Since the start of 2014, articles keep finding their way to me about how to keep one’s resolution. One reoccurring piece of advice is to avoid creating a long list of resolutions and instead just focus on one. Well, needless to say, I skipped that tip with the creation of ten resolutions with one having four sub-resolutions. Then there was the extra credit one thrown into the mix.
Those columnists would likely place their money against me, but it isn’t the first time for my being the underdog. Plus, they would probably just shake their heads when they found out there are actually several unofficial New Year’s Resolutions also in the works. The first one showed its face this last week when I ran across The Flavor Bible.
The desire to find a seasoning where salt was not the main ingredient led my searching online for something new to try. The usual ones I already had great recipes for, so nothing was really jumping out at me, but one click led to another until I was on that dangerous site known as Amazon, reading the reviews for The Flavor Bible. Thoughts of developing my own recipes to share on Sundays pranced around in my mind (although truth be told, during the week, I already throw together ingredients to create new meals that are sometimes tasty, like the Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup I made this week, and sometimes not so tasty).
The mouse hovered over Add to Cart, but with a shaking hand, the mouse lowered to Add to Wish List all thanks to the unofficial resolution of my only being able to buy a book after I have finished two unread books already in my collection.
With past lives as an English major, a history major, a cultural studies grad student, an English grad student, and an English instructor, I have built a pretty extensive library of many unread books. Gifts from others (although I really do try to read these), great finds in used book stores, fantastic deals at Borders’ final sales, and a well-used Amazon Prime Membership have led to many bookcases being filled with these seemingly empty promises to myself that I will read these books one day. The story is often the same. Just as I am getting ready to take one off the shelf, another shiny book catches the attention of this classic Gemini.
The unofficial New Year’s Resolution was to tackle this problem of mine, and thanks to it, I read two fantastic books this last long weekend.
The first of the two books was Sean Patrick’s Awaking Your Inner Genius. Publishing this book under a pen name, Michael Matthews, the author of Bigger, Leaner, Stronger and The Shredded Chef, which are two of my recent favorites, took a break from writing books about healthy eating and exercise to compose this great self-help book. What he did was look at key characteristics/virtues of geniuses and then focus each chapter about a certain characteristic/virtue by exploring how a famous person in history exemplified it (some of his picks: Alexander the Great for drive, Tesla for devotion of goals, Elizabeth I for strength of character, Voltaire for honesty). You can find the book here on Amazon (and the Kindle edition is only $2.99).
One of my best friends, Jon, recently sent me the second selection. Sandor Marai’s Embers is a beautifully-written story about two best of friends and a hunt that forever changed their lives. The two friends reunite after forty-one years of not having any contact of any kind with each other, and that reunion is the setting for this masterpiece. The words built magnificent imagery, and there were so many sentences that could stand on their own and be pondered for quite some time. Plus, I read it in less than a 12 hour span of time if that gives you any idea about its power to entrance this reader. It is another book I would highly recommend, and you can find it here on Amazon.
This resolution could possibly be quite the challenge as the semester becomes busier, but for now, I really like the idea of forming this habit that changes what has been simple home decor into life-changing adventures with pages and words while probably building an extremely long Amazon Wish List.