Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Book Reviews | The First Books & 2021 Plans

I began this year with a re-read of Stacy Julian's book Photo Freedom in preparation for the Photo Freedom 2021 online class. I'm currently serving as one of six coaches in this year-long class. This book is an overview of Stacy's Library of Memories system and her approach to photo organization and non-chronological scrapbooking. The book was published in 2008. There has been a huge change in the way we take and share photos as technology has improved in the intervening years, so I'm excited to be a part of the class and to learn how Stacy has updated her system to incorporate new ways of sorting and sharing and scrapbooking our photos and memories.

The beginning of the year is always a good time to read about making changes, so I ordered a copy of Atomic Habits by James Clear when I learned that it was the first Simple Scrapper book club read this year. (I'm not a member of Simple Scrapper but several of my Zoom cropping friends are.) This was a fairly easy read and a good review of how habits work - first there's the cue, then the craving, which leads to the action, followed by the reward. Much of what the author shares is based on research and books by others that I've already read, so I don't feel like I learned anything new. However, it was a good review, and his ideas and examples of how to change habits by making them obvious, easy, attractive, and satisfying were interesting.

I'm planning to work my way through one of the shelves of our paperback bookshelf unit this year, so I pulled out the thinnest book to begin. :) I didn't even realize Miracle on 34th Street had been turned into a book after the original movie until I pulled this small book by Valentine Davies off the shelf. Since we'd watched the 1947 and the 1994 versions of the movie during December, this was a quick enjoyable read.

My other plans for the year include reading books by two favorite authors. Diana Wallis Taylor is an award winning Christian writer that I discovered about ten years ago. Over the past month or so, I've re-read the three books I already owned, but I discovered that she now has nine novels of Biblical Fiction. Each of these novels is a fictionalized account of the life of a woman in the Bible. The additional six books are now on my to-read shelf. Anne Rivers Siddons was a novelist who wrote books set in the southern United States. I've recently re-read the two books I already owned and have added some additional ones to my to-read shelf. I also added a few historical fiction novels (purchased with a gift card I received at Christmas) and several books my sister sent in a recent happy mail package. Here's what the previously empty shelf looks like now.

It's definitely going to be a good reading year around here! What are your reading plans for the year?


  1. That looks like a lot of good reading to me! I recognize a few titles on your shelf, but nothing I've already read. I set my reading goals a month at a time, though I do have a total number I'd like to read this year. Right now, I'm reading library books that I put on hold. They're all coming in at once so I'm going to need to decide which ones to read now, which to return and try again later, and whether I'll purchase one or more of them.

  2. Always appreciate book reviews & recommendations. I had no idea that there's a book of Miracle on 34th Street. The original B/W is my favourite version. I also read Atomic Habits & felt the same, it was a good reminder. I am about to start reading President Obama's book.

  3. American Royals is a fun read. :) The Flight Girls caught my eye - something to do with the women who flew with ATA in WW2?
    Like Mary- Lou, I have Obama's book waiting to be started.

    1. Yes, the Flight Girls is about women who flew with the Women Airforce Service Pilots program (the US program similar to the British ATA).

  4. That's a mighty bookshelf! How lovely to have a 'haul' of interesting things lined up for the months ahead. I've read Atomic Habits, but it was a while ago - I could do with putting some of the ideas into practice :).


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