I did get four books read! They were:
- The Man from Bejing by Henning Mankell was a nice, cross continent mystery with action taking place in Sweden, China, and even western Africa. I love a good Swedish mystery in the winter time, but this one kept you in the know for most of the story, and you knew half way through the book who the killer was and the motive, you were just hoping the main character would put it all together.
One thing that annoyed me was how naive Birgitta Roslin, the protagonist, was. She was smart and kept her wits about her for the most part, but she did some stupid things, like randomly asking strangers in Beijing if they recognized the picture she had of her prime suspect for a mass murder. I may just be a cynical American but this seemed like a bad idea on so many levels- like first off, the odds are minuscule that anyone will recognize the man in the picture so it's probably a waste of time, and if they do, then what? And, if they recognize him, it's probably not because he's a fine, upstanding citizen known for doing good. She also gives out her contact information to everyone and their brother, and spills her guts about looking for a killer to random strangers, but won't tell her husband she was mugged. It just didn't really make sense to me.
- Dear Mr. Darcy by Amanda Grange, which was a retelling of Pride and Prejudice via letters many of the characters write each other. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Due to the fact that it gave more dimension to Willoughby, Georgiana Darcy, and even Mary Bennett. It was quite enjoyable.
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown has been on my radar for quite a while, and I am glad I finally read it. It was more about living a whole-hearted life, than about letting go of perfectionism, although I guess if you're a perfectionist than you need to let that go in order to live a whole-hearted life. I am not a perfectionist, but it did really make me think about a lot of the things I do in my life, and make some resolutions on things that I need to change.
- The Cozy Life by Pia Edberg was a Christmas gift from a friend and is all about living a happy life with less based on the Danish concept of Hygge. Hygge is kind of like minimalism but it also involves nature, entertaining friends, good food, hominess, and being content. I kind of picture it as practical minimalism. I was happy to see I was already practicing a lot of the concepts, but it encouraged me to do more. It's very practical and if you're new to the Hygge concept, I'd really recommend it.
- The Cozy Life by Pia Edberg which has already been read
- Daily Rituals by Mason Currey is all about what different artists did to prime their creative pumps. This was from a friend who I frequently discuss creativity with and it should be an interesting read. Each artist is featured over one or two pages and just thumbing through it has proven interesting.