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My 2023 Bests of the BEST

Highlights of Things I've Loved This Year

By Sai Marie JohnsonPublished 5 months ago 5 min read
My 2023 Bests of the BEST
Photo by Tzvi Kilov on Unsplash

Welcome to my 2023 Highlights!

I figured it would be cool to take some time to post about the things that I’ve enjoyed most this year.


By Simon Noh on Unsplash

Top 5 YouTube Artists:

A Quiet Sojourner: Sojo’s music is self-explanatory. If you like EDM, trance, metal, and melodic, you’ll quickly learn why I love this artist with just one listen. My favorite song is He Causeth the Sun to Shine.

Blacktop Mojo: Equally enjoyable is Blacktop Mojo - I guess it must be something about the South Texans sound I appreciate. My favorite song is It Won’t Last.

Phillip Philips: I found Phillip Philips unexpectedly! Yet, while writing a few of my tales, the song became a mantra for me. I am particularly fond of Magnetic.

Busted: Okay, my love of Hanson primarily brought me to Busted, but I have to say that is because of MMMBop 2.0 - which I love!

Ashes Remain: Ashes Remain is another that just came out of nowhere and infected my blood! I have a few favorites, but the one I listened to the most was Right Here.


By Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Top 5 New Authors:

Kassia DeVane - I have to say Kassia is one of the kindest people I’ve been privileged to cross paths with this year. I first found her work in an author event we did together and fell in LOVE. I’m sure you will too.

Stephanie Swann - This lady is the sweetest! I love her energy and honesty - authenticity is hard to find but you’ll find it with Stephanie! Her work is also truly beautiful and she’s incredibly talented.

Faedra Rose - Do you like spicy? Wild, and exotic? Look no further than Faedra Rose! She’s got so many interesting and diverse works that I’m positive you’ll find something you enjoy!

Sophia Allesandrini - Met Sophia via mutual author networking and she is such a sweetheart! Highly recommend her work!

Lucy Ravens - I Found Lucy through her being in an anthology I was also in and truly enjoyed her Mafia romance, Assassin!


By Diego González on Unsplash

Top 5 Best Series:

Faraway Downs - Hulu: Followup from the Movie Australia, which I loved:

An English aristocrat, Lady Sarah Ashley who travels halfway across the world to confront her wayward husband and sell an unusual asset: a million-acre cattle station in the Australian Outback called 'Faraway Downs'

The Mayfair Witches - AMC+: This was one I adored because I am a devout Anne Rice fan. I loved it - Based on Anne Rice's bestseller, this dark drama follows a neurosurgeon who learns she is heir to a family of witches. Starring Alexandra Daddario, and Harry Hamlin.

Interview with the Vampire - AMC+: This is also due to my love of Anne Rice and the Vampire Chronicles Books, but the series was enthralling as well:

In the year 2022, the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac tells the story of his life to renown journalist Daniel Molloy. Beginning in 1910 New Orleans, Louis forms a vampire family with the vampire Lestat, complete with teen fledgling, Claudia.

Fire Country - Paramount+: I found this one by random chance, and I got hooked in instantly. The idea of someone being redeemed like Bode is and the elements of danger associated with wildfire fighting had me totally on the edge of my seat: A young convict joins a firefighting program looking for redemption and a shortened prison sentence. He and other inmates work alongside elite firefighters to extinguish massive blazes across the region.

Virgin River - Netflix: I have adored Virgin River since the beginning but this year’s holiday episodes stole my heart! I absolutely love this series and cannot wait to see what comes next: Determined to uncover the truth, Mel and her fiancée Jack (Martin Henderson) set off on an eye-opening adventure. As they follow the clues that lead them to the man who may be her father, the rest of the town is getting ready to celebrate the holidays, with several characters gearing up to make huge life changes.


By Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

Top 5 Best Movies:

Gran Turismo - This one is so inspiring! True story of triumph in an unbelievable scenario: The true story of a team of unlikely underdogs -- a working-class gamer, a former race-car driver, and an idealistic motorsport executive -- who risk it all to take on the most elite sport in the world.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes - I hadn’t expected to enjoy this movie being that it has been so long since the first trilogy was released, but I LOVED it. Years before he becomes the tyrannical president of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow remains the last hope for his fading lineage. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow becomes alarmed when he's assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird from District 12. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and political savvy, they race against time to ultimately reveal who's a songbird and who's a snake.

The Marvels - I was also very surprised by how much I loved this movie. Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. However, unintended consequences see her shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with two other superheroes to form the Marvels. There is another that deserves an honorable mention being that it is related to comic book films, and that is Blue Beetle. Jaime Reyes suddenly finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology called the Scarab. When the Scarab chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host, he's bestowed with an incredible suit of armor that's capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero Blue Beetle.

Frybread Face & Me - I laughed, cried, smiled, and really cannot stress how wonderful this film is. Everyone should watch it at least once. A Navajo boy from San Diego experiences a cultural awakening when he spends summer vacation with his precocious cousin and their relatives on the reservation.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter - I loved this movie so much! It was everything Dracula fans will enjoy! The crew of the merchant ship Demeter sets sail from Carpathia to London to deliver a cargo of 50 unmarked wooden crates. However, they soon discover they're not alone as Dracula's unholy presence turns the trip into a nightmarish fight for survival.

By Ben Vaughn on Unsplash


About the Creator

Sai Marie Johnson

A multi-genre author, poet, creative&creator. Resident of Oregon; where the flora, fauna, action & adventure that bred the Pioneer Spirit inspire, "Tantalizing, titillating and temptingly twisted" tales.

Pronouns: she/her

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