Resolutions, Schmezolutions ...

As posted on my Facebook page this afternoon: "Starting off the new year with a sinus infection does not motivate one to work on one's manuscript. Especially when flannel sheets are calling one's name."

It's difficult at best to come up with anything remotely profound when your head is full of ... well, suffice to say I am not firing on all cylinders at the moment. JT and I conversed briefly this afternoon (one of her lines was, you're sick again?), and I vaguely remember telling her that I firmly believed a nap was going to rejuvenate me so that I could get some writing done.

Between the telephone, the WGH and Little Bit coming home from work and school, respectively, and gathering the trash so LB could take it to the dump, said nap has yet to come to fruition. There is, however, a half gallon of Gatorade sitting on the table next to my laptop. For some reason, drinking Gatorade when I'm sick always seems to help me feel better. Maybe it's the electrolytes; that whole hydration is good for the body thing. What do I know? I'm a writer, not a scientist.

I have attempted in the past to make reasonable resolutions for the new year, most of which fall flat somewhere around, oh, February. Weight loss is always a challenge. Keeping the house clean (stop laughing, dear) - June Cleaver, I am not. One "resolution" that I held to fairly well for a couple of years was my attempt to read at least one book per week for an entire year. Fifty-two books in a year seems doable, don't you think? Heh. Have you seen my life? I actually did manage upwards of 35 or so for the two consecutive years I tried that.

I read a lot as a child. And I mean A LOT. My thirst for books has never waned over the years, but the opportunities for quiet reading time were sparse when I was in college, even more so when the kiddos came along. I did read to them, and I am proud to say that all three are good readers. LB is a lot like I was - you rarely see her without a book in her hands.

Fortunately, as my children have aged, my life has started to slow down (and yes, that's a relative term) so that I'm able to read A LOT again. In the past few weeks, for example, I've moved four books from the To-Be-Read pile to the ... er, Done-Been-Read? ... shelf.

Jennie Bentley is a friend of mine, a lovely woman and a writer I love to read. Her third DIY mystery, Plaster and Poison, is just as darling as the first two in the series. These are the kinds of books I like to read when I need something fresh and fun, light and zippy but still holds my interest with a well-written puzzle to solve.

A coworker lent me a Nicholas Sparks, whom I've not read before (I know, gasp). I'd heard differing opinions on his books, some favorable, some not, so The Lucky One surprised me. I'm a sucker for a happy ending, and although this one had a bit of a tragic twist, it satisfied my requirements quite nicely.

My sweet friend and fellow writers' group member we affectionately call Dingo gave me a book to read as a "gift" for our annual Christmas party, and I was delighted to discover that it was by an author I was familiar with - Christi Phillips - having done a review on her second book, The Devlin Diary, in a previous life.

The gift/loan was Phillips' first, The Rossetti Letter, and it was every bit as enjoyable. I'm becoming a huge fan of historical fiction, and Phillips' books combine modern-day mystery with historical romantic suspense for a fast-paced, sexy story. And I actually learned some things.

One of my top picks of 2010 is a book I mentioned back in October, The Miracle of Mercy Land by another friend, River Jordan. This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read (and I'm not just saying that because I know the author). The pace is perfect, the story riveting, the prose flows with grace and a hearty helping of Southern charm. Really. You have to read this book.

Currently on my nightstand is another loaner, a book called The Map Thief, another of those that combines modern action with historical settings - in this case, two different scenarios set in disparate time frames. It's early on in the reading yet, but so far it's not too bad - we'll just say the jury's still out.

So, what are you reading?

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