Out of This World

This week’s book is a page turner…because we can’t always be focused on self-improvement. As a person who loves words, I have been an avid reader all my life. In my younger years I held to a reading program that included four types of books: one on self-improvement, a biography or autobiography, a non-fiction on something I wanted to learn about, and a page-turner for fun. Sometimes I could get through all four books in a month, sometimes over a couple months, but I kept to that cycle to remain balanced. (All work and no play makes me dull, but nothing but play makes me a hedonist, so strike a happy balance!) 

red moon wallpaper

This week’s book is a page turner…because we can’t always be focused on self-improvement. As a person who loves words, I have been an avid reader all my life. In my younger years I held to a reading program that included four types of books: one on self-improvement, a biography or autobiography, a non-fiction on something I wanted to learn about, and a page-turner for fun. Sometimes I could get through all four books in a month, sometimes over a couple months, but I kept to that cycle to remain balanced. (All work and no play makes me dull, but nothing but play makes me a hedonist, so strike a happy balance!)

This year I am embarking on a more ambitious reading program: the Reshelving Alexandria Bonus Reading Challenge. I choose 52 books on specific topics and try to read those 52 books in 52 weeks. I started a week early and am choosing many titles from my personal library to keep the cost down, but I am on book 5 in the second week. I figured spring and summer might slow my reading down, so I opted for starting strong. We shall see if I am able to complete the challenge, lol.

You don’t need to adopt such a formal program, but I do want to encourage you to become an avid reader of many genres.  Life Hack suggest ten reasons why reading underscores a healthy life. Included are mental stimulation, pleasure, stress reduction, memory growth, knowledge gained…and the list goes on. Reading is good for you, my friend!

On that note, let me suggest a good read. This fulfills my book #17 (I am obviously not going in order) in my reading challenge—an epistolary novel. I had to look that up—it’s a book with sequential entries as in a diary, a memoir or log entries. I love a page turner, so I chose The Martian by Andy Weir. If you saw the film, you really need to read the book. It’s not like picking up a two-ton tome of War and Peace. It’s a short read and it does contain some profanity, but a hero leaps out of the pages.

Our hapless hero, John Watney, is stranded on Mars. How will he survive? We learn he has a delightfully wicked sense of humor. He is handy. He is creative. He is upbeat. These character qualities make the character someone to emulate in real life. If I can be upbeat, creative, full of laughter and get things accomplished, I can be a mini-heroine in a very dark time in our world. I think that’s a great goal to set for myself.

As you read his log entries, you realize that he becomes the hero as adversity falls upon him. He is injured and left for dead. He faces setbacks and dilemmas that might have squashed other characters. He grows by virtue of having to grow. Are we not all in that same boat? Rather than succumbing to each misfortune and letting it destroy him, our hero picks himself up by the bootstraps and rises to each occasion. So, too, may each of us as we bear the misfortunes of life.

We live in a tumultuous time. We all know it, so there’s no reason for belaboring the point—but we don’t have to be victimized by the events transpiring around us. We can rise above our circumstances in small ways that make us great. This is the legacy of The Martian.

This year I am embarking on a more ambitious reading program: the Reshelving Alexandria Bonus Reading Challenge. I choose 52 books on specific topics and try to read those 52 books in 52 weeks. I started a week early and am choosing many titles from my personal library to keep the cost down, but I am on book 5 in the second week. I figured spring and summer might slow my reading down, so I opted for starting strong. We shall see if I am able to complete the challenge, lol.

You don’t need to adopt such a formal program, but I do want to encourage you to become an avid reader of many genres.  Life Hack suggest ten reasons why reading underscores a healthy life. Included are mental stimulation, pleasure, stress reduction, memory growth, knowledge gained…and the list goes on. Reading is good for you, my friend!

On that note, let me suggest a good read. This fulfills my book #17 (I am obviously not going in order) in my reading challenge—an epistolary novel. I had to look that up—it’s a book with sequential entries as in a diary, a memoir or log entries. I love a page turner, so I chose The Martian by Andy Weir. If you saw the film, you really need to read the book. It’s not like picking up a two-ton tome of War and Peace. It’s a short read and it does contain some profanity, but a hero leaps out of the pages.

Our hapless hero, John Watney, is stranded on Mars. How will he survive? We learn he has a delightfully wicked sense of humor. He is handy. He is creative. He is upbeat. These character qualities make the character someone to emulate in real life. If I can be upbeat, creative, full of laughter and get things accomplished, I can be a mini-heroine in a very dark time in our world. I think that’s a great goal to set for myself.

As you read his log entries, you realize that he becomes the hero as adversity falls upon him. He is injured and left for dead. He faces setbacks and dilemmas that might have squashed other characters. He grows by virtue of having to grow. Are we not all in that same boat? Rather than succumbing to each misfortune and letting it destroy him, our hero picks himself up by the bootstraps and rises to each occasion. So, too, may each of us as we bear the misfortunes of life.

We live in a tumultuous time. We all know it, so there’s no reason for belaboring the point—but we don’t have to be victimized by the events transpiring around us. We can rise above our circumstances in small ways that make us great. This is the legacy of The Martian.

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