working up to the present. Wonderful characters – just an absolute treat to listen to! Just a hint: if you like stuff like Downton Abbey, I think you’ll gobble this up. Narration is great as well.

    As far as movies or series go – really enjoyed “Mr Holmes” (with the great Ian McKellen), “Brooklyn,” Fargo (season 2 is even better than season 1!) and Homeland.

    • Irene says...

      *these.

      Ugh.

    • Katie says...

      I can’t wait for the next installment from Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling! I hadn’t heard the next novel is due out in 2016 — thank goodness. I didn’t think I could wait too long ;)

  39. Whitney Gerhard says...

    “The Americans” with Matthew Rhys & Keri Russell. Hands down. How does this show not get more recognition? The writing is brilliant, the acting is amazing, and the plot just keeps moving forward in a relatable way. I can’t wait for Season 4 in March.
    Also, I’m in the middle of reading “Far From the Madding Crowd” because I loved the movie with Carey Mulligan -it’s so romantic and beautifully written.

    • Madeline Churm says...

      THANK YOU. I just caught up on season 3 of The Americans and I’m continually struck by how well done and gripping it is! I cannot wait for season 4 in the spring! And the book AND movie “Far From the Madding Crowd” are so lovely. Can I get an edible arrangement for whoever cast Gabriel? I’d really like to. *swoon*

  40. abby says...

    For TV: Broadchurch David Tennant is awesome in this. Great acting, great twists. Master of None, Jessica Jones.

    Books: I totally loved the YA section this year. Paper towns and the 5th Wave sucked me in.

    Movies: I loved 180 Degrees south on Netflix. Amazing documentary.

    • Jen Vercelli says...

      Watched 180 degrees while home sick a few weeks ago. Wow what a fantastic doc! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it recommended before as it’s a few years old.

    • abby says...

      Same here! i saw it come up in a list of what to watch on Netflix. Such stunning views and things to think about.

    • jill c. says...

      i just finished watching Broadchurch….my goodness what an amazing series! what an amazing cast…i still can’t stop thinking about it!

  41. Lauren E. says...

    This doesn’t really fall into any of your categories but my favorite media of the year was NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. A friend suggested them and I watched the Chris Stapleton one (I’m not even a fan of country music, and I was openly weeping at my desk) and then fell down a rabbit hole and watched about 10 in a row. Incredibly intimate little shows with some huge names (like Adele) and others you’ve never heard of. Magical.

    • Jess. says...

      I LOVE that series. Have you seen Chris Stapleton’s performance with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA’s? Oh, wow. So much talent.

  42. SK says...

    Thank you all for your suggestions, I now have a great list going for 2016!

    Ditto Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. I am envious of anyone who has not read it yet and gets to delve into that story for the first time. Fates & Furies presents an entire marriage from the husband’s perspective (Fates) and then from the wife’s (Furies). Similar to The Affair (another spectacular show) it makes you think about all the things unsaid in relationships and the way people may experience the same thing completely differently.

    2015 television was amazing. Peaky Blinders draws you into post WWI England underworld. Not only is the lead beautiful, but he is such an articulately drawn heartbreaking character. Master of None does such a fabulous job of subtly conveying substantial social messages (about immigration, about feminism, about sexism) in such a funny manner. I thought I did not like Bloodline, but then finished the whole season in 24 hours and cannot wait for season 2. A 2014 show I only watched in 2015, Mozart in the Jungle. Such an easy, captivating, and quick watch

  43. Heather says...

    I always love hearing your team’s recommendations – especially for podcasts. Seriously obsessed with Limetown! The Season 1 finale just now was soooo good! I’m going to listen to the whole thing over again.

    • Shay says...

      Agreed on Limetown. Great Podcast! I feel like I’m back in the 40s. My husband and I listen to podcasts while cooking dinner and end up eating at the counter just to stay and listen to our shows :)

    • Babs says...

      I’m so glad other people are obsessed with Limetown as well! We happened upon it prior to leaving for a road trip. An absolute treat.
      A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara was one of the most compelling books I read in 2015. My only wish was that I read it in a group so I could discuss it at length.

  44. Kate Shu says...

    Book: The Martian

    Movie: Tig (on Netflix)- great recommendation, Joanna!

    TV show: “Last Man on Earth” THE FUNNIEST

  45. Maire says...

    Hamilton the Musical has been the best thing to happen to me in 2015. Also, Jojo Moyes’ After You and a book by Michelle Young Stone called Above Us Only Sky.

    As for television, Masters of Sex continues to be the best show on television, and runners up include The Mindy Project, Outlander and The Good Wife remains a solid show even after six seasons.

  46. TV Shows: LOVED to discover ‘Turn’ and ‘Outlander’, but I kept getting the British red coat bad guys mixed up! The production values are amazing and the chemistry between the couples is full of spark. (Still can’t believe Abraham in ‘Turn’ is movie Billy Elliot!) So disappointed in ‘Walking Dead’ and ‘Homeland’ this season. Couldn’t even finish them.

    Books: Definitely Elizabeth Gilbert! I read library copies, but have to buy my own now! Also Mark Bittmann’s new info-graphic cookbook and the Food 52 Genius Recipes has me loving hummus for the first time in my life!

    Movies: I can’t remember any movie that stands out for me at all this year… I think the tv shows are just getting SO good that movies are like background noise. (But probably Star Wars!)

  47. Katie says...

    LOVED watching Brooklyn. It was so sweet.
    I also really enjoyed the show Casual. There’s a lot of sex, but the character development was interesting. I’m looking forward to its next season.

  48. As for books, “The Empathy Exams” and Meghan Daum’s “The Unspeakables” were my personal favorites. Podcasts: “The Problem We All Live With” on This American Life is SO SO SO important to listen to. Also, Invisibilia’s “How to Become a Batman” was exactly what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. Not a big TV watcher but I second all Jane the Virgin fans. I watch it from time to time and think it’s so silly and well done at the same time.

  49. I am totally addicted to podcasts too. The Living room was one of my favorite stories from Radiolab this year, but it was originally from this other radio/podcast called Love + Radio and wow- all their stories are so amazing. My other favorite was from them and it was called “Coney Island.”

    • Laura says...

      I second this! “The Living Room” and “Coney Island” were my two favorite podcast episodes this year.

  50. Book: Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson

    Movie: Brooklyn

    TV: Getting On (HBO)

  51. I am currently finishing A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, the book is intense but well written and enthralling. I just started reading it on my recent trip to South East Asia. Check out my recent post at http://www.thegramercyfox.com

  52. Those modern love essays are great! Love the idea of an article club!

    Joy

  53. Natasha says...

    Oh my goodness, Lexi, I just listened to The Living Room the other day and I keep thinking about it! So complicated and heart-breaking and unbelievable, really. What a story.
    Caroline, I just picked up Big Magic after watching an amazing interview with Gilbert on Marie Forleo’s website.
    As for TV, my husband and I are really into The Americans.
    Great recommendations all around, thanks so much!
    Happy holidays!

  54. nicole says...

    My favorite book this year was the Orphan Master’s Son. It won the pulitzer for fiction and was just a phenomenal book. I keep thinking about it.

  55. Laurel says...

    My favourite book this year was Purity by Johnathan Franzen. I read a few others (not published in 2015) that stood out; most notably 1Q84 by Haruki Marakami.

    And TV? Holy smokes it was a killer year! The Leftovers blew me away and The Man In The High Castle! God it is so good!

  56. Thanks for the Big Magic recommendation! Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed is one of my all-time favorites-need to check out Big Magic! Top 5 books this year: Kelly Corrigan’s Glitter and Glue, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, Atul Gwande’s Being Mortal, and an oldie but new to me-Anna Quindlen’s Thinking Out Loud.

    Always love reading your book lists!

  57. tyler says...

    Books: All The Light We Cannot See. One of my all-time favs. Also (at the recommendation of this blog) Being Mortal. Have given it to so many friends, and it has actually influenced the way my friend’s mom is caring for her own mother. Should be required reading for everyone.

    Movie: Amy. Such a moving documentary with incredible music.

    TV: Master of None!!!!

  58. Just coming out of the post-graduate school fog, I’m awakening to the world of actually choosing what I read rather than primarily reading what is required – yippee! Lots of good suggestions here.

    This past year, I nerdily loved reading Ina May Gaskin’s books on natural childbirth, plus Pushed by Jennifer Block (all excellent if you’re interested in that topic). TV-wise, I finally started Orange is the New Black and am now hooked…I’m also enjoying Quantico and all of its strong female characters. Plus Seinfeld re-runs and DVDs, always and forever.

  59. Linda says...

    McFarland, U.S.A. Inspiring.

  60. Sophie says...

    For TV, just about anything on PBS:
    Broadchurch
    Indian Summers
    Poldark
    Grantchester
    Also: Bloodline, Empire (so entertaining!) Homeland and Jessica Jones
    I hear Narcos is amazing so will give that a try soon. The first season of True Detective was incredible, the second? Un-watchable in my opinion.

    Just read and saw Brooklyn and highly recommend. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was probably my favorite read this year. The Goldfinch is right up there too.

    • Carmen B. says...

      I read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry early this year and absolutely loved it. I think I got the recommendation from a commenter on this blog.

  61. Gabrielle says...

    Everyone’s listening to Death, Sex and Money from WNYC, right? (Right?!) The host Anna Sale gets it right every time. She’s smart, thoughtful and keeps the interviews interesting no matter the topic.
    Women of the Hour (Lena Dunham’s podcast with Buzzfeed) was empowering and beautiful. There were multiple times during the five episode run where I laughed on the street listening or welled up with tears. I so hope it comes back for a second season.

    All the Light We Cannot See was my favorite book of the year and this season of Transparent is somehow even better than the last. I’m trying to limit myself to one episode at a time to make it last longer, but somehow it’s not really working :).

  62. Ruby D says...

    FILM – Brooklyn

    BOOK – Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess)

    TV – Hindsight. If you were a teen or in your 20’s in the 90’s this show will send you right back there! Or, if you’ve ever wondered what life would look like to be able to go back and make one slight change.

    PODCAST – Undisclosed. Dude. If you loved Serial, then you must, must, must get on listening now! Rabia Chaudry, the lawyer (and neighbour/friend) who brought Adnans story to Serial continues the case and breaks it down with 2 other lawyers. You will be amazed at how much a) serial never touched on and b) how NOT guilty Adnan is.

  63. TV:
    -Master of None (so fun and funny, so much heart, and all of the restaurants!)
    -Transparent (hands down, my favorite)
    -Broad City (ridiculous, out of control belly laughs)
    -Doll and Em (cute and fun, and painfully awkward at times)

    Podcasts:
    -Burnt Toast (Food 52’s podcast)
    -Dinner Party Download
    -Serial (!!)
    -Women of the Hour (Lena Dunham’s new podcast)

    Reading:
    -My Berlin Kitchen (longtime fan of Luisa Weiss and I wanted to savor each page of her lovely book.)
    -http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/13479768/wright-thompson-life-loss-renewal-new-orleans-10-years-hurricane-katrina I’m not a sports girl, but when I heard about this story on NPR, I was enthralled. I started reading it online, but then my husband actually bought me the issue of ESPN Mag so I could have a tangible version. :)

  64. Kori says...

    I’ll be referencing this comment section over Christmas break, where I look forward to doing nothing but relaxing! My favorite books this year are not 2015 books, but books I’ve read in 2015: Big Little Lies, Serena, The Dovekeepers, and Rebecca all kept me up into the wee hours reading.
    Movies: I really enjoyed The Martian so much more than I thought I would.
    TV: Call the Midwife! Great BBC show about a group of midwives and nuns that live in a convent in East End of London on the 1950s, servicing the less wealthier Londoners.

  65. Barb says...

    It didn’t come out this year but I watched it this year- St. Vincent with Bill Murray. It was so so good and my husband and I just cried and cried at the end.

    I just read the best book, A Man Called Ove. It was hilarious and so touching, another tearjerker for sure!

    My favorite new show is The Grinder. It’s just so silly but in a great tongue-in-cheek way, not a stupid way. And I like that it isn’t demeaning or dirty. Plus Rob Lowe and Fred Savage- best casting ever.

  66. Jordan says...

    Watching Season 2 of The Affair (on Showtime) is comparable to reading a piece of good literature: the narration is fickle, the characters grow, the themes deepen and become more interconnected with each episode. Season 1 may have had viewers feeling like the show was a romanticization of infidelity, but Season 2 chips away at the impact of our choices on everyone around us. Fiona Apple’s theme song, Container, is pretty great too.

  67. Jenna Marks says...

    Books: I just read the Fates and the Furies and it was easily one of my favorite books I’ve ever read.

    Movies: Inside Out because I’m a child at heart. Conversely, I loved Ex Machina because it is dark and twisty and I find speculation on the future of technology ethics fascinating.

    TV: Jessica Jones! The most feminist badass superhero show ever with a nuanced and very real discussion of rape and power dynamics.

  68. I have been reading a lot of Emmanuel Carrére lately, thanks to a friend’s recommendation. Caroline, I think you would love “Other Lives but Mine.” Give it a try. I will definitely read Big Magic. It is next on my list.
    But, I got to say that my 2015 literature world was marked by one big disappointment: Purity. I did NOT like it at all.

  69. I love watching BBC shows. My partner and I quickly watched the first seasons of the Detectorists and Catastrophe just before the second seasons came out this year. They were my fa vorite. Also I just discovered the Librarians. It’s campy and cute.

    I have read a lot more books since getting a
    Kindle and I liked All The Light We Cannot See and Euphoria. Older titles that I enjoyed were The Signature of All Things and Jane Eyre.

    • gk says...

      Detectorists is awesome! I happened across the first episode on Tivo recommends and fell in love. Yet nobody else I know has seen it so sadly can’t rave about it together. I also discovered Doc Martin and am in the process of catching up on that one.

  70. Lauren says...

    For books, I absolutely loved Station Eleven. Brooklyn was fantastic, as well. I just finished it last night and now can’t wait to see the movie! The Netflix series “Peaky Blinders” was by far the best new TV show for me. I am anxiously awaiting season 3.

  71. abbey says...

    YES and YES to Caroline and Lexi’s choices. Big Magic (book and podcast) mean the world to me. In addition I read Liz Gilbert’s novel over the summer and was in love with her characters and the world she drew me into. Great book.

    TV? Peaky Blinders! I’m expecting this one to recur in these comments a lot. It’s an intense and transforming world (post WWI England) in which we cling to our brave, handsome, and deeply disturbed hero. LOVE. IT.

    One more podcast… Sound Opinions. I love this music interview/performance/critic show and its charming and surprisingly open-minded rock critic hosts. They’ve kept me company on many a long drive and in addition to being friendly voices with great recommendations and opinions they play a ton of music too.

  72. Katie says...

    OBSESSED with The Leftovers on HBO – soooo good. I also loved listening to WTF Podcast by Marc Maron, Savage Love, Serial, Radiolab, Invisibilia, Call Your Girlfriend, Note to Self, Death, Sex & Money and The Shortest Longest Time. Podcast nerd here if you couldn’t tell ;)

  73. Meredith says...

    I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things” and loooooooved it. I think people forget she is a fiction writer as well, and holy smokes- what a beautiful story teller she is. “Big Magic” is also on my list, and I didn’t know about that podcast! Will def be checking that out.

  74. Megan says...

    I’ve started listening to the podcast How Did This Get Made? It features comedians Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas and June Diane Raphel. They discuss a different bad movie every episode and it is hysterical. I have literally cried tears of laughter at my desk at work listening to this!

    • Julie says...

      That is my favorite podcast-my husband and I save new episodes for when we have to drive from Philly to Baltimore to visit his family :)

  75. Jessica Jones is great! Gory but not simply for gory sake. MARVEL does well.

    • Favorite book (s)Eva Stachniak’s Winter Palace and Empress of the Night. Beautifully written, great history and intriguing.

  76. Julie D says...

    I took part in the GoodReads reading challenge and read 50 books (hooray!)but none of them were from 2015… Movie-wise I have a very eclectic selection: Mad Max Fury Road, Inside Out and Ex-Machina. As per my favorite TV shows, we had a great time with The Leftovers, Master of None, Game of Thrones and the last season of Mad Men (goes crying in the corner….). Another great year for culture, can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring us!

  77. Meagan says...

    Serial is the best! :)

    I’m from the South and this year I discovered that there’s a whole genre of fiction dedicated to the region. So I’ve read a lot of it, my favorites being David Joy’s “Where All Light Tends to Go,” Brian Panowich’s “Bull Mountain,” and Hester Young’s “the Gates of Evangeline.” So, so good.

  78. Cindy says...

    The best book I’ve read in years is Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine — beautiful, powerful, altering.

  79. Christi says...

    Agreed with TV having such a solid year, especially streaming originals. It’s been incredible to see what “The Mindy Project” has done in it’s 4th season on Hulu (the best it’s been). Another favorite has been by far “Outlander” with a great mix of everything, and one of the best couples on TV that I’ve seen in a while. Other greats: Master of None, Fargo, Jessica Jones, and The Flash.

  80. Leslie says...

    Radio Cherry Bombe awesome podcast long satisfying interviews with all the major women in food from Dorie Greenspan to the Elmsley sisters. Also Dear Sugar is the podcast I turn to for perspective Cheryl Strayed has insight! Her book Tiny Beautiful Things has been my favorite book this year. The essays scream truth, you will laugh you will cry you will feel like for maybe the first time in your life you are understood.
    For laughs Last Man on Earth and Mindy Project

  81. Alyssa says...

    I just realized last night that Saul is played by the same actor who played Inigo Montoya in princess bride! Mind. Blown.

  82. This season of Fargo was the best! Seriously, so good! Reminded me of Breaking Bad!

  83. Sarah says...

    So many good books this year! Euphoria (based on the life of Margaret Mead) was phenomenal, The Sixth Extinction was sobering, Girl At War was the best debut I’ve read in years, and Being Mortal was unbelievably insightful.

  84. Kate s says...

    I loved Catastrophe on Amazon.

  85. Sharon says...

    “Love and Mercy.” It changed my life. Seriously. Best movie I have ever seen. Really got into Brian Wilson after this – I had no idea that his music stretched so much further than the car/sand/surfing stuff in the early 60’s. (It would be like thinking the Beatles strictly made teenybopper music like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” and not recognizing the depth of their catalogue.) What a tortured, sweet soul he is.

  86. Podcast: Serial. Listened to the entire series driving from Minneapolis to Winnipeg. It was grippingly perfect.
    Book: The Timekeeper by Mitch Albom. I percieve time completely differently now. Existential and concrete at the same time.
    Movie: Iris (Netflix doc) So inspiring to live an authentic, long, grateful and loving life.
    TV series: Walking Dead. It terrifies me. But the narrative and struggle for survival is so intense, it grips me. I empty the dishwasher during zombie attack scenes.

  87. Your blog 100% !! I’ve been reading it pretty much every single day. I love the conversations that your blog is able to start, how every single post is made to engage your readers (me, ha!) and how it feels as if a friend is talking to me.

    The best!

    Alina
    http://www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

  88. Julie says...

    Favorite tv: Fargo, Rick and Morty (insanity), The Americans, Parks and Recreation, The Flash (such a joyous show), Master of None, and You’re the Worst, which depicted depression in the most relatable of ways while still being hilarious.

    Favorite Movies: Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out, What We Do in the Shadows, Spy, and please god let Star Wars be amazing. :p

    Books ( not necessarily published this year): Yes, Please (Amy Poehler), The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Gabrielle Zevin, check this out if you’re a huge reader), Her (Harriet Lane, extremely tense character study), Life Drawing (Robin Black, a fascinating look at a flawed marriage), Dead Wake (Eric Larson, an engaging account of the sinking of the Lusitania), Nimona (Noelle Stevenson, a graphic novel featuring a young girl with powers who wants to be a villain’s sidekick), Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel, gorgeous book about life during and after a catastrophic illness wipes out most of humanity).

  89. My husband and I watch a lot of TV. Absolutely loved Fargo and season 2 of The Leftovers – then we watch Brooklyn 99 as a pick-me-up! :)

    • rach says...

      Brooklyn 99! Yes! I lol every episode!

  90. Bethany says...

    I am a list girl. I keep lists. I read all the lists: top book lists, top movie lists, so this is a really fun post for me! I’ll be adding to my lists with all of these suggestions!

    For me this was a great year for books and TV: loved Master of None, Transparent, Fargo (season 2), The Americans, the Leftovers, Getting On, and I rewatched the amazing Jewel in the Crown (and felt really sad to think that I had watched this 30 years ago!)…
    So many wonderful books too–Just finished Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, and I loved The Lake House by Kate Morton, H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald, The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter, The Gods in Ruin by Kate Atkinson, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Fowler and Station Eleven by Emily St. can’t remember. So happy to have had so many great reads and I could go on…..
    I can’t recommend many movies but we laughed so hard at The Things We Do in the Shadows, and were fascinated by Ex Machina. Lily Tomlin was fantastic in Grandma, Martian was fun, and I loved Tracks (netflix) about a woman crossing Australia alone with 3 camels and her dog–heartbreaking. Oh, and we watched Before I Disappear (netflix) a couple of times-when each kid was home from college.

    All the best!

  91. Angela says...

    Outlander and The Man in the High Castle were two of my favorite shows this year- my hubby and I like the latter so much, we are naming our daughter Juliana (the female lead).

  92. A Winter Book by Tove Jansson touched my soul at the beginning of the year, and I adored Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane.

  93. Megan Pearson says...

    You’re The Worst was a surprise for me- it became my favorite show this year. The first season is on Hulu, and the second season, which just ended, tackled mental health in a spot-on way while not losing its sense of humor.

  94. Tessa says...

    Favorite books I read this year = Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates), All the Light We Cannot See (made me want to find all the novels I haven’t read yet about underground resistance efforts during WW II — can anyone suggest their favorite?), and Men We Reaped (memoir by Jesmyn Ward).

    Favorite new-to-me podcast = Call Your Girlfriend (smart, funny, pop culture, politics, and periods)

    TV = I finally watched Firefly (its one and only season is on Netflix)

    • Sarah says...

      Have you read The Nightingale? It was a huge hit in 2015- all about resistance from
      French women under Nazi occupation.

    • Rachael says...

      “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein. So wonderfully great about woman in the war in Great Britain and the underground resistance.

  95. Jill C. says...

    My favorite book was All the Light we Cannot See.

    Loved Master of None as well and also the Hulu show Casual.

    I just started the reading The Nightingale and love it so far.

    • Lauren E. says...

      I absolutely LOVED The Nightingale. It was one of those books I wished I could forget so that I could reread it again for the first time.

  96. Lindsay says...

    I started with season 1 of Homeland a few months ago and I’m caught up and have loved it. Loved the book, “where’d you go Bernadette?” Very funny. The gold finch has stuck with me, a classic.

  97. Laura says...

    My absolute favorite movie this year was ‘Man Up’. Lake Bell and Simon Pegg, about a mix-up on a blind date. So funny, observant, and down to earth. I loved it, and I’m now watching any Lake Bell movie I can get my hands on.

    I really enjoyed Nora Ephron’s ‘I Remember Nothing’. It was such a poignant, lovely read and exactly what I needed right after going through a sad divorce. ‘The Martian’ and ‘As You Wish’ were also top of the list for me this year.

    I also agree, so much good TV this year! I can’t keep up! Some favorites were UnReal, Master of None, Jessica Jones, iZombie, and Last Man on Earth. It broke my heart, but Penny Dreadful had a great season as well.

  98. Lexie says...

    Catastrophe! Such a great show! I highly recommend it (and Rob Delaney on Twitter, lol).

  99. Just began watching Jane the Virgin this fall on Netflix. I first watched a random episode one night and thought, “this is the most stupid show I’ve ever seen!” Then a friend and I watched it from the beginning one night and I totally got it. Now I’m hooked.

  100. Sara Miller says...

    The book I just couldn’t put down this year was “The Nightengale.” Brooklyn was the movie that took my breath away! Can’t wait to read “Big Magic” and follow along here for other great recos.

  101. Pooja says...

    Podcast: Another Round; TV: Jane the Virgin, Master of None; Books: The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin, NW: A Novel by Zadie Smith, Inheritance by Balli Kaur, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid, Family Life by Akhil Sharma, Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier, 3 Sections: Poems by Vijay Seshadri, The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander.

  102. Brenda says...

    I loved “All the Light We Cannot See”. My favourite book of the year by far!

  103. My favorite movie has been Trumbo (Bryan Cranston is amazing, as always) and my new favorite TV shows have been Master of None & Pretty Little Liars (okay, I know PLL isn’t new – but it’s new to me, and I’m obsessed!)

    http://www.smallestthing.com

  104. Twyla says...

    The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt gets 5 gold stars from me – she is SUCH a fantastic writer. I also just read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – a completely amazing story written by one of the best writers today. The only tv I watch is Netflix (thus, not anything new), but I’m really enjoying Lie to Me. Learning about the subtle nuances you can pick up on to tell if someone is lying is really fascinating to an intuitive introvert like me.

  105. YES “The Living Room” episode of RadioLab was haunting. I listened to it 4 times throughout the year.

    • Gabrielle says...

      YES. That episode was so beautiful and thought provoking. My favorite podcast episode to revisit too :).

    • Sophie says...

      I have listened to it many times this year too! I think about it constantly. And I talk about it constantly. So glad to know I am not the only one!

  106. Sarah says...

    Maybe I am the last one to discover it, but the New Yorker Fiction podcast is my new favorite thing. They ask one of their fiction authors to pick a story from the archive and read it aloud. Then Deborah Treisman (the New Yorker fiction editor) and the author discuss the story. Start with Andrew O’Hagan reading Edna O’Brien.

  107. Lindsay says...

    I also loved All the Light We Cannot See – stayed up until 1 am to finish it last night.

    I really enjoyed Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance – I recommend listening to it on audio book because he narrates and is hilarious (literally mocks you for being a lazy audiobook reader – “what, are you going to go out for dinner now and ask someone to read you the menu?” haha).

    Totally hooked on The Affair at the moment, and also loved Bloodline, Empire, and The Fall. My bf agreed to watch Sex and the City from episode 1 with me this year and he loved it! It was such a pleasure to re-watch from a different perspective (now at 30, I see these women as me, unlike in my 20s when it was possible future me! Weird but cool).

    I also love podcasts. I love the usual suspects (Serial, TAL, Savage Lovecast, etc.) but want to give a shout out to Death, Sex, and the Money, which never fails to move me, and to Dear Sugar, which features amazing person and writer Cheryl Strayed giving heartfelt advice to incredibly difficult reader questions.

  108. Heather says...

    Jane the Virgin. Please tell me you’ve watched this. I’ve never seen a TV show or movie capture all the hilarious ridiculous stuff about being pregnant and having a baby today. It’s the smartest feel good TV show I’ve seen in years. Like arrested development meets mindy project meets Woman on Top.
    Also loved Master of None.

  109. Becca says...

    The Longest Shortest Time podcast got me through new motherhood. The Elana Ferrante series of books got me through my return to work.

  110. My favorite movie I saw the year by far was Still Alice, which I watch with baby on lap during a flight to Paris where my fiancé woke up next to me to find me absolutely hysterical at the end. So good, so sad, such incredible acting. Ugh. I’m still a little embarrassed for everyone on that flight who witnessed that mess!

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  111. M says...

    Movie: I watched Moonrise Kingdom on Netflix a couple of months ago and it became one of my favorite movies ever.

    TV Shows: This year I re-watched Seinfeld and The Office in their entirety with no regrets. Other favs from this year: How To Get Away With Murder and Veep. I watch a lot of shows but those were my standouts.

    Books: No favorites this year :(. I’m adding Big Magic to my must reads, though!

    Podcasts: This American Life (always and forever), Serial, Limetown, Savage Lovecast. I have to say, Dan Savage has changed me. I always considered myself a very open-minded individual, but his podcasts/the callers/his advice have made me just so much more…aware. I HIGHLY recommend his podcast. :)

    Can’t wait to read everyone elses’ comments!

    • Lindsay says...

      I second the Savage Lovecast – also a fabulous show to listen to with a spouse (or separately, then talk about it after). Leads to great conversations.

    • M says...

      How could I forget Master of None!? I didn’t expect it to be so deep and poignant. A very nice surprise!

      And, Lindsay – totally agree!

  112. Jenna says...

    I loved Masters of None too! I also am really liking the tv show, You’re the Worst. It is funny, sad, poignant, and over the top. It is half way through Season 2. Also, for TV, The Last Man on Earth. The last episode was “oof!” As for movies, The Skeleton Twins. So good and amazing performaces by everyone.

  113. Jen says...

    Not a book, movie or tv show but the podcast Another Round from BuzzFeed has me cracking up and nodding the whole time. The premise is two awesome women (and guests, frequently) drink, joke and chat about issues like cultural appropriation, mental health, squirrels, hair, and HBCUs. High-profile guests of yore include Melissa Harris-Perry, Hillary Clinton, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Lena Dunham. So good, so funny, so honest.

  114. My most favourite book of the year was my summer read – All the Light We Cannot See. What a powerfully descriptive novel. I couldn’t put it down until the last word.

    • Nicole says...

      Also my favorite!

    • Julie says...

      I can’t wait to read that!

  115. Jess says...

    Yes to ‘Master of None’! And ‘Peaky Blinders’ and ‘Bloodline’
    ‘Love & Mercy’ and ‘Spotlight’ are definitely some of the best movies of the year!

  116. Alex says...

    Best TV shows this year: The Affair and The Knick!!!! Can’t stop watching either of them.

  117. Anne says...

    I started reading Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series this year after hearing a recommendation on one of my favorite podcasts, Slate Culture Gabfest. I’m about halfway through book two and can’t wait to go on to the next one (there are 4 total). They are beautiful books, set in Italy after World War II. It’s the story of a decades long female friendship portrayed in all of its wonderful complexity. I really can’t recommend them enough!

  118. Oh! How lovely! I can’t wait to come in to work tomorrow and settle in with a hot cup of coffee and read the comment section! A wonderful way to procrastinate! Thank you :)

  119. Sue says...

    Caroline, YES! I read Big Magic and just discovered the podcast today. It is so amazing and inspiring!

  120. One of my coworkers recommended Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt- SO good! (although my poor fiance thought someone in the family died because I was crying so hard….#sorrynotsorry?)

    • Jackie says...

      I loved that book so much!!

  121. Pam says...

    I have become a big podcast fan this year– likely in thanks to A Cup of Jo. Obviously “Serial” got me hooked, as did “Limetown.” The big one for me now has been “You Must Remember This.” (I heard about all three of these, in some form, on A Cup of Jo) It’s caused me to learn about Old Hollywood and then seek out these Old Hollywood films…it’s been a fun adventure knowing backstories to films and actors and eras and then seeing the movie.

  122. Amy L says...

    I loved the most recent season of The Mindy Project as she explores themes of motherhood, careers and her relationship with her partner. Master of None is refreshingly hilarious as well!
    I’m always watching Ellen, Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live. I need a good laugh most days!

  123. Jan Urick says...

    It’s an oldie, but my first time seeing it, and so I had to read the book, which is just as good, ready– ‘Lonesome Dove’. It was a miniseries(4 part movie) back in the 80s. The book is written by Larry McMurthy. What a story!

    • Megan says...

      One of my all time favorites! Try East of Eden if you are in the mood for another epic!

    • Barb says...

      My book club read Lonesome Dove this year and it was so amazing! What fun to hear of someone else reading it, too!

    • Laura says...

      I LOVE that book! All of his books from that same time are winners. Read Dead Man’s Walk or Buffalo Girls for more of the same amazingness!
      I feel like so much less of a weirdo now haha!