Welcoming 2016 With Stories and Changing Tastes

books

Every year I keep a log of books, short stories, and articles of note that I’ve read. In 2015, I logged an awful lot of books. Some were new releases, but more often than not, not. By this log, though, I figured that I read more how-to books, gardening books, and history books than anything else. I don’t know why it happened this way, but maybe because I’ve been sort of fighting a dark depression and anxiety with hobbies–gardening, sewing, and just about anything I can do which would keep my hands busy. I’m the kind of person who needs to be doing something, even if it’s something small, such as mending a buttonhole or planting a seed. And, once I’m focused, that’s it. I’m addicted to something new and you’ll soon find me in bookshops and online seeking out books regarding my new hobby, whatever it may be. I can’t just be a novice at anything. I will constantly strive to master it.

But, in 2010, for example, I logged mostly romance and horror novels. In 2011 and 2012, same. In 2013, by some strange tap of the reading fairy’s wand, I changed directions and returned to my science fiction and fantasy roots. You see, the firsts books I really loved–and I mean REALLY loved–were sci-fi novels, comics, fantasy tomes, and short stories in magazines involving elves, ghosts, goblins, werewolves, aliens, and vampires. I started reading time travel novels again. I started picking up newer novels by authors I’d forgotten I loved so much in high school. And, I began to change the way I think about things again. I think that’s just something that happens ever so often in life. Your life changes direction, so your reading lists change direction, too.

By 2014, I’d changed completely. I haven’t completely let go of reading romance, but I want to read everything about everything. Sometimes there just isn’t enough space on a year’s worth of bookshelf for all of the books a person would wish to read. I think that might be what happens to me. I am too ambitious. But, there are just so many books!

But, back to 2015.

Last year, my children grew. My fortunes changed (sort of) with the coming of a move which will take me from living in a small 3 bedroom house with a small yard to a small 4 bedroom house with a yard that reaches beyond what the eye can see (my husband’s family’s farm). In anticipation of this move, my family and I have discussed a lot of changes. We’re letting go of cable because it won’t be available. We’re going to have an internet connection to watch Netflix and Hulu and do internety things. But, we’ve also decided that we’re going to raise some chickens and continue growing beautiful herbs and Cherokee purple tomatoes (which are to die for, by the way, and can be found at Burpee’s online). On the farm, my father-in-law and brother-in-laws (and their wives and families) raise chickens, horses, cows, pigs, and sometimes goats. And, I think my niece has some rabbits somewhere. So, with all of this in mind, I’ve been reading about soil, about how to raise animals (because I’m absolutely terrified of horses and have no clue how to manage livestock, much less live with them), and about how to live a simpler life.

Now, hold on, people. Before you start thinking ahead, NO. No, we are not homesteaders. Absolutely, just no. I have mad amounts of respect for homesteaders, but that’s not what we’re doing  at all. We’re just simplifying things and moving forward with raising our family in an area where I won’t have to worry about being so close to other people. Well, except for my husband’s family. Two of his brothers, their wives, their collective six children, and my mother-in-law and father-in-law all live on the same stretch of property, but it’s big enough that none of us have to look at each other if we don’t want to. Or unless I need to be saved from the horses (ha ha).

The beautiful part of how life changes your reading habits, though, is that when I move to my little farm shack in the middle of nowhere, I’ll have new places to read. Also, I have a niece and a sister-in-law who both love to read, too, so maybe we can exchange good books ever so often. Who knows–we might even start our own book club right on the edge of the mountain. I’m sure the new experiences I have there will absolutely reflect in the 2016 reading log. I have plans to pick up a Farmer’s Almanac and a Gardener’s Almanac next time I’m in the Dollar General store in town. And, beyond that, there’s a discount store in Beckley (about 35 minutes from me) where I can pick up as many books about flowers and plants as I want because they’re really cheap. I’d love a book about flowers so I can learn about which ones are the easiest to grow and which ones need what because I do have plans for a white rose bush and roses are not things I know a lot about, although I’ve always loved white roses (among other white flowers, I also love the white moonflowers/Datura).

bookThere are a few crime fiction novels I plan to read this year, though, and they’re already sitting on my nightstand. AND, I do have some drama, history, and romance novels sitting in my shelf, waiting on me to give them some attention. First, though, I have a book filled with the love letters between Lucrezia Borgia and Pietro Bembo. The book is called “The Prettiest Love Letters In the World” because they truly are. I’ve already taken a peek at them.

scandalsAnd, of course, it’s January 3rd, which means I’ve already read a book this year. It’s was called “Treasury of Royal Scandals” and it was published some years back, but still such a great read. Books aren’t like food–they don’t ruin after a while. They stay great. I’ve learned that there is also a book out there called “A Treasury of Great American Scandals,” which I’d like to add to my collection, too. The author, Michael Farquhar, has many books out I’d like to snatch. Seriously, where has this guy been all my life as a reader? “Treasury of Royal Scandals” was brilliant. It was a great way to start the year, in my opinion.

I’m curious to know how everyone else feels on the subject of changing tastes in books. Is it just me? Do the rest of you change tastes every now and then? I can’t imagine I’m the only person on the face of the planet who sometimes switches from medieval kings and queens to cyborgs and werewolves.

 

2013 Television

2013 will probably be a pretty exciting year for me because I’ve actually allowed myself to enjoy a few television shows.  I haven’t gotten into this big of a tizzy about television since I was 9 and discovered Luke Perry on 90210.  Here are the shows I’m looking forward to in 2013!

BORGIA– Not “The Borgias” on Showtime.  Borgia features every single horror you could possibly imagine ever actually happening in history.  Before the mafia, there was the Borgia family–and that’s not just a gimmick.  It’s true.  Life was brutal for them, but more brutal for those who got in their way.  The Borgia family, headed by patriarch Rodrigo Borgia, handled their social climbing by any means necessary, including (but not limited to) a never ending string of murder and betrayal.  Rodrigo, practically seething to become the next pope, is absolutely depraved in his climb to the top.  Depraved, but also (for some strange reason) lovable. If you want more information about the Borgia family, Wikipedia’s article on the odd but addicting bunch is here. 

Some say the actors in Borgia are not as good looking as the actors in the crap Showtime series, but I’ll debunk that rumor quite quickly.  I give you exhibit A, Cesare Borgia:

Ohhh, Cesare.  If only you didn't have such a thing for your sister.

Ohhh, Cesare. If only you didn’t have such a thing for your sister.

Also, exhibit B, the rest of the amazing cast:

Borgia full

Keep in mind that Lucrezia Borgia was not all sweet and innocent.  On Showtime they do a decent job of portraying her as a damsel in distress who just has to have a smirk when she does something naughty.  In Borgia (the good one), Lucrezia is portrayed very much like every other young lady in those times until she’s thrown into the world of politics and then she really begins to show her strength and her true ruthless character.  I hate to say it (since history tells us that Lucrezia just loved to poison folks for the hell of it), but I love her.

Lucrezia

Lucrezia Borgia

The new season of Borgia starts soon, but I’m not altogether certain when. I’m sure I’ll be gushing about it the moment I find out.

NBC’s DRACULA–

JRM

There is very little information about this show, but it is said to start sometime in early 2013.  The cast is also very nearly a mystery, however we do know that Jonathan Rhys Meyers will be none other than Dracula himself.  Now, when I first saw him spout out the infamous words “I’m the King of England!” on Showtime in his portrayal of Henry VIII, I thought to myself, he really outta be a bloodsucker… And now he is! I should make my wishes and thoughts known much more often. Now, my absolute love for JRM aside, I have to admit that this is going to either be absolutely epic or a total flop.  I wanted him to be a vampire, but I have a hard time seeing him as Dracula.  We shall see what happens there soon enough.

So, that’s pretty much all I’ve got for ya.  I know, right.  Total ripoff of a post lol.  Actually, I loved the BBC’s version of Being Human, too, but my favorite vampire is no longer on the show and it got dull for  me after about the fourth season, so I’ve abandoned it for now. I may watch more later, but not until after the second season of Borgia and the first season of Dracula are completely watched.

Which shows are you interested in this coming year?  I hate that there is an absolute lack in proper entertainment these days.  I hate reality shows with a passion! Yeah, so you won’t find Honey Boo Boo on my television set any time soon.