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Indulgence versus Resolution

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

The new year usually brings resolutions, resolutions that sound like a good idea on January 1, but ideas one may not be so enthusiastic about by February and as the weeks of the new year move forward. So, I am taking a new approach this year. I am focusing on indulgence instead! “Indulgence?” one might ask. After the holidays with copious consumption of savory and sweet foods, beverages and holiday mirth? Yes, I have decided to indulge myself! But not with holiday goodies. Rather, I am indulging in books. No matter if the weather outside is frightful, or sunny, I am going to cozy up in my little cottage with many pots of tea and my lovely gifts of throw blankets and furry slippers, and read away.

My first indulgence is reading a book I anxiously ordered before the holidays and then didn’t have the time to read. “The Christmas Pig” by J.K. Rowling. I ordered this book when it first came out last fall, but life swamped me and here the book sits, calling my name. Why wait until next Christmas? I am going to indulge in one more Christmas story and read it in January. The story is about a boy and his most prized and beloved toy gone missing. With the help of his other toys in the search, will this be a magical journey?

I also impulsively made a Kindle purchase of a series of six books for the fabulous price of $2.99, written by Ava Zuma titled “The Sunshine Cove Cozy Mysteries.” The reviews are in the middle range. Some people like the characters better than others. With light reading, I give a wide berth to the authors and try to sit back and let them entertain me. They don’t have to be brain surgery deep and the stories and characters don’t have to wow me. Just bring me to an interesting new place. And if these do, I may just read all six books straight through. The Amazon blurb says that their setting is South Africa, the cuisine unusual and tasty, with some danger involved along with amusing situations as the characters try to solve numerous mysteries. I think I can easily relax into this genre for a few days.

Then there are all those Lillian Jackson Braun stories sitting on the shelf across the room. I have all 29 “Cat Who” books about Jim Qwilleran and his two extraordinary Siamese cats. There is something soothing and relaxing about this series. If you have not read them before, give them a try. And if you have read some or all and enjoyed them, why not read them again?

Which brings me to “Midsomer Murders.” I binged on watching all 128 episodes of the 22 seasons a while back and I loved them. I enjoyed Barnaby and his wife Joyce and the idyllic, but it seems rather dangerous villages that surround them, with murders in every direction. The new 23rd season is supposed to be coming out in 2022, to continue the story that Barnaby’s cousin John took over with his wife Sarah and their daughter Betty. While waiting and before or after your own binge of watching Midsomer, check out the actual seven Midsomer Murder books by Caroline Graham, beginning with “The Killings at Badger’s Drift.” It is fun to compare the books to the episodes.

After the debut of the Harry Potter 20th anniversary “Return to Hogwarts” which aired Jan. 1 on HBOMax, I am now feeling the need to not only watch all the movies again, but re-read all the books as well. As a Harry Potter fan from the first book published in the United States in September 1998, and anxiously awaiting each new book as it came out, Harry Potter remains my all time favorite series of any genre and worth a read any time. One might think that is an indulgence as well, to read the same books over so many times one needs to buy a new set because of the wear and tear on the first. So be it.

Sometimes it is good to indulge oneself, whether it be tastes of the tongue or indulgences of mind and soul. One might be craving more substantial reading fare than usual, or one might need to lighten up a bit and just read for the joy of reading. Indulging is giving in to something that a part of your mind tries to talk you out of with a myriad of excuses and warnings. Don’t listen if your choice is a safe one. Shut out that voice and reach for those books you have put off reading for whatever reason. One final note…as the year 2021 wound down to its last day, we heard the news of the sudden death of Betty White, which gave me pause. I truly wanted to send out my book review on indulgence and skip the resolutions. But I have decided at the last minute that I want to resolve to “be like Betty White” in 2022. Her kindness, her love and caring, her joy and humor seems a worthy endeavor for this new year. Join me? Both in book indulgence and “being Betty White” to all you meet in the days to come? Happy New Year!

Good books. Good reading.

*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.