So, I thought I would once again do a Shopping-Fast for the month of January. I did NOT, however, give up desserts this time because I saw no reason to be completely uncivilized.
What to do when one is not spending money? Visit the library!
Oh! See that silver travel mug? I got it at Starbucks (in December!!!) so that I could get FREE hot tea lattes for the entire month of January! I'm pretty sure my neighborhood barista does not want to see me again for at least fortnight. But the takeaway here is that only by visiting a Starbucks 5 times a week could I justify spending the ridiculous amount of money Starbucks requires to play their Winter Game. So I did. Visit Starbucks. 5x a week. But I didn't pay for it. Boo-yah to my Frugal January!
*Please note, we use Amazon affiliate links and earn a small percentage of any sales from the books below. :)
Vim told me about this fantastic new (well, new to me!) series called the The Chronicles of St. Mary's by Jodi Taylor. It centers around the British St. Mary's Institute of Historical Research which employs a team of historians who observe historical events in real time. Just don't call them Time Travelers. It's a lot of adventure, what with our noble historians battling time-traveling terrorists, some romance (there are some sexy scenes), and copious amounts of tea. The first book was a jolly good time.
The 2nd book I slogged through was Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. Dr. Walker is a scientist who started his career researching Alzheimer's, was curious how sleep would affect Alzheimer's, and then fell down the Sleeping rabbit hole. So, a whole book on sleep: why we sleep, the benefits of sleep for health, creativity, longevity, weight, decision making, physical performance, and so much more. You might know from a previous post that I'm having sleep issues. I fall asleep, but can only stay asleep for about 5 hours. And then I'm AWAKE! And my mind starts thinking, and I can't stop. I really don't function well on 5 hours of sleep. So, I'm reading this book, totally on board with how important sleep is, yes, yes, I agree 100%, Dr. Walker, and I'm hoping for some answers as to how to sleep better. Unfortunately, Dr. Walker is still working on that. And he is, for sure, against sleeping pills. Well, I have to do something in the here and now, and my little over-the-counter Wal-Sleep keeps me from dozing in a room full of 3 year olds, so I regret that I cannot give it up at present.
Still, this is a great book, really, really interesting. Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "slog" at the beginning of this review, but I very much wanted to read some kind of instruction on how to achieve a better sleep, and it seemed like I read most of the book before I got to the part about how more research is needed in order to figure out why older people don't sleep as well, how to fix insomnia, etc. I do appreciate that this scientist is taking sleep problems seriously, and I have high hopes for some future solutions.
Finally, my favoritest of all: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith. As I was finishing my Sleep book, I kept seeing this one on the table. Calling to me. Lethal White is the 4th book in the Cormoran Strike series. Strike is a private detective in London who partners with the ever-competent Robin Ellacott. These characters are so well written that I'm starting to love them like family. I especially appreciate how level headed both of these folks are - no sneaking into spooky houses and then running upstairs from the villian for these investigators-for-hire. If you haven't read these, start with The Cuckoo Calling.