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The New Year and the promise of new books

If reflection is one of the pillars of the New Year ritual, resolution is the second. Some embrace the turning of the year by reflecting and writing for days to capture the passing year, then, as the midnight hour approaches, tilt their thoughts toward the ensuing days full of resolve and brimming with new ideas, promises, dreams, and lists of actions accompanied by vows of fulfillment. Others confine their nod to fleeting moments from the past and drifts of dreams for the future.

I don’t have any further to look than the stacks of books surrounding me to find an obvious promise to keep: new books to be read, digested, and often reviewed and opined. I’ll just mention a few:

Exuberance: The Passion for Life by Kay Redfield Jamison is among the top books because of a lifelong interest in creativity and the pursuit of life full of passion. Jamison seeks to define this “abounding, ebullient, efferescent emotion.”

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield, Cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series is not far behind because, as a writer, I have been intrigued by the success of this author and editor who has over 60 best-selling books with over 80 million copies in print in 39 languages and hold the Guiness Book world record for having seven books on the NY Times Bestseller list at one time.

The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media and Technology Succes of Our Time by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed because the rise of Google and what it has meant to me as a writer intrigues me, as does Google’s new play in the world of copyright law and the impact it will have on writers in this new and growing digital age.

Leonardo da Vinci by Sherwin B. Nuland because the book combines a favorite writer with an equally favorite subject and because I’ve been a fan of Nuland’s ever since I read his bestselling How We Die.

An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain by Diane Ackerman because she is probably one of my most favorite of contemporary nonfiction writers, and I have enjoyed her work ever since reading A Natural History of the Senses, a book I highly recommend for anyone but particularly for those interested in writing.

Master Class in Fiction Writing: Techniques from Austen, Hemingway and Other Greats by Adam Sexton because I always seek to learn more about writing and because I love to read books on the craft of writing.

The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Work edited by Marie Abana because reading about writers is yet another passion of mine that was first nursed on the famous interviews found in The Paris Review. Here gathered in one volume are fifty of contemporary literature’s voices.

Here’s to a year full of reading and writing and a life full of passion, I say and lift my full champagne class toward you. Now, what is on your mind for the new year?


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