Stack of old BooksI’ve never been a strong proponent of New Year’s resolutions.  In the past, I’ve thought about the usual:  eat better, exercise more.  But in 2015 I resolved to read more.  This is a commitment I can always return to — it’s not like if I break my resolution I might as well give up.

As an English major and once upon a time literature teacher, I surprisingly read few books.  I get a daily newspaper — the old-fashioned way, at my door — and I get way too many magazines (really, how many different ways to prepare chicken do I need to know?)  Neighbors have asked me to join their book club, but I have always declined; I just didn’t need the pressure of a deadline and I wanted the privilege to choose what I read.  So off to the library!

A year ago I decided to write down the titles of the books I read, and much to my surprise, I read 29 books, a definite improvement.  It’s interesting to look over what I read:  an interesting selection of fiction and nonfiction.  I began with An American Cardinal:  the Biography of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a fellow St. Louisan who is now the Cardinal at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.  He’s a powerful man with a delightful sense of humor whom I have had the pleasure of meeting.  Maybe I’ve shaken the hand of a man who is selected pope some day!  The year was off to a good start.

From my sister-in-law came the suggestion of The Scavenger’s Daughters (Kay Bratt) and I enjoyed that so much that I read the follow-up, Bitter Winds.  Seeing the movie Still Alice inspired me to read the book (by Lisa Genova), and then I devoured her other three.  I read some best sellers:  The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins) and Go Set a Watchman (Harper Lee).  Others had a St. Louis flavor:  The St. Louis Arena Memories (Patti Smith Jackson), Molina (Bengie Molina with Joan Ryan), One Last Strike (Tony LaRussa), and Try to Kiss a Girl by native Kevin Killeen.

I really need to re-read Should I Fire My Doctor (Patricia Sulak, M.D.) to get my fitness and health goals back on track.  Pastel School  (Hazel Harrison) inspired me to explore the chalks I’ve bought.

I enjoyed reviewing my 2015 selections, a nice mixture of fiction and non-fiction, serious and light.  I now feel less intimidated by my local library, although I feel sorry for the authors that end up on the bottom two shelves — I just can’t bend over that far to browse!

My latest book is one someone loaned me (but said she wasn’t hinting):  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Marie Kondo).  Hmmm, do I want to spend 2016 cleaning or reading?  Easy choice!