We’ve been on vacation. Which is amazing. But New Year’s Eve on vacation is always pretty much like any other night. We go out to dinner, and often go to bed before the big event, sometimes hours before depending on where we are.
Tonight we’re having a “movie party.” And after a few nights in a row of watching childrens’ movies, I decided to steal a few moments to blog. Though I do love Annie. I may or may not have watched it over and over and over again as a child. My sister-in-law and I might like this one just as much as the kids.
But what I really have on my mind is books. One of the things I love the most about vacation is uninterrupted time to read. And it just seems fitting at the end of the year to take stock. In looking back I thought I had read more, but I have to admit, watching all the seasons of Parenthood may have gotten in the way just a bit.
Book #17 was One Thousand Gifts. I was skeptical. It sounded like a self-help book, and the author had just put out a devotional, not usually promising for great writing, but was really well done. It definitely resonated and brought perspective. Switch was book #18, on a recommendation from a friend. It looks at change, and some of the reasons change does (or doesn’t) work. I appreciated that it was both practical and also conceptual. The authors practiced what they preach and made the book both entertaining and informational.
Book #19 was a local author, Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. It was the first novel I’d read in a while, and was definitely a favorite. I hadn’t read any Erdrich before, and really like her style.
Book #20, Daring Greatly, was a game changer for me. I’d watched Brene Brown’s two TED talks a few weeks back, and knew I had to read her book. I loved it. It really deserves its own post (and may get one at some point), but is basically Brene Brown’s life work on shame and vulnerability. There is a lot that sticks with me from it, but things that need some processing time. What was really interesting though is how closely it correlated with book #21, Bob Goff’s Love Does. I’ve read both within the last 24 hours, and the similarities are striking. Both books focus squarely on engagement, and what the conditions are that allow/trigger/induce engagement, though they come at it from very different perspectives.
I personally much prefer Brown’s research-based, practical, organized style to Goff’s loose, “whimsical” style. I also think the authors take engagement to somewhat different ends. Again, I personally prefer Brown’s descriptions, and I think what grabs me from her book is the idea that we offer vulnerability in proportion to what a relationship can handle. There’s trust involved. Again, the book could definitely have a post of its own.
I can say I hope I’ll read more in 2013, but I know myself too well. There are probably a half dozen books not on this list that I’ve started and not finished, and I’ll always care more about reading a really good book than reading a lot of them (Quiet and Daring Greatly come to mind). And I’m thankful that in 2012, I’ve read a number of really, really good books.