December CMLE book group picks

'Cozy Cabin', United States, Wisconsin, Phillips
Get cozy in December with our Goodreads books!

If you have some time over the weekend, and have already finished up our November book group selections, we present – for your reading enjoyment – our December books!

In our CMLE Librarian Professionals discussion group, we will read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.

In December, our Monthly Topic is stress management, and this book can be a way for you to get a handle on that. And we all start thinking about New Year’s resolutions as we get closer, so this book can help you to focus some of your energy on thinking about happiness goals!

Gretchen Rubin spends a year thinking about happiness, and how to make her already pretty-good life better. This was a NYT best seller for two years, and if you read it when it first came out, you might want to give it a re-read with some new perspective. She followed this up with several other books on happiness, and strategies for making your life happier.

She and her sister also create a weekly podcast with tidbits of advice on happiness-building activities you can take on. After I listened to “Podcast 91: Delete a Soul-Sucking App” I deleted Twitter from my phone, because it was making me upset to read my feed – but I couldn’t stop myself from spending time following every distressing discussion. I have to say I was much happier afterward!

I have picked up several other useful tips on increasing happiness – a very worthy goal in my eyes – from the podcast, and from the Happier series of books from Gretchen. If you have not explored in this area, try out her first book (this one!), or follow her blog, or listen to the podcast. See if consciously thinking about happiness strategies can make you happier this month! Tell us all about your experiences!

In our CMLE Librarians Enjoying Books discussion group, we are reading “The Strange Library” by Haruki Murakami.

December is a hectic month for everyone, so we want to be respectful of your time and give you a quick book. At 96 pages, this is the shortest of Murakami’s books translated into English from his native Japanese. (“What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” is also pretty short, but not much information on librarians!)

If you have not yet read any of his books, you have an interesting adventure ahead of you! If you have already delved into the somewhat surrealistic world he creates, you will find many of his typical images here: sheep, cats, jazz, whisky.

This is not a library you would aspire to for yourself, but sometimes it’s good to get out there and try some new ways of thinking. Holiday times can be a challenge for everyone, so breaking up your traditions (and traditions of holiday-induced stress!) with an interesting and odd little look into a new world might be just the thing to inspire you to enjoy your lives and your holiday traditions!

Have you read other Murakami books? They are nearly impossible to describe, but what was your favorite part? Were there books you particularly liked? If this is your first time in the Murakami world: welcome! There are adventures to be had here, and things to explore.

We are looking forward to hearing your responses!