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First Book of the Year, 2016

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Quote of the Day: I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.
― Dorothy Parker, The Collected Dorothy Parker

Happy New Year to you! What a great away to start a new year, with a new book, or two, or seven. Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey blogger, invited her readers and friends to send her a picture of the first book they’re reading in 2016. Confession, I have already started three books! I don’t usually do that, but here’s the story. I technically started reading Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time Dec. 1, but I’ve only read the first chapter. She made her novella, Larger than Life, available to her readers, for free, as a thank you. It’s a prequel to Leaving Time, a story set in Africa and the illegal hunting and poaching of elephants. I read it on my way to and from a college visit with my son, the singer. (The Biker Chef drove!) I’m already connected to the characters. I didn’t continue reading the book at that time (you get the first chapter at the end of Larger than Life) because I was already reading a book, and it was Advent, a time of much preparing and events on the calendar! 

The book club I joined is reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo for their January read. I had a free credit on my Audio books, so I downloaded it and listened while I relaxed in a warm bath after all that holiday prep. Although I won’t make it to the book club meeting this month, I wanted to read (listen) to this book. It had been on my radar after the church ladies at our knitting session talked it up. Also, I really liked The Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, also set part in India, and part in California, about a girl who is adopted, a sad story, but good. I especially like listening to these books because the reader is excellent, and it helps to hear the foreign names read out loud.

And, finally, the book I started actually reading is Mitch Albom’s The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto (I noticed in Sheila’s picture collage that someone else is also reading this one.) My son, the senior singer, picked it out for me and gave it to me for Christmas. He was so excited for me to read the description. The narrator is Music! How lovely. And, yes, I was hooked from the opening letter to the readers from Mitch Albom, and the first chapter. The way Music describes itself is in harmony with my own feelings.

Luckily, I’ll have a chance to dig into these books in the next two weeks as the Biker Chef and I are taking a little trip. I said, “I don’t need anything more than that. I’m happy with toes in sand, book in hand.” As you can see from the picture below, there are many more books stacked up and waiting to be read. I have more on the shelves upstairs, and in the living room, and on the list for the book club, etc. etc. etc. I might need more vacations on sandy beaches to get through them all. Ha! I also like cozying up on my favorite reading chair on those cold winter nights. And, I can listen to the audio books while walking and cleaning house.

Mary Aalgaard and some of the books she'll be reading in the New Year.

Mary Aalgaard and some of the books she’ll be reading in the New Year.

May the New Year be filled with lovely words, great friends, and a few grand adventures.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What is your first book for the New Year? What are you watching, or listening to? Where do you like to read?

  1. Lovely piece, Mary. And such a thoughtful gift from your son. I almost always have 3 sometimes 4 books going at once: usually one each in non-fiction, poetry, fiction, and sometimes a mystery. My first 4 books for 2016 are: The Best American Travel Writing 2015; Geraldine Brooks’ The Secret Chord; Pablo Neruda’s The Captain’s Verses; and Cara Black’s Murder in the Rue de Paradis. Thanks for asking. And Happy New Year!

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