The weather is changing and no matter how much we would like to ward off the snow and cold, it just isn’t going to happen. The kids have been back in school for a while, routines have been developed, and most of us are hoping the winter won’t impact our lives too much.

However, the reality is that we will probably spend at least part of the winter holed up in our houses trying to stay warm. I always suggest a warm afghan, cup of flavorful tea and good book to help get through the down time. This year I’m going to suggest making winter an up-time and starting something new.

How about checking out “100 No-Equipment Workouts” by Neila Rey and starting to get fit before surrendering to upcoming holiday indulgences. This book claims to provide easy-to-follow home workout routines with visual guides for all fitness levels. The “all fitness levels” is the part that caught my eye. I think I’ll look at the beginning routines and see if I can handle some of them.

I was asked by a patron to add “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo to our collection. She had heard about it on a talk show and I can see why it has received so much press and been on the New York Times best seller list. It’s small; it will not take long to read. It answers the question of, “Why can’t I keep my house in order?” then recommends discarding, tidying by category and storing your things to make your life shine. (I want this advice to work at my house.)

Maybe you want to take home the “Smithsonian Picturepedia” and share a few pages each night with your kids. They will love looking at all of the cool photos of prehistoric animals, inventions, aircraft and magic. They will have fun and everyone is sure to learn something new.

Upgrade your language skills by borrowing the Merriam Webster’s Compact 5-language Visual Dictionary. If you know a little Spanish, French, German or Italian, this should help you add a few more words to your repertoire.

Prepare yourself for the time when you, a family member or great friend has to deal with a medical issue. “The Patient’s Playbook: How to save Your Life and the Lives of Those you Love” might turn out to be one of the best books you will have ever read.

Any of these titles might prove to be a great read for you this winter. However, I won’t mind if you take my alternate advice and curl up with a comfy afghan and warm cup of tea and read some lighthearted fiction.

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