Tag Archives: favorites

3 Years of Courtney Coherent

Today marks the three-year anniversary of my first blog post on Courtney Coherent. (My blog-o-versary, you might say.) If you had told me then that my blog would still be active three years later, I may have been surprised. Sure, I had grand ideas for what I wanted the blog to be, but a lot can happen in three years. And though it continues to be a humble effort, I’m proud of my little corner of the internet.

Summer 2013 017

I haven’t done any sort of retrospective since my 100th post, and now seems like the perfect time. Here are some of my favorite posts from the last two years.

My post about meeting a Project Runway contestant still holds the record for most views in a day, but my Stitch Fix review has surpassed it in total views. Do you like my modeling that much? In any case, there may be another in the near future. Until then: Say Hello to Stitch Fix.

I’m so glad that book reviews have become a significant part of my blog in the past two years. In fact, there are so many that I can’t pick just one favorite. Here are two posts about literary themes and unreliable narrators: Satisfying My Sweet Tooth and Gone Girl, Revisited.

As I took a foray into Classic Hollywood this winter, I got back in the swing of writing movie reviews. All the Craving Classic Hollywood posts have a special place in my heart, but the first is still my favorite: Craving Classic Hollywood: Double Indemnity.

Music reviews are my least common blog item, probably because I feel the least confident in writing them. Still, there are times when I’m pleased with how I capture my thoughts about a particular artist or album. Here’s one of them: Patty Griffin, Queen of Americana.

I don’t share a lot about my personal life because, you know, the internet is public. But meeting YA author Rainbow Rowell (and the photographic evidence thereof) was one event that could not be ignored. Relive it here: An Evening with Rainbow Rowell.

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, even sporadically. You’ve helped make Courtney Coherent a fun, challenging, and gratifying part of my life. Should we go for three more?

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100 Posts and Counting

I can hardly believe it myself, but this is my 100th post on Courtney Coherent!

I started the blog two days after my college graduation. Last month marked the one-year anniversary, which I let pass without comment. I think the two milestones are best discussed together. (Also I forgot about the anniversary, but that’s neither here nor there.) When you do something for over a year, a hundred times, it has officially become a part of your life. I’m so grateful that this blog has become a part of mine.

To celebrate hitting double digits, I wanted to share a few of my favorite posts from the past thirteen months.

There’s nothing I love more than pop culture nostalgia. In this case, boy band nostalgia:  It’s Gonna Be Me, Revisited.

Another favorite topic is young adult novels. Especially ones that let me get all English-nerdy on you:  No Fault in These Stars.

I have written many movie reviews, but I’m particularly proud of this one:  They Told Me You Had Grit.

Due to a link on Mondo’s Facebook fan page, this post has by far the most views: The Best Time I Met A Reality Show Contestant.

And here’s where it all began:  Hello World, Indeed.

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Kate Winslet, Have I Loved

As alluded to in a previous post, I love Kate Winslet. She’s hands-down my favorite actress and just an all-around cool chick. When I first got Netflix, I immediately added several of her movies to my queue. Now that I’m more caught up on her recent performances, I thought it would be fun to rank them. Honestly, it would be too difficult to make this list based only on her performance, so I’m using my opinions on the movies as a whole. For more information about each movie, click on the image!

7. Little Children

Being at the bottom of this list is still pretty good. Heck, Kate got an Oscar nomination for this role. (Then again, the same could be said for most of these movies.) And she wears a killer red bathing suit. That being said, I had trouble developing sympathy for the main characters.

6. Revolutionary Road

I just watched this last night, so I’m still decided how I feel about it. Kate’s performance is the definition of haunting, particularly in her final scene. I just felt like she has played similar characters in more interesting movies. It was also kind of weird to see her and Leonardo DiCaprio constantly yelling at each other. I miss Jack and Rose! Don’t get me wrong though — the 1950s fashion is to die for.

5. The Holiday

This is a total guilty pleasure movie, and the fact that I’m ranking it above two movies with Oscar nominations is perhaps absurd. Yes, the Cameron Diaz/Jude Law half of the movie is at times difficult to tolerate, mainly because of Cameron Diaz’s character being high-strung in the least endearing way. Just ignore them and watch Kate and Jack Black, who are delightful! Even if you don’t like Jack Black’s comedy, I think he’s charming in this role.

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Since I’ve already reviewed this movie, I won’t go into much detail. I love the concept and the cast. I love seeing Kate acting like a kooky American.

3. Titanic

I recently caught part of this on TV, and — wow. Do you guys remember how great this movie is?! When she breaks his handcuffs with the axe? When she spits in the rich guy’s face? So great! Plus Kate excels at being snobby in the first act. It may have tainted Revolutionary Road for me, but it’s so worth it.

2. The Reader

Entertainment Weekly claimed that Kate should have won an Oscar for Titanic instead of The Reader. And to them I say, dream on! I love this book, and the movie absolutely does it justice. I’m pretty sure my heart actually ached while I was watching it. Kate’s role is a challenging one, and she plays it with the perfect mix of hardness and humanity.

1. Sense and Sensibility

Okay, my English major is showing again. We love our Jane Austen, and this is easily my favorite film adaptation of her novels. Granted, Kate’s character is not always likeable, but she really embodies the spirit of Marianne Dashwood. Add to that the genius of Emma Thompson, and you can’t lose. Yes, they wear silly bonnets, but I don’t care! It’s hilarious, touching, and beautifully shot by Ang Lee. For the win.

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Courtney, What Blogs Do YOU Read?

I’m glad you asked, Hypothetical Reader! There are many blogs that I read on a regular basis. In fact, my admiration for these bloggers was part of the inspiration for Courtney Coherent. Here are my top 5 favorites.

Sarah Dessen’s Blog

Sarah Dessen is my favorite young adult author, and I have been reading her blog since middle school. After years on a very simple LiveJournal, she recently transitioned to a snazzier blog on her website. She also happens to be the person whose career I would replicate if such things were possible. Although she won’t discuss books as she’s writing them, there are often interesting tidbits about the rest of the publishing processing. Plus she loves pop culture almost as much as I do. You can see why I consider her a kindred spirit.

Cathy Zielske’s Blog

Some people have baking blogs, and I have scrapbooking blogs. There are several that I follow, but Cathy’s is the only one that I check daily. She was my favorite contributor to Simple Scrapbooks, by far the best scrapbooking magazine on the market, which stopped publication in 2009. (Stupid economy.) Luckily I was able to keep up with many of its contributors in the blogosphere. Cathy is a character, for sure, and I admire that almost as much as I admire her streamlined scrapbook style.

Tara Whitney’s Blog

Tara is another find from the Simple Scrapbooks era, but her specialty is photography. She posts less frequently than Sarah or Cathy. Then she posts photo sessions with clients or her family, and the wait is totally worth it. The woman works magic with light and color. A Tara Whitney photo session with someone special would be a dream-come-true moment for me.

Tegan and Sara’s Official Site

This doesn’t count as a blog, you say? Sure, it serves the functions of an official musician’s website, announcing new tour dates and merchandise. But look a little closer, and you will see that all the posts are written by Tegan or (more frequently) Sara. For that reason, the site doubles as a place for them to relate a weird experience or (more often) tease each other. As any fan will tell you, the bickering is an essential part of the T&S experience.

The Hairpin

I’ve told many of you about this site already, perhaps several times. Still, I couldn’t end this list without mentioning my favorite feminist humor blog. Although many people contribute to the site, it’s the baby of one Edith Zimmerman, who describes herself as “a grave young woman who spends all her time on the internet.” I will admit that one motivator for starting my own blog was an intense desire to become best internet friends with Edith. Or perhaps insinuate myself into The Hairpin’s inner circle.

So if you’re feeling bored, Non-hypothetical Readers, click on one of these links. Or all of them! Don’t read them too often though, or you will steal all my small talk material.

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Good Coverage

I love cover songs. Sometimes I love a cover more than the original version, which makes me feel a little blasphemous. I know some people hate to hear their favorite songs reinterpreted. Once I played a friend the stunning version of “Comfortably Numb” by Dar Williams and Ani DiFranco, and he complained that they had “ruined it.” I strongly disagree, of course. If I’m going to enjoy a cover song, it can’t be just a rehashing of the original. I believe that it takes real artistry to present another musician’s work through your own musical lens.

So today, in honor of cover bands everywhere, I’m going to share with you four of my favorite live covers. Studio versions of cover songs would be much too difficult to narrow down to four or five. These are just a few that have crossed my path and made me smile in the last year or so.

Taylor Swift:  “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay

Taylor Swift is one of my not-so-guilty guilty pleasures. This song suits her voice very well, and her simple rendition allows me to appreciate the lyrics in a new way. Plus she sings within my (very limited) range, so I can feel cool when I sing along.

Tegan and Sara:  “Dancing In The Dark” by Bruce Springsteen

Skip to the 1:05 mark on this video, unless you long to hear about how Tegan and Sara’s stepdad loved Springsteen. I had to include this one in honor of my Karaoke at the Reub partners. Our rendition can’t be topped, obviously, but this is a close second.

Avril Lavigne:  “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha

I won’t try to convince you that Avril really brings out the nuances in Ke$ha’s lyrics. Still, the song and Avril are well-suited for each other. If nothing else, you can covet her sparkly microphone.

Ani DiFranco:  “Angel From Montgomery” by John Prine (and Bonnie Raitt)

The clip is just audio, but it’s well worth listening, I assure you. Sometimes I forget that Ani DiFranco has pipes. If you only listen to one of these songs, let it be this one. She will break your heart and make you like it.

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