A resolution I’m determined to follow
Updated 4:56 pm, Thursday, January 5, 2017
I made only one New Year’s resolution for 2017, because I knew I could follow through. I resolved to read more for pleasure. I made the resolution based on two things: a conversation with our younger daughter, Jeri, this past Friday about all the reading she has been doing on her Nook, and the fact that I’ve been around books in the library of the charter school where I am a teaching assistant/co-teacher, and in the Fairfield University Bookstore.
Jeri called last Friday afternoon while we were driving back to Connecticut from a funeral, and once we were past the routine hellos, she started rattling off the books she had been reading. She sounded so enthusiastic about the writing and content of each — “Girl on the Train” was at the top of her list — we couldn’t get over it. As Jeri explained, once she and her husband had gotten rid of cable TV and the TV, reality set in.
She said she uses her Nook regularly, and the library and is having a great time just reading. I knew she had always enjoyed reading, especially her growing collection of Spanish fiction, but this surge of reading was a pleasant surprise. I offered to send any books she wanted, using my store discount, but she politely declined. “I’d really prefer to download onto my Nook,” she said.
After we hung up, I thought, “Since I’m around books all the time now, I can certainly resolve to read even more in 2017, especially since part of our work at the bookstore is to recommend our favorite books to customers.” I had already suggested three in the last half of 2016: “All the Light We Cannot See,” by Anthony Doerr; “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” by Garth Stein; and “The Ice Dragon,” by George R. Martin (Game of Thrones). The plots couldn’t have been more different, but each book was a wonderful read.
And in school, we’ve read with our classes “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by the late Harper Lee; “The House on Mango Street,” by Sandra Cisneros; and “The Diary of a Part Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie. Since “Mockingbird” has already been recommended, I focused on the Cisneros and Alexie books. Both relate to diverse cultures and the issues facing those cultures.
Just before the holidays, our students were offered additional book choices; “The Other Wes Moore,” about two men with the same last name, who grew up in poverty in Baltimore and whose lives took radically different paths, and “Speak,” an incredible book about a teenager who was raped and subsequently bullied into silence until a teacher helped her turn a corner. With my new resolution, I intend to finish both books.
In another direction, our great monthly book club is reading “A Man Called Ove,” by Fredrik Backman. Because the book has also become increasingly popular in the bookstore, and I’ve been suggesting it, I started feeling guilty about not having read it yet. Since I only have until the 14th to complete the read, I will have to pour on the steam in the next week to finish the book.
Meanwhile, each Sunday when we at the store change books on our
But I have added two novels to my list: Nicholas Sparks’ “Two by Two” and Colson Whitehead’s “Underground Railroad.” And I just picked up “A Dog’s Purpose,” one of several books by Bruce Cameron. On the nonfiction side, I plan to read the new Bruce Springsteen autobiography, “Born to Run.”
I am also pleased that my dad is back to reading, and I just sent him the large-print version of the
I intend to make this resolution work, so feel free to check in with me in a couple of months so I can update folks on my reading efforts. Meanwhile, I have a lot to adjust on my already full plate, but I am optimistic. And I’d welcome new title suggestions from any of my readers.
Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his “In the Suburbs” appears each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.