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New Year's Resolution

Happy New Year all! Here's wishing for an easier 2022 than we had in 2021. For the first time ever, January 1 honestly feels like a new beginning - and it's not just covid-related. Until now, my life has been ruled by the rhythm of the academic year or the opera season, basically from Labor Day-ish to Memorial Day-ish, making January a sort of halfway point. Not so anymore.

With that in mind I’ve been considering whether to make any New Year’s resolutions, “the retirement edition.” It might be a way to add structure to days which can happily float by. So I’ve read, listened, and watched others for ideas and considered that possibilities. And I made one. Just one.

This year, I’m going to read 20 books. Yes, I really am. That’s two and a half weeks per book with time to spare. (It helps me to break it down this way.) To some of you, it may seem like a wimpy number, but I want to set a goal that is achievable.

I actually do read a lot - magazines, newspapers (I’m old school) and news on-line but typically only read about five books every year. I keep up with news about books with a thorough reading of various book reviews, so I know what’s out there. It’s just that I don’t get around to reading as many of them as I’d like. And I have the proverbial pile of ten books on my nightstand - sitting there, hoping to be loved. So I’m going to do - limit the news and shift my reading time to books.

When I announced my idea to a friend he confessed that in the last year, he had made the same transition from too much on-line newsy, social reading reading to more books. To get started, he re-read one of his favorite books from childhood, Johnny Tremain. By total coincidence I had just ordered a reprint of the original 1942 edition of The Boxcar Children, my favorite childhood book. It even has the red cover and black silhouette of the four children and the boxcar. His idea rings true so I’m reading my beloved book this week. It’s the launchpad I need.

Thanks to my podcasting friends at “Pop Culture Happy Hour” for the book idea. I'm sure I'll be enriched by it.

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Jan 13, 2022

For a good novel try Colin Whitehead’s “Harlem Schuffle”.

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