In thinking about the best books I’ve read this year, I realized I had to expand to make it the best media I’ve experienced this year.

First off, my current obsession of Sean Bean, fueled by watching the Sharpe series on BBC America. I still haven’t made it to the last Sharpe, but I’ve watched maybe 10 of them, all featuring Bernard Cornwell‘s fantastic anti-hero Richard Sharpe. Sharpe is honorable, in his way, but he also fights dirty, doesn’t care whom he offends, and looks down–way down–on the nobility.

I’ve been reading the Sharpe series, too, and also diving into other Cornwell books, most notably the Holy Grail trilogy, which begins with Vagabond.

I’ve continued, and continued to love, J.R. Ward‘s vampire series. Lover Eternal and Lover Awakened were both excellent reads, and I already have Lover Revealed on pre-order. Ward writes the sexiest, most tortured vampires, and you can’t help but fall in love with them.

This year also brought two Eloisa James‘ books: The Taming of the Duke, and Pleasure For Pleasure, both of which I enjoyed. James is fantastic at creating situations and dialogue that seem real, regardless of setting, and her characters behave like people you might actually know: Flawed, selfish, selfless, insecure, smart, and wanting to fall in love.

In music, I’ve been rediscovering some way-old favorites, particularly The Jam, a British group that drew on the mod influences of the ’60s to create their brash, abrasive, politically-charged music. The hero of my next Regency-set historical would be a fan of The Jam, if Regency-set heroes listened to new wave. I’ve also been listening to some old James Brown, whose funk is unparalleled. RIP, James.

I’ve also been watching a few (a very few) television shows, especially The Wire, whose plot twists and turns are equal to the most well-plotted suspense novel (no surprise, since authors George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane have worked on the show). The characters of The Wire are equally well-done, and I was very sad to see its season finale.

My seven year-old son has gotten into Top Chef, and dragged his parents along with him, so now I watch with bated breath as a chef gets eliminated–or not–each week.

It’s been a fun year, loving old favorites, finding a few new ones, working on my own writing, and learning cool tricks from music, television, and film as well as books.

Have a healthy, happy New Year, and we’ll be bringing more Risky behavior in 2007.