I’m visiting my family in Michigan for a few weeks, which means a lot of lovely relaxing time to read. (When my brother and I are not watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which we are completely obsessed with.) The ground is already covered in about 4 inches of snow here, with big fluffy flakes continuing to fall all day. It’s perfect reading weather.
I’m re-reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog. This book felt so important and incredible when I first read it in 2009, and I decided it was time for a re-read, to see if it still ranks among my favorite books I’ve ever read.
I am also reading an ARC of Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve loved Gretchen’s previous books on happiness, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. So far, Better than Before is just as insightful, and holds a lot of wisdom and research about how to successful build habits. I’ll post a full review closer to publication, which unfortunately we have to wait until March for.
I’m listening to several audiobooks right now, switching between them depending on my mood. One is Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, which pours out more truth and soul onto every page than almost any book I’ve ever read. Another is This Time Together by Carol Burnett, which is a bit lighter, and it’s very fun to listen to Carol Burnett tell you stories while you’re driving or cooking dinner.
Here are a few things I enjoyed reading on the internet this week:
Farnam Street is always excellent, and my very favorite posts often feature the book lists of smart, successful people. What they are reading, or their all time favorite books, or the books that most influenced them. The lists are always interesting, and there are often some surprises as well. This week, Elon Musk (of Tesla and SpaceX) lists some of the books that influenced him. I loved what he said about one of my favorite books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
“I guess when I was around 12 or 15 … I had an existential crisis, and I was reading various books on trying to figure out the meaning of life and what does it all mean? It all seemed quite meaningless and then we happened to have some books by Nietzsche and Schopenhauer in the house, which you should not read at age 14 (laughter). It is bad, it’s really negative. So then I read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy which is quite positive I think and it highlighted an important point which is that a lot of times the question is harder than the answer. And if you can properly phrase the question, then the answer is the easy part. So, to the degree that we can better understand the universe, then we can better know what questions to ask. Then whatever the question is that most approximates: what’s the meaning of life? That’s the question we can ultimately get closer to understanding. And so I thought to the degree that we can expand the scope and scale of consciousness and knowledge, then that would be a good thing.”
I want to take a leisurely nighttime bike ride down this magical illuminated bike path inspired by Van Gogh.
Last but not least, I have my eye on baking these Pumpkin Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies next week, from Joy the Baker.