This & That: January 17, 2023
Happy Tuesday, readers!
I loved getting all your sci-fi and fantasy recommendations last week! Check out the comments from last week’s This & That if you haven’t yet.
I’ve been obsessing over this genre for the last couple weeks and I feel my next reading project coming on. These books don’t get much attention from book critics, and yet they’re some of the bestselling and most beloved books/series of all time: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, A Wrinkle in Time, Game of Thrones, Outlander, and more!
They tend to get written off as escapist drivel, but often contain ideas and insights into the human condition that are just as true as what you’d find in realistic fiction.
Okay, enough about that! This week I have some thoughts on Dry January, a reading list about the power of stories, and a peek at the books my 7.5-year-old is really into right now.
Something I’m Thinking About: Dry January
But now that I’m paying attention, I’m seeing it show up just about everywhere.
Not only are companies cashing in by making non-alcoholic versions beer, wine, and spirits (which generally don’t taste that good, but cost the same amount), apparently sober-friendly pop-up bars have started appearing in major cities. People spend a lot of money on booze; if even a fraction of that cash disappeared, brewers and distillers wouldn’t be too happy about it.
Anyways . . . during the first few days of January, we discovered that an evening beer or cocktail after the kids were in bed had become rather habitual. After experimenting with mocktails and kombuchas for a couple weeks, we realized that the habit was actually the ritual of something tasty as a reward for making it through another day — rather than the alcohol itself.
We’re quite enjoying Dry January and have both noticed a marked difference in our overall energy levels and especially in the quality of our sleep. We’re waking up far more rested than before. After January, I suspect that alcohol will become more of a weekend treat than an evening staple in our household.
What about you? Have you experimented with Dry January? Are you participating this year? Have you seen any benefits, be they short-term or long-term?