Library Column for December 15, 2023

@ Your Library

It is the middle of December, only ten days until Christmas. Are you taking care of your physical and mental health as the end of the year rolls around? Reading daily can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Reading can also be an important part of brain health.

We have lots of great reading materials whether you want to read about the holiday, winter or escape to someplace warm at least in your head. I finally got around to reading Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir and found it fascinating to explore the science fiction world he has created. It is amazing to think about whether or not we could put aside differences long enough to battle an outside force threatening life on the planet.

I often find science fiction reading hopeful. It helps me imagine a future when there are days, I’m not sure we have a future. We often seem bent of destruction of all we all hold dear. I am looking forward to reading the new Murderbot title by Martha Wells System Collapse. I hope to get to Micaiah Johnson’s books The Space Between Worlds and Those Beyond the Wall yet this year as they explore identity, privilege and belonging through multiverse travel.

Do your holiday traditions include reading any favorite books every year? I re-read a lot of my Christmas favorites including The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas by Madeline L’Engle and the very cute Wombat Divine by Mem Fox. I also like two Pearl S. Buck stories, Christmas Day in the Morning and The Christmas Ghost. We usually watch “Holiday Inn” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” sometime during the holiday season. To me, it’s also a time to try and finish a few books, maybe some last-minute Christmas gifts and of course I usually add a jigsaw puzzle to the mix. And baking…I bake more than I should but not as much as I want, a happy medium, right?

I am also on the lookout for best of lists. I love reading the lists even if I don’t add many titles to my TBR list. The New York Times has published their top 100 and top 10 list, NPR has put out their 2023 Books We Love list. Many of the authors whose blogs or other writing I follow have released their best books of the year lists. I always find one or two titles that I haven’t read that sound intriguing.

I still haven’t read Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, it has been too popular and not sitting on the shelf, but I hope I can read it soon as well as The Wager by David Grann, the author of Killers of the Flower Moon (the book really was better). I tend to wait and read bestsellers or locally popular books after the buzz has died down as I always have plenty to read and those books don’t need my help keeping them off the shelf, but sometimes it is hard to wait.

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