What I’m Reading- Winter 2024

by Robin Turnipseed

Oh, how I wish I could trust the groundhog. How lovely it would be to depend on a giant marmot for his prediction of this year’s dawning of early spring. However, his past accuracy has left me doubting. For the record, no ill will intended for the groundhog. It is my favorite holiday. I even check in with all the neighboring critters to see if their predictions align.

So, as much as I wish winter were nearing our rearview window, my heart knows there is one last lap on its farewell tour. So, if a snow day is in your immediate future, here are three books to add to your reading list that will entertain you, from watching today’s falling snow to the appearance of those first spring blooms.

Book 1: Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography by David Michaelis

This biography by David Michaelis holds the top spot on this list for a reason. On February 12, 2000, Charles Schulz passed away from colon cancer. The next day, the last original Peanuts comic strip was published. The artist often stated that he believed his beloved Charlie would outlive him. He was correct.

On a personal note, I gleaned many life lessons from Schulz’s work. 

Charles M. Schulz, or “Sparky,” a shy kid from Saint Paul, Minnesota, chased his artistic dreams at a young age when his kindergarten teacher complimented his work by saying, “Someday, Charles, you’re going to be an artist.” However, Charles M. Schulz was more than the man behind the world’s most well-known comic strip. He was a man of great faith, determination, and endurance. David Michaelis’s biography details in-depth the transformation of this timid boy into a man with an enduring legacy.

Book 2: Being Henry: The Fonz…and Beyond by Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler was my first boyfriend. He did not know this because I was five years old. Having grown up on a steady diet of Happy Days reruns, I became entranced with the Fonze and one day ran downstairs to announce to my mother that Arthur Fonzarelli held my heart. I swore we would marry. Again, I was five.

Sorry, babe, but don’t worry, it would’ve never worked out. Motorcycles freak me out.

Ok. now that I have that out of the way, I can address the book, which I knew very little about upon purchase and purely bought out of the sheer pull of nostalgia. However, it ended up being the best book I read last year.

In his memoir, Henry Winkler shares his journey from a poor home life to stardom and how it impacted his view of gratitude and the world around him. From being diagnosed with severe dyslexia at the age of thirty to gaining overwhelming stardom and then struggling to find work after his most famous role to how one moves forward when dreams fade, Winkler delivers an intense amount of vulnerability mixed with a side of wisdom and endearing charm that takes the edge right off and makes this one outstanding read.

Book 2: Celebrate with Babs: Holiday Recipes & Family Traditions by Barbara Costello

I discovered Barbara Costello, or Babs, to her social media family during an Instagram scroll session while waiting for a doctor’s appointment. The message in her video was simple and hooked me immediately. Leading with, “Did your mother ever tell you?” her account tackled one life hack after another, giving guiding insight that only one who journeyed a bit further down the road can provide.

From Christmas to Easter and every holiday in between, Babs invites readers into her kitchen and around her table to share a meal and partake in the traditions flowing through her family for decades. Plus, each recipe and tradition has an accompanying origin story with her grandmotherly encouragement to slow down to take the time to entertain, make lasting memories, and create traditions that are passed down for generations.

 

Now tell me: what have you been reading this winter? 

 

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