Wednesday, January 08, 2020
January and the Latest "New Beginning"
Favorites Books from 2019. This is hard because I read so many mysteries and looking back, I don't want to struggle with decisions about favorites. Goodreads lists 177 books that I've reviewed, but I never got around to reviewing all of the books; some are still in draft form, some I may not even bother with reviewing at this point.
The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jacki Morris (poetry and art)
There were so many good mysteries and thrillers this year, even if I don't want to take the time to decide which ones I liked best. I hope to list some favorites each month in 2020 to make it less time consuming to decide on favorite mysteries and thrillers.
Goals/Resolutions. January always seems a little fraught for me because I have the urge to organize and clear out, make lists, make decisions. Probably many of you feel the same urges. Thinking about what you want from the new year can result in long, long lists that seem impossible to achieve, so I'm keeping it simple as far as goals. (Which doesn't mean I won't be checking on the many other things I'd like for 2020 (more patience, less procrastinating, recycle-reuse and be more environmentally conscious, etc., but I won't feel pressured by them.)
I have only 3 easy to achieve goals: 1) renew my yoga practice by just committing to get on the mat every day, 2) walk more, and 3) get out more to do things I enjoy (quit being such a hermit). I've had a successful first week. Fingers crossed on the rest of the month.
None of my goals have anything to do with reading, but I do look at the various reading challenges posted and add books to my TBR list.
Reading Itineraries. I've taken reading itineraries most of my life--sometimes deliberate, sometimes not even realized until some way down the road. After reading about a person or event or place in a book of fiction or nonfiction, I often follow up on that in other books. Mary Tudor as a minor character in a historical mystery might lead to an interest in Jane Gray, or Elizabeth I, or persecution of Protestants, or Philip of Spain. It is kind of a one-thing-leads-to-another thing, but with various digressions to explore along the way. Historical fiction often encourages me to find out more about historical characters and events.
I'm a third of the way through The Idea of the Brain: The Past and Future of Neuroscience by Matthew Cobb, which reminded me of the brain/science/learning itinerary I started several years ago. I read a number of these one year, and then continued to look for interesting books in the category.
The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge
The Secret Live of the Mind by Mariano Sigman
How We Learn by Benedict Carey
The Wisdom Paradox by Elkhonon Goldberg
The Three Pound Enigma by Shannon Moffett
The Vigorous Mind by Ingrid E. Cummings
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
The Intention Experiment by Lynne Taggert
How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
Failing Our Brightest Kids by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Brandon L. Wright
Learned Optimism by Martin E.P. Seligman
The Body Has a Mind of Its Own by Sandra Blakeslee and MatthewBlakeslee
Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Human Mind by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee
Another nonfiction itinerary that has continued for years is a yoga book itinerary. I've reviewed some, but not all of these, and since I took these pics several years ago, I'm not sure what I've added since then. The bottom stack are my favorites from all the piles.
I don't see me buying any new books in this category right now, but several of my favorites bear another rereading, especially since I'm trying to renew my practice this year.
Stitching. I've finished the second panel for 25 Million Stitches, and now I'm darning holes in a sweater and finishing up some UFOs from the last two years.
Listening. To some interesting podcasts while I stitch.
Planning. Next year's garden and enjoying my salad garden. I mean it feels like spring here with temps in the 60's and 70's!