I just updated my goodreads.com list with the latest book that I finished. I had set a goal of reading 62 books and I did it, there were books that got read in a couple of days and there were books that took me a while. I traveled through these books to Australia in the Light between the Oceans (and winced as a mother for both women in that book), I went to Norway and Sweden and realized yeah that idyllic life the media here keeps telling us about - not so much - there are violent and bad and good and oh yeah people are people everywhere even with an exorbitant tax rate and universal health care. There were the times I cried for the senselessness of wars (Iraq Yellow Birds and Homefront or Vietnam The Things they Carried) and the survivals (Argo and Unbroken). "Oh my " trips to the red room - spank me now - and crazy twists with "Gone Girl" - still shaking my head from that ending. Rediscovering Somerset Maughan and travelling through the 20s (Chaperone) and the past/present (11/22/63) understanding that even if you could stop a terrible event it did not stop other terrible events from happening. I went and cried again for the Kennedys (Kennedy Detail). Learned about how misinformation if said enough times becomes religion (Swerve and Under the Banner of Heaven and even Red Tent) or reality though it is false (Panic Virus). Spent time in a "Lifeboat" and "Running the Rift" in Africa. Took myself through journeys of survival with my son in the I Survived books. I learned about the greatness and absolute imperfection of Robert Moses.
All those and some that just reminded me of love and humanity and laughter. It was a very good year for books.
There was lots of Frank Sinatra (who was in books and music) and rediscovering Jackson Browne. I danced along and sang too loudly in my car that "We R Young" and twirled my imaginary phone cord of my princess phone (back to teenage years) while I too swore with Taylor that "We are never getting back together" - EVER!! There was Ray ( who never leaves my mind or my music). There were old artists and new songs and lots and lots of fun sharing these with the boys. Of course there was so much Adele that at some point if that had been a record there would have been scratches...never mind I'll find someone like you.
There were movies - lots of them animated and some of these better than the not animated ones (and did I get a kick out of thumb ring, tattooed Santa in the Rise of the Guardians). There were plays that left me with tears of laughter in my eyes (Nice Work if you Can Get It, Anything Goes) and those that left me with tears (Death of A Salesman). There were plays that left me well slightly more turned on than any of the 50 books (Venus in Fur - nothing like seeing nothing and envisioning it all).
There was Homeland -- umm really a break no you do not need a break as I need to know now how Carrie and Saul are going to handle this Brody issue (or is there an issue ? did he do it? ooooh I need more). There was Downton Abbey with it's lovely house and pull - sexy and oppressed at the same time. Madmen where is there anytime one cannot have a cocktail and "zou bisou bisou" everyone let's get it on 60s. Guilty pleasures in American Horror Story - ok it's just Dylan McDermott that I watched for whatever.
It is often said that these pursuits of books, music, art, movies, tv ...well they are useless, frivolous, a waste of time...but I argue they are not. They are part of what makes life special and I appreciate being able to have the stolen moments to squeeze these in...they take you away and bring you back slightly changed - they are the soundtrack to your moments and most of all these things are what made 2012 memorable.
Happy New Year and I cannot wait to travel more with my earbuds on in 2013