Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back At 2016

The past few years, I've been posting a long survey looking back at the previous year. I'm not doing that this year. I don't have it in me. 2016 was not a great year for me. Real life could have been better. Besides the personal stuff, I keep looking at world news. I look at the upcoming leader of the US, I look at polar bears, I look at Aleppo. Everything makes me feel like the apocalypse is getting closer and closer. I'm worried for my children. I'm worried about the world they're growing up in, which I thought was going to be better than the world I grew up in. Isn't that how things are supposed to go?

Okay, I'm going to stop talking about this stuff. Before I start rambling about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds and start crying.

Instead, I'm going to use Goodreads' handy infographic thing and look at the wonderful stories I read this year. 

I can't embed it, so I screenshot the top. Little Dorrit certainly was a long book. It was quite good too. Hard to Get is a short story, so I'm not surprised it was the shortest book. Though on Goodreads Heir of Fire is the highest rated, I think I liked Crown of Midnight better, which I also read this year. I am not surprised that The Little Prince is the most "popular" book I read this year. It's a classic and that movie came out, which I haven't seen yet; the book broke my heart a little. I really do like this Year in Books, I like looking at the stats. It gives me a moment of happy reflection.

Getting an image of all the books didn't look quite right since I would need to zoom out a lot and then the books would look tiny. Instead, I screenshot my books from the 50 Book Pledge.

I read a lot of graphic novels this year... and romance too. There was a lot of science fiction and fantasy. There were a lot of exciting stories. For reading, it was a good year.

There were other good things about the year too. My children turned 7 and 5. They're doing well at school. One of my best friends got married in a magical forest wedding. My baby cousin got married (she's not a baby anymore) in a gallery. So, a lot of good things, good moments that I'm grateful for. I'm just hoping for more of them in 2017.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wishing everyone the best for the holiday season, and hoping for the best in the new year!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Blast from the Past #9 - A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

Ten years ago, I shared my favourite poem, A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal, by William Wordsworth. It's still one of my favourite poems. It's up there with The Raven (which I will blog about soon, I think) and Rime of the Ancient Mariner. A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal doesn't tell a story the way the other two do, but there's mystery in it. It's a beautiful, haunting poem, so Romantic in its evocation of emotion. I remember studying it in school, trying to unlock its secret. Sometimes, that make me like poems and stories less, but with this one, I just loved it more.

So, here we are again:

A slumber did my spirit seal; 
I had no human fears: 
She seemed a thing that could not feel 
The touch of earthly years. 

No motion has she now, no force; 
She neither hears nor sees; 
Rolled round in earth's diurnal course, 
With rocks, and stones, and trees. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rogue One

Wow. I don't know if I really have the words to explain how I feel about Rogue One. It was a fantastic movie. Admittedly, it took me a minute to get into it. Not just the prologue bit, but after the first sequence. Maybe because I kept thinking of Luke Skywalker's beginning and his family's farm. Maybe it was something else. Maybe I was waiting for more connection between the little girl and the rebellion. When it came, it was great.

I loved Jedha though. Everything that happened was amazing, not "good", but interesting, engaging and giving you a deeper insight into what the Empire was capable of. Because Rogue One was dark. It was war. There were battles and losses. So many. Too many for these people. The characters were amazing. Jyn Erso, Cassian, Bohdi, K2 and all the rest. They had fears, hopes, dreams. I wanted a happy ending for all of them.

I really like how they made Rogue One into its own story, but still connected it to the rest of the Star Wars films. It wasn't just what Jyn, Cassian and the others were doing, but seeing familiar characters, getting glimpses of what they were doing when we weren't seeing them in the previous films, I think was really important. There were some surprises there too.

The end hit me hard though. It was so emotional. I didn't know how to feel. I wanted things to be different, but they couldn't be. Even though it's not what I wanted, I think it had to be that way, to keep the story going, to even add meaning to that first Star Wars film. Rogue One was everything it should have been. I am eagerly anticipating the future Star Wars stories.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Blast From The Past #8 - Beautiful Lies

Apparently ten years ago in December I only blogged twice. A bit different from how my blogging habits grew, so it was a little unexpected. In the first half of the month, I read a book called Beautiful Lies, by Emilie Richards. I seemed to have had mixed feelings about it. It was a romance novel, that based on the previous post, I thought was okay. There were unexpected things that happened (apparently), and I always like that. Beyond what this post says, I have zero recollection of this book. I still own it, it's on my shelf, but if you had asked me before today I had read it, I might have said, no.

So I looked up the synopsis of the book and that is what I remember. I remember reading the synopsis and thinking it sounded kind of interesting and that I would give it a try. I think there's a boat in it too...

Do you remember every book you've ever read? I've read a lot, and I like to think that I at least vaguely remember what I've read. Some books I remember more than others, but if I've enjoyed it, the story aught to leave some kind of impression. Right? Though it would be hard to come up with a book that I have read, but forgotten.