If you have been here for previous New Year posts, today's will be repetitive. I don't do New Year' Eve, not in what is supposed to be the traditional way. I have not been out of the house on that evening in – oh, 30, maybe 40 years.
I don't like crowds, drunks, the sentiment, the forced cheer or the damned song. (Is there such a thing as a grinch for New Years?)
All that notwithstanding, I do believe in marking the passage of time and the arrival of a new year is among the better reasons.
My personal ritual is long established now. I cook an evening meal that I don't usually indulge in – something I love that is fattening, unhealthy, expensive or, sometimes, all three - a glass or two of nice wine and a good book I've been eager to read. I am usually asleep long before the fireworks.
This year on the menu are broiled loin lamb chops. In general, I don't eat meat but I make an exception three or four times a year for lamb. Garlicky mashed potatoes with a large mound of roasted broccoli, asparagus and carrot coins will round it out. Oh, and mint sauce, of course.
For two years in a row, my selected New Year's Eve book was by the brilliant British novelist, Kate Atkinson. I've chosen non-fiction this year, and an American, who is no less brilliant than Atkinson, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
I'm a long-time fan from about 2008 when he started writing regularly for The Atlantic online and in the print magazine; he is one of the smartest, most thoughtful people writing today about the black experience (and pretty much anything else).
I have come think of Coates as the successor to and following in the footsteps of great black thinkers - James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hasberry, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Maya Angelou among others. So much so that when Between the World and Me was published last summer I bought it immediately, started reading and somehow it got set aside.
The book has since won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction and certainly must have figured in Coates' selection for a "genius grant" in 2015 from the John D. and Katehrine T. MacArthur Foundation.
So Between the World and Me is my carefully selected year-end/new year book this time.
And what about you? How will you spend the transition to 2016?
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE. I'm looking forward to sharing another wonderful year with the best bunch of readers/collaborators any blogger could have.