This is my first post of 2014. I thought that it would be on politics but besides Liz Cheney dropping out of the Wyoming Senate race, nothing is happening; or I should say nothing has changed.

The Republicans are still trying to bring down Obamacare, this time through Eric Cantor’s Obamacare security bill.  Mitch McConnell is being his usual obstructionist, hypocritical self.  Ted Cruz is still Canadian and still in love with himself (although a lot quieter, thank God). Meanwhile, John Boehner continues on his quest to grow some balls, a journey he began in December when he told off tea party Republicans, and one he is pursuing on the road called immigration reform.

So, since there’s not much happening on the political front, I’ve been paying attention to other areas in my life, like reading an actual book, as opposed to just reading news articles in order to write for this blog.  I am currently enthralled by The Goldfinch, Amazon’s Editors’ #1 Book of 2013. It is a page-turner and just what I needed. I didn’t want to start the year with a slow read considering that I’m already taking it way too slow on my decision to return to the gym. This is the book’s description found on Amazon:

Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother….he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works…The Goldfinch…combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense…It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

It has been a long time that a book has grabbed me so thoroughly and so quickly (from the very first page). So let my first [written] opinion of 2014 be that this book is a definite must-read. That’s if you don’t count my previous comments about McConnell, Cruz and Boehner as my first opinions of this year.

Before The Goldfinch, I read The Secret and The Four Agreements. I liked The Secret for its simplicity. Maybe it’s not really possible to get everything that we want through positive thinking. But, even if we only get some of the things we want, it’s worth a try. Besides, it is certainly better to live with a positive outlook than to live in negativity. I loved The Four Agreements for its wisdom. It is one of the best metaphysical books that I have ever read (and I’ve read a lot). The Four Agreements are made with oneself in order to achieve personal freedom:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Words

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally

3. Don’t Make Assumptions

4. Always Do Your Best

On a personal level, I plan to live by them as best as I can. Since this blog is such a big part of my life, I almost made a New Year’s resolution to be kinder towards the GOP in my writings, in order to be in line with the first agreement which encourages the “use of the word in the direction of truth and love.” But I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.

More importantly,  it would kill my blog. You can’t be sarcastic when you’re trying to be saintly, and as Billy Joel put it “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun.” If you agree, then you’re definitely a liberal. Thank God.

I am also thankful that my life so far, in 2014, is a lot about books. So far so good.