1. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt: The one common denominator for almost every thinking-person's "best literature of 2013" list, Tartt's third novel, a beautiful and epic story about tragedy (the teenage protagonist loses his mom in a bombing at an art museum) masquerading as redemption—or vice versa.
2. The Circle, Dave Eggers: His ninth book is the 21st century George Orwell's equivalent of 1984, except more entertaining.
3. The Skies Belong To Us, Brendan Koerner: Told with details and wry humor (and about star-crossed lovers from Coos Bay), Koerner chronicles the decade from 1962-72 when nearly one airliner was hijacked weekly! One of those, "How did I not know about this?" books.
4. The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner. Her debut novel was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award. This leather tough and beautifully tumbled novel—about a young woman, fascinated with motorcycle and art, who roars into 1975 SoHo—is even better.
5. Wave, Somali Deraniyagada: This unflinching story provides an important story about rage and recovery, written by a woman who lost her husband, parents and two sons in the tsunami in 2004 that killed 240,000 in India, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
Top Five Local Celebrities
By Shanan Kelley, host of the Tin Pan Theater's variety show, Night Light Show, Shanan Kelley|Magnificent Guests.
1. Gerry Lopez
Praised surfer, actor and yoga enthusiast, Gerry Lopez has been one of Bend's biggest names since he moved here in 1992.
Who knew bucking traditional gender roles could get someone so much attention? Get over your assumptions and say "hi" already.
3. Chuck Arnold
The executive director of the Downtown Bend Business Association is one of the friendliest fellas around. He rocks a bright yellow vest and puts Christmas lights on everything.
4. Wilderness, the band
The members of this self-proclaimed "family band" sling coffee, bikes, groceries, and yoga instruction by day and rock your socks off at night.
5. Ashton Eaton
The most handsome "world's greatest athlete" ever, Eaton is a local boy, gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, decathlete and world record holder. Once, I saw him at Lone Pine Coffee Roasters. I'm still talking about it. I think that pretty much sums that one up. (Also, did I mention how handsome he is?)
Top Five Local Public Art Projects
1. Tin Pan Alley Art Collection: Featuring pieces by local artists Jesse Roberts, Mark Rada, Andrew Wachs, Megan McGuinness and Kaycee Anseth.
2. Les Schwab Amphitheater Murals: What to do with a big black wall behind the stage at the Les Schwab Amphitheater? Paint it of course!
3. Rise Up International and friends decorate Pakit: In September, the musical community re-appropriated Pakit, a local junkyard, into a fully functioning music venue.
4. Greenwood Gallery: A DIY guerrilla street art project wheat pasted posters under the Greenwood underpass last June, decorating the sparse grey walls with colorful work.
5. The Workhouse: In the last year, the Last Saturday event—akin to First Friday downtown—has been a warm openhouse for this collaboration of painters, designers, wood and metal workers.