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2023 - Where will I go? Who will I meet? What will I learn?

The new year has begun!

The new year has begun! I have made the 2023 heading in my reading notebook. I have carefully numbered the first 52 lines (because my minimum number reading goal is always 52). I have consulted with my sisters and we have created our next list for our Sisters Book Club. When we select a particularly long book we allot two months to read it. For 2023 we have 10 books chosen across the 12 months. That leaves 42 unknowns and that is always exciting to me. Where will I adventure to this year? What will I learn? Who might I revisit? I still need to connect with my best-friend-since-second-grade because we are in the BFF Book Club and we make huge, long, ambitious lists for ourselves that include books across all genres and reading levels. That will be at least 10 more books (for 2023). In 2022 I completed 70 books so I still expect to have approximately 50 as yet unknown encounters with people and places and ideas and stories.

Make that 48 since I have already read A Billion Years, by Mike Rinder and Troublemaker, by Leah Remini. I’ve almost completed a biography of C.S. Lewis and I have a biography of J.R.R. Tolkien about to expire in Libby. I’ve made a good start on The Hobbit and on a book called Between the Testaments by S. Kent Brown & Richard Neitzel Holzapfel. I’ve gotten through the introduction to Ancient Christians by Jason R. Combs, Mark D. Ellison, Catherine Gines Taylor, & Kristian S. Heal. Blown for Good by Marc Headly is burning a hole in my Kindle as I try to get to it and the slog that is Karl Marx: A Nineteenth Century Life by Jonathan Sperber carries over yet again. (No offense to Jonathan Sperber but the subject matter is killing me and he’s done meticulous research.)

This is all very exciting to me! Last year I came across the books of Nassim Nicholas Talib, a money guy by education and a philosopher (now a professor) by dint of his extraordinary brain. I learned a lot about economic systems but I also learned about ‘anti-fragile’ systems and it turned my own outlook on its ear as I saw that, within my own belief system, we are on earth to have an anti-fragile experience. In January 2022 I had never even heard of Mr. Talib. Now reading his books has altered my perceptions and helped me understand my life better. Somehow in my 58 years of life (and what I try to make a robust reading life) I had never read Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. It was SO powerful. How on earth had I not read it decades earlier?! This year I also re-read The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Reading it in my 20s helped me understand people and experiences I had never encountered before. At 20 years old I got on my first airplane and moved to Manhattan. Here I saw Hasidic Jews for the first time and I was curious to learn more. As always, a people and religion that have remained true and faithful for this many millenia inspires me. Now reading The Chosen again, I came to it with my own life experience and with having raised my own children. It was almost like reading a whole new book.

I can’t wait to see what 2023 will bring. What classic have I missed that I might get to experience for the first time? What beloved book will I get to read again and find within yet another layer of meaning? What recommendation will open a whole new universe of people, places, and things? Here’s to 2023 and all the books to come!

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