It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and with any luck, all your preparations are in place for a splendid holiday.
Often, January’s reading list turns into a pile of self-help books. Somehow, we are going to be better, more organized, healthier, more mindful and more focused. We are going to read more and develop new hobbies – we are hopeful.
I suggest taking a deep breath and settling into the idea that you are fine just as you are. I mean sure, we all have room for personal growth and improvement, but really you are likely perfectly fine. Maybe the best step towards self-improvement is self-acceptance. Wouldn’t it be great if we gave the gift of acceptance to others as well? There are a few books, fiction and nonfiction, which just might nudge us along in a positive direction.
When we kick off the new year along with “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Clear, add a great work of fiction to your reading list. “Trust” by Hernan Diaz is on my fiction reading list. The novel, about a financier, spans decades beginning at the turn of the previous century and is told from four perspectives.
I have heard, “The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future” by Ryder Carrol demonstrates a unique way to organize your life and thoughts. This fresh approach requires a journal and writing utensils. As long as you are trying something new and different, you might want to consider reading “The Candy House” by Jennifer Egan, also the author of “The Goon Squad.” Egan is an inventive author who will take you on a literary journey and introduce you to different literary conventions.
“The War of Art,” by Steven Pressfield is a book that helps us to get out of our way. This title makes me think of perspective. Learning about the perspectives of others is a wonderful way for us to experience some internal growth. I am going to suggest, “We Don't Know Ourselves” by Fintan O'Toole, a brilliantly written book about history and personal experience. Wonderfully written and a book to help gain perspective.
Check out these books at your local library or download them from the library’s digital collections.
Gail Hedstrom, Fergus Falls Public Library Director.
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