In 2015, I had done a series where I illustrated new year resolutions for people. While most of them remained more or less similar, what I know for sure is, that for most of us, the same lists still apply and we seem to still be struggling. Take a look at the list above and see if they’re applicable to you as well.
July has begun and I guess it’s a good time to focus on a few of these. My chosen ones are: 1- Time Management, 2- Read more books and 3- Maintain journal habit (sketch more). Of these, I have a set book-reading plan for the month of July which looks like this:
1- Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen: I liked this book so much that it has been over two months and I still haven’t finished it. Not because it’s a big book but because I like it so much that I don’t want it to end and I’m not aware of the history of the Soviet Union and the then social conditions so I end up watching related videos and reading content that explains it. Of course, through this I also came across more books about the Soviet Union but after a while you should be able to realize that you’re just wasting time and you don’t need a Russian food cookbook or a ‘Learn Russian in 30 days’ crash course. You’ve survived this far without learning it, you will be fine.
2- A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka: This book is not what you think it is and it has a really cool cover. Sold.
Here’s how the book begins:
Chapter 1 – Two phone calls and a funeral
Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.
It all started with a phone call.
My father’s voice, quavery with excitement, crackles down the line. ‘Good news, Nadezhda. I’m getting married!’
I remember the rush of blood to my head. Please let it be a joke! Oh, he’s gone bonkers! Oh, you foolish old man! But I don’t say any of those things. ‘Oh, that’s nice, Pappa,’ I say.
‘Yes, yes. She is coming with her son from Ukraina. Ternopil in Ukraina.’
Ukraina: he sighs, breathing in the remembered scent of mown hay and cherry blossom. But I catch the distinct synthetic whiff of New Russia.
Her name is Valentina, he tells me. But she is more like Venus. ‘Botticelli’s Venus rising from waves. Golden hair. Charming eyes. Superior breasts. When you see her you will understand.’
[How did I come across this book? Through an amazing book called “The Novel Cure” that makes a pansophy of books possible.]
3- Tribes by Seth Godin: Just because.
Yes, for now, just these three books. If all goes as planned, next month, I shall get ambitious, adding a few more books.
What to read?
I try to keep things interesting by reading books on unrelated subjects. An atlas and a dictionary are probably the two most interesting books of all time and will never let you get bored. Get both if you don’t already own them and then turn over to some random page and see what you get.
Read a lot of different things. It’s humbling.
You will realize you know nothing and won’t feel the need to argue with people on twitter or in real life simply because you won’t feel knowledgeable enough and will instead open a book and read about an opposing viewpoint instead of being a troll.
You can read at your own pace as long as you’re learning something, getting something out of the book. There’s no rush.
When you read something, share it. It promotes discussion and encourages others to read too. Are you planning on reading something in July? Do share your reading lists or any interesting books you came across recently!