I like to ease into my day with a cup of coffee and more than a few minutes of reading. I try to carefully chose these early morning books. This year I pulled off my shelf The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diaries edited by Irene and Alan Taylor. I used this as a morning reading years ago, but since reading Thomas Mallon's A Book of One's Own (here) my interest in diaries and diarists has once again been piqued. The Assassin's Cloak gathers three or four entries from diaries corresponding to each day of the year. I love reading these random entries from the past. This morning there was an entry from 1849, a couple from the 1930s and 1940s, and one from 1970. I never know who is going to show up. Samuel Pepys? May Sarton? James Boswell? Dorothy Wordsworth?
No mention of Elvis's 80th birthday today, though.
I also will be reading through a book I bought last April when I was in New Harmony, Indiana, entitled Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations edited by Josh Bartok. Since I began the book in April last year I still have wisdom from the first months of the year to savor.
Here is today's from Bhante Henepola Gunaratana:
No matter how hard you pursue pleasure and success, there are times when you fail. No matter how fast you flee, there are times when pain catches up with you.
For a little more early morning inspiration, I am reading a chapter-a-day in Creating a Charmed Life by Victoria Moran and 30 Days to a Simpler Life by Connie Cox and Cris Evatt. These each contain short essays and won't take all year to get through so I will come up with others to round out the year.
For my evening mystery, I stumbled on The Evil Shepherd by E. Phillips Oppenheim which was published in 1922 and was offered as a free e-book by Early Bird Books. It is really more of a thriller and is quite entertaining. Mr. Oppenheim was quite prolific and penned over one hundred novels and many short stories.
And, because I am always on the lookout for tips on simplifying and systematizing, I picked up a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up written by the Japanese home-organization consultant Marie Kondo. She advocates discarding and organizing your entire home in one fell swoop - perhaps in three to six months - instead of tackling one room at a time or one drawer at a time which means you are constantly working against clutter. Do it once, do it right. But more on this book another day.
I am quite happy with my morning choices. Do you have any books in particular that you are starting your day with this year? If so, I would love to hear about them.