We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
—E. L. Pierce
Happy New Year!
As always, I welcome the New Year with open arms and lots of plans and projects—here’s what you can expect to see at Sly Wit in 2014.
Books: The mantra for books this year is “Keep it simple, stupid!” with the general goal of getting back some focus and limiting my tendency to multi-read. Therefore, my annual book challenge for this year consists of one book: War and Peace. I first began this classic as part of my first book challenge in 2010 and got about 300 pages into it during my 2012 challenge, but then I quit my crazy job and my life in general got a bit derailed. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it both times so I figure the third time’s the charm.
Part of this new focus means keeping up with my Goodreads reviews. As I mentioned in my year-end round-up post yesterday, I was particularly bad at doing that this past year, mostly because I did a lot of multi-reading and endlessly renewed books at the library. To try to break out of that habit, I am accepting the TBR Triple Dog Dare and pledging to read only books in my TBR pile until April Fools Day. This includes the aforementioned War and Peace, as well as any remaining books from last year’s TBR challenge that strike my fancy.
Film and Television: With a new cinéphile in my life, I anticipate many more film write-ups in the months to come. The posts in my Film 101 series consistently seem to be among the most popular, so I hope to continue them with a closer look at Japanese cinema in the spring and horror films in the fall. I’d like to do westerns too, but I have a feeling that might be a bit too ambitious.
Of course, January and February are usually chock full of movies anyway with my annual Oscar blitz taking up most of my spare “culture” time. For once, I have actually already seen a number of contenders in the acting categories and am looking forward to the nominations announcement more than usual.
In television, I am most looking forward to the return of Sherlock. As Comcast recently encrypted all channels here, and I no longer get any broadcast TV, I’m hoping Hulu’s deal with the BBC means we’re getting it at the same time as the PBS airings. In the meantime, I’ve been re-reading the stories and watching the incredible Russian series from the 1980s, which is available on DVD from my local library (I highly recommend these 11 episodes if you can get your hands on them). You can also catch the “Many Happy Returns” teaser below:
Later in the spring, Orphan Black will premiere its second season. And I’m hoping that we’ll see the return of The Bletchley Circle sometime in the fall, if not earlier. As for blogging all this television, I’d say it’s highly unlikely unless some new reality show appears on the horizon.
Performing Arts: The spring will be fairly light on performing arts as my first full year as a freelancer meant I needed to tap into my savings more than usual and therefore did not get subscriptions to either the San Francisco Ballet or the Lamplighters (although I hope to snag last-minute tickets to see Die Fledermaus in February) this year.
Of course, I still have Showboat and La traviata at the San Francisco Opera this summer and eagerly await the official 2014-2015 season announcement. I very much hope that The Opera Tattler is right and that the fall will bring us La Cenerentola.
Regardless of what other random musings 2014 may bring, there are sure to be cocktails aplenty!