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January's Reading List - Listen While You Work

I've always been a reader. As I've gotten older it's been more difficult to fit in time to read. I came up with a solution. While I work in the basement workshop the first part of the week, I listen to audio books while I'm cutting mats, mounting artwork and fitting projects into frames. Marshalltown Public Library has a great selection and I pick up whatever strikes my fancy.

Like everything in life, you learn about yourself through simple actions. I never seek out a book. I find what I find and go with it. I don't worry about hearing every word, if I have to run upstairs and miss a few passages, it's okay by me. If I can't get into a book, I move on. I usually check out three or four at a time and I'm happy if I get through a few books in the span of a month. I tend to listen to non-fiction and while I have a few favorite subjects, I mostly want to be entertained.

This month I wanted short, happy stories - it's good to laugh - and I found these altogether on the shelf. I found Carrie Fisher's first and figured I should pay tribute to her since she passed away last year. Then I found Ellen's - I have to admit while I've seen her on TV, I don't think I've ever watched a whole episode of any of her shows; I figured it would be entertaining. Then Maya Angelou caught my eye. I've never read any of her work and worried that it might be too intellectual for me, but worth a try. Well, I am happy to report I completed all my selections and they are back in the library. The stories were great! All three women faced challenges - very different challenges - and figured out how to rise above them. This month I learned about three women I knew very little about and was not disappointed.

I actually read a book as well. The Cozy Life by Pia Edberg describes the Danish Concept of Hygge, pronounced (HOO-gah) and defined as "the art of creating warmth, comfort and wellbeing through connection, treasuring the moment and surrounding yourself with things you love". (pg 3) It was short and sweet, easy to read a good reminder that simplicity can help you achieve a happy life.

I highly recommend audio books. However, the first time I tried listening to a book, I pretty much hated it. It's easy to get confused if there are many characters (I tried a Charles Dickens book and had no idea who was who). You must devote your attention to the story. For me I know to block out the story when I'm measuring, which doesn't take very long. It's great for driving a route you know well (commuters might give it a shot). It's worth a try for sure (for kids and adults)!

As for me I'm addicted to reading again... time to check out a few more books!

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