Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is known for his challenging New Year's resolutions. In past years he has resolved to learn Mandarin, meet a new person every day and wear a tie daily. This year, after collecting suggestions from the Facebook community, he's decided to read a book every other week.
He has invited everyone to join him in this challenge through his A Year of Books book club and to start with the first book, The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What it Used to Be by Moisés Naím.
In The End of Power, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím, argues that power is shifting and changing in many areas of society and moving from large, established organizations to newer, smaller groups. Also, power is also becoming harder to use and easier to lose and the potential for upheaval is unprecedented. Drawing on original research and a lifetime of experience in global affairs, Naím investigates that the struggle between those who had power and the new forces challenging them and explains how the end of power is changing our world.
If Mark Zuckerberg's challenge is not for you, consider joining the Toronto Public Library's Online Book Club, BookBuzz. It's easy to sign up. All you need to do is go to the registration page, pick a user name and password and enter your email address. Watch the short video to find out more.
The BookBuzz book for January 2015 is The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan.
Set in late 19th-century Paris, the Van Goethem sisters find their lives turned upside down after their father's sudden death. Without his income, they may be evicted from their home. With few options for work, Marie and Antoinette begin work at the Paris Opera, Marie is to be trained to enter the ballet and Antoinette finds work as an extra. As Marie throws herself into learning dance, she is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas. Meanwhile, Antoinette, derailed by love, must choose between honest labour and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman.
If you would prefer to add some variety in the books you read, have a look at the 2015 Book Buzz Reading Challenge. This year's challenge is to read 10 books from 10 different categories. These include: a book published in 2015, a book published in 1815, a book about sports, and a book set in your hometown/childhood home. There are 21 categories in total. You can find out what others are reading, and let the other challenge participants know how you are doing through the Challenge discussion.
Keeping Track of Your Reading
If you simply want to read more books that in previous years, try using a website like Goodreads, LibraryThing or Shelfari to keep track of the books you read this year. Goodreads has an Apple and Android app, and their own Reading Challenge. Members can indicate how many books they want to read in 2015 and the website will help record them and will indicate if the reader is reading fast enough to complete the challenge on time.
Need Help Choosing Your Next Book?
Of course, we can certainly help you find something to read! Have a look at some of our recent blogs for ideas (listed below), our lists of Award Winners and Bestsellers, or our We Recommend page. You can ask for recommendations at your local branch or through the Ask A Bookhead service.