January 2, 2009

A Resolution for Relaxation

Start the new year right with a resolution for more relaxation time. For me, reading is the best way to relax. It's the only way I can get my mind to let go of the things of this world. A good book provides an escape that even an expensive vacation cannot replace, but it's easy to get sidetracked and not set aside the time for reading when you have a hefty to-do list.

To stay dedicated, consider organizing a book club with a few close friends. Build a fire at the hearth, serve luxurious coffees and teas and just take time to enjoy the opportunity to discuss your reading material with those on the same page.

A Resolution to for Relaxation

Things for your first book club meeting (clockwise from top left):
  • Biscotti, coffee and tea in a small buffet arrangement -- Starbucks & Cookworm.com
  • Casual cream plates stacked near the snacks -- Pottery Barn
  • Invite friends to join the book club with this classic, monogrammed note from Crane & Co. -- FineStationery.com
  • A fire in the hearth and a decorative mantle will help to make the atmosphere more inviting -- Neiman Marcus
  • Make these darling ribbon bookmarks and hand them out as favors -- Martha Stewart
  • An agreed upon book -- Jane Austen novels are always a good place to start -- Barnes & Noble
  • Cashmere blankets to cozy up on the couches -- Neiman Marcus
Here are a few other books that are sure to capture your attention and leave a lasting impression:

The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife follows a Chicago librarian named Henry who suffers from a chromosome disorder that forces him into time-travel unexpectedly. The book presents snippets of Henry's relationship with his wife (who he meets when she is only 6-years-old as the result of one of his episodes). You'll travel with him through the years of their life as he visits her frequently, but not always in yearly-chronological order. A wonderfully unique story that is woven together with incredible talent.

Wuthering Heights
by Emily Bronte

You'll be glad you have a group to help you through this sometimes tragic novel, but you won't regret taking away the lessons you'll find in it's pages. This classic story presents a deeper look into the human psyche and offers a unique perspective on true love.

The Twilight Series
by Stephanie Meyers

(I have to admit I was dead set against reading this much talked about series for fear of being labeled a teeny-bopper, but I'm thrilled that curiosity got the best of me.) Though targeted for the young adult market, this impactful story is quite the page-turner and the refreshing plot about vampires, unexpected love and strong family-ties will touch women of all ages.

The Notebook
by Nicholas Sparks

Perhaps the greatest love story I've ever read. The film adaption was a huge hit, but the book gives you a deeper look into the relationship between the two main characters and completes the story you'll grow to cherish.