Shelf Life for December 2019

Books Read
None (sort of)

Books Bought/Found/Given To Me
The Bermuda Triangle by Charles Berlitz
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The 37th Parallel by Ben Mezrich
The Accidental Buddhist by Dinty W. Moore
The Genius of Impeachment by John Nichols
A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry
Lincoln, Vol. 1-3 by Carl Sandburg
Communion: A True Story by Whitley Strieber
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Akashic Record

Before I get started on the latest edition of Shelf Life, I’d like to take a moment and share the ad I’ll be placing in various publication, as well as the seediest corners of Craigslist:

AVAILABLE TO TERRIBLE HOME
ONE (1) YEAR, BARELY USED
TAKE IT TODAY & GET 354 FULL DAYS
WILLING TO TRADE FOR BETTER YEAR OBO

Anyway, on to looking at how 2019 ended in terms of my reading life.

I didn’t get any books read last month. I came close, and I gave myself a couple extra days at the beginning of this month to finish what I had on my nightstand, but it didn’t happen. So those books will show up here in a month or so.

The books I added to my collection in December mostly arrived early in the month. Dec. 1, to be exact. 

My wife and I were taking the scenic route home from Connecticut after Thanksgiving, and we stopped by the incredible Green Mountain Books in Lyndonville, VT. This is exactly the sort of bookstore you can never go in if you plan on not buying anything, as the shelves are filled with so many well-curated selections.

Carl Sandburg’s three-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln is a perfect example of this. There are various versions of Sandburg’s work, including single-volume collections. I had the biography on my list of books to get “someday,” and I didn’t go to Green Mountain Books expecting to leave with it. But then I found the trade paperback versions of all three volumes, with their incredible, pulpy covers, and that was that. I picked them up and brought them home.

I also found Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me and John Nichols’ The Genius of Impeachment, both in very gently used condition. They were added to the buy pile, as well. 

The real treat of the day, though, was finding a library edition of The Bermuda Triangle by Charles Berlitz. This is the first-print, hardcover edition from 1974 (the year I was born). The same version I got super-obsessed with in fourth grade. Obsessed to the point where I was gently scolded by my teacher because she wanted me to read a variety of books, rather than the same one over and over.

I disagreed at the time, but she was right. A wide variety of authors and genres makes for a more enriching reading (and writing) experience. So good on you, Mrs. Cota.

My “research” book pile continued to grow in December, too, as I picked up The 37th Parallel by Ben Mezrich, Whitley Strieber’s Communion, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Akashic Record. I’m getting some new writing projects underway as 2020 begins, and I picked up these books for a better understanding of the subject matter I’m tackling. 

I’m interested to see what 2020 brings to my reading life. I’m hoping the rough ride of the past week and a half isn’t a sign of things to come, and I also hope you all have an excellent year.

What did you read in December? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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