According to the websitestatisticbrain.com, approximately 45 percent of Americans make New Year's Resolutions. The website claims that about 8 percent are successful in achieving their resolution. Not exactly an awe-inspiring figure.
This year, why not try something different? Let the Manatee County Public Library inspire you with "Anti-New Year's Resolutions" You'll feel so much better knowing that these resolutions will be a piece of cake to achieve.
After reading A.J. Jacob's "Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection," you will hopefully be inspired to lie quietly on your couch until the urge to exercise or diet goes away. The middle-aged author, who once described his body as looking like "a python who swallowed a goat," decided to take two years to get his entire body into the best shape of his life. He consulted experts and experimented with a wide variety of unusual workouts and diets. Each chapter focuses on a different body part or system (e.g. the heart, stomach, lungs, back, teeth, feet, nervous system, skin, well, you get the idea). Of course, you may burn calories laughing your way through this book, so be careful.
Homer Simpson never met a donut he didn't like, and you too can enjoy this food of the gods when you peruse books like "The Donut Book: The Whole Story in Words, Pictures & Outrageous Tales" by Sally Levitt Steinberg and "Donuts: an American Passion" by John T. Edge. Steinberg, dubbed "America's Donut Princess" (her grandfather invented the donut-making machine), relates the history of the donut, including recipes and great illustrations. As Homer Simpson himself once said, "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?"
Also check out "SPAM: the Cookbook" by Marguerite Patten for anecdotes, historical facts, more than 20 recipes, and beautiful color illustrations about this iconic food product. Although the jury may still be out on how unhealthy the food is (for example, compared to hot dogs) it's certainly not a health food and therefore might be something you should consider trying.
Procrastinators everywhere -- rejoice. In "Wait: the Art and Science of Delay," author Frank Partnoy extols the virtue of delaying decisions, large and small. Partnoy's complaint is that today's technology exerts pressure on us to speed up our lives, but the results of hundreds of scientific studies appear to indicate that the choices we make actually benefit from delay.
Provocative and counter-intuitive, this book delineates the many ways that delaying our reactions to everyday choices can vastly improve the quality of our lives.
So tear up that list of resolutions (if you actually made one up), drop your gym membership, grab some donuts and spend some quality time with your TV.
And have a happy 2015.
Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday.
Fran Barba is a reference librarian in the Manatee County Public Library System.