December is so jam-packed with festivals and holidays, you'd think that whoever creates those random observances like Eat a Red Apple Day or Chocolate Cake Day would choose a less hectic time to shine the spotlight on reading. As we hustle and bustle our way through the waning days of the year, how much time do we really have for quiet pleasures? Nevertheless, December is Read a New Book Month. Frankly, I think it would be better to name it Buy a New Book Month as a reminder to put one or two on your gift list.
At the Stiletto Gang, writers and readers don't need a special month to remind us to read a book, new or not. Books are our passion.
While I'm writing, I'll still buy a new book to support a colleague, or to join in on a book club discussion, or for my own research. And I manage to sneak in a few pleasure reads along the way.
My alma mater's book club selections tend to be ones I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own, yet I've learned so much from them. The Yellow House, by Sarah Broom, won nearly every award for non-fiction memoir in 2019. It's a remarkably honest and moving story of what it meant for one family to grow up poor and Black in New Orleans. We also read Island of Sea Women, by Lisa See, a meticulously researched historical fiction set in Korea between World War II and present day that follows the lives of truly extraordinary deep sea divers. I learned a lot about Korea and world history from that one.
Our neighborhood book club recently read Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney, which fictionalizes the life of the highest paid ad woman in the 1930's. If you're fond of the era, or Macy's, or New York City, you might enjoy following this witty woman as she meanders through the Big Apple and reminisces.
I hope to read more next year, too. To me, an unread book is a missed opportunity to travel to a new place, meet interesting characters, learn something new, or merely enjoy the pleasure of reading.
With deepest gratitude to all our readers, I wish you a warm December, full of books and love.
Here's to Read a New Book Month!