Happy New Year!
While the end of an old year often brings memories, reflections, and sometimes, regrets, the beginning of a new one usually invigorates and inspires. People here in the US make New Year's Resolutions (to exercise more, to be kinder to others, to save part of each paycheck, and so on), and some of us even keep them.
Curious, we Googled "new years traditions" and came up with a whole bunch of interesting and informative websites. After reading through a couple of dozen of them, we came away with a list of interesting ways people around the world observe the start of a new year:
Make a lot of noise—fireworks are popular, but so are bells, gunshots, and drum rolls...
Eat "lucky" food: pea soup, doughnuts, rice, bannocks, apples dipped in honey, a dozen grapes...
Give a gift--coins and eggs, coal and silverware are among those mentioned...
Pay your debts, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing, take stock of your life, reflect on the past, and all sorts of resolutions about becoming a better person.
One thing many of the articles we read about observing the beginning of a new year had to do with starting anew. After a certain number of mental twists and turns, that led us to one certain way to do just that while treating ourselves to hours of pleasure: start reading a new series. Or if you've already begun, perhaps it's time to move on to the next installment.
Reading the first story in a series is kind of like making a new friend or moving to a new place, because you know that the people you meet could become fast friendsor bitter enemies. Even better, when you begin reading a new story in the series, it's like returning to a familiar place or meeting an old friend who's come home again.
So whether your choice is mystery, fantasy, or romance, we've got a series for you. Here are the first books in each. Please click on a cover for more about that series.