The January Five

The Five is back to highlight five things I’ve been diggin’ on over the last month.

1. Now is Not the Time to Panic – Kevin Wilson

Wilson’s 2019 book Nothing to See Here is on the short list of my favorite books of the last ten years. I don’t want to get too crazy, but I think I like Now is Not the Time to Panic more.

2. Chris Offutt’s Mick Hardin novels

Upon hearing that I loved the TV show Justified (and Kentucky noir in general), a co-worker recommended Offutt’s The Killing Hills. I devoured it and it’s sequel, Shifty's Boys, in record time. The next book can’t come soon enough. Neither can the new episodes of Justified!

3. Oatmeal

I have a weird love/hate relationship with oatmeal. Long stretches of time will pass where I would rank oatmeal as one of the five most disgusting things in the world. (#1 is - and always has been - mayonnaise. Ranch dressing is also in the top five.) Just the thought of it makes me nauseous. And then, inexplicably, a switch gets flipped somewhere deep down in my duodenum and nothing else in the world will do for breakfast. I don't just want oatmeal. I crave oatmeal. I need it. I will lie in bed at night, staring at the ceiling, and counting down the hours/minutes/seconds until I get to eat oatmeal. I'm in that camp right now and I'm already looking forward to tomorrow morning.

4. Ja Morant

My hometown university is now best known as being the alma mater of one of basektball’s most exciting players. I used to watch Morant dominate the other minnows of the Ohio Valley Conference at the CVSB Center. (Los Portales - the world’s best Mexican restaurant – is across the street in the Lowe’s parking lot.) Now he dominates the big dogs of the NBA. I’m mixing my metaphors, but you get the drift. It seems like Morant does ten incredible things every game and finding clips of his latest highlights has become a part of my morning routine.

5. The North Branch Story Project

Last fall the North Branch did a two month program where we helped a group of kids (and two West Ottawa Elementary classrooms) write their own books. The kids learned about plot and characters and illustrations and, essentially, how to write a book. We had special guests from the library and the community and the whole thing was a big ol’ ball of fun. Each book is wonderfully unique and creative and full of joy and is now available for you to checkout.