New Year, Do Nothing

The refrain “new year, new you” is a popular one around the first of the year, exhorting you to fix bad habits, set new resolutions, and generally get your life in order. Maybe it’s time for a change; maybe it’s time to read some books that help you focus on the joy and purpose of doing less. (Sure, this anti-resolution is still a resolution, but I like that it’s less focused on demonstrable achievement). Here are a few books to get you started.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
Called “a field guide to doing nothing (at least as capitalism defines it)” by her publisher, Odell starts by looking at how pervasive technology leads to 24/7 availability, which feeds into an expectation of constant productivity. How do you step back, divert your attention, and reclaim your right to do nothing? Odell has some ideas, as well as examples of how she has done it in her life.

The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl
In this reflection on leisure, and more specifically on daydreaming, Hampl examines the ways in which quiet reflection feed the soul. Behind her own life of wandering and wondering, Hampl visits the homes of great thinkers of the past (Witman, Montaigne, Gregor Mendel) to reflect on how they wrote about and made use of often-solitary reflection. Continue reading “New Year, Do Nothing”

Holiday Reads for the Rest of Us

To get into the holiday spirit this year I’ve been cranking up the Christmas tunes, decorating the Christmas tree, and drinking hot cocoa while watching Home Alone, but when it comes to books I need something a little less sparkly and bright. I like to read realistic fiction – nothing against a good cozy mystery or a holiday themed romance, but I enjoy the struggle of real life in my reading. It helps me recognize what I’m thankful for and helps me feel less alone if I’m having a hard time. Here are some fiction reads, for however you spend the season, to bring some empathy, understanding, and maybe a little chaos.

Disgruntled: A Novel by Asali Solomon: “Kenya is teased mercilessly by her Philadelphia grade-school classmates for her Kwanzaa-celebrating family’s odd ways—and they don’t know the half of it.  Her father preaches “black anarchy” as the volatile leader of the Seven Days, a group he and Kenya’s mother, Sheila, who grew up in the projects and who supports her family as a librarian, has pulled together. Preternaturally observant and mordantly funny, Kenya is a hypnotic narrator coping valiantly with an increasingly bewildering life.” (Booklist) Continue reading “Holiday Reads for the Rest of Us”

New Year’s Resolution- To be More Eco-Friendly

~posted by Selby

With a new year come new year’s resolutions. Whether you want to learn to carve wood, invest in the stock market or create a will, the library probably has something to help you. One of my resolutions is to be more environmentally friendly. After reading the first two books below, I was inspired to give up as much plastic as I could and look for other ways in my life to reduce my impact on the Earth. Here are some books that will help if you have the same New Year’s resolution as I do.

Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles by Michael SanClements and Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Feinkel are great books that will open your eyes to the ubiquity of plastics and some of the potential hazards to being in such a plastic laden world. Both books discuss the history of plastic, how certain types can harm our health and give ideas about how to lessen your use of stuff. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolution- To be More Eco-Friendly”

Romantic Wednesdays: Just Like Starting Over

By Jessica W.

Every year, January comes around and we make resolutions. Find love, learn a new language, go to the gym, we try to give ourselves a new start, a fresh page with the beginning of a new year. Some of us go farther than others when we want a new start—we don’t just start a new habit, we try to start a new life. In these romances, that new life comes with a new love. One of the things I also love about the starting over trope is that the hero or heroine also has to forge platonic relationships, giving the novels a big cast of characters to get to know in addition to the hero and heroine.

It's in His Kiss in the Library catalogThe Inn at Rose Harbor in the Library catalogTalk Me Down in the Library catalog Continue reading “Romantic Wednesdays: Just Like Starting Over”