Sarah Stultz: Exercising my mind with book resolution

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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I’m proud to say I’ve kept my resolution for the new year thus far of reading at least one book a month.

I’ve always enjoyed reading, but in recent years that hobby had fallen by the wayside amidst the busy-ness of life and other priorities.

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So instead of wasting as much time on social media, I decided I was going to refocus some of my downtime into reading. It can expand the mind, take you to new places, teach lessons and entertain all at the same time.

Since I last wrote about my goal, I have read six books. Some were quick reads that were a couple hundred pages and one was a long one — almost 1,000 pages that I tackled for several weeks.

I’ve found that almost all of the books I’ve read seem to fall into the category of courts and crime, which is interesting considering those are the types of shows I enjoy watching, too. I didn’t start out intending to read only that genre, but that’s what I was interested in.

Some of the books have been mysteries about homicides, where a detective starts with essentially finding out about a death and goes on through a series of events to discover the person who was responsible.

One was about two detectives who refused to give up even decades after a young boy was killed by his adoptive mother in White Bear Lake. It was heartbreaking but captivating all at the same time and was based on a true story.

Most of the books I have read have had ties to Minnesota, where there are references to landmarks or other things that were familiar to me, which was fun to see. One was written by an Albert Lea author who is featured in the newest issue of Albert Lea Magazine.

In addition to the actual books themselves, I’ve enjoyed interacting with fellow readers who have shared their books with me. I have actually not had to go out and search for a book yet as readers and others have loaned me some, which has been awesome.

Right now I’m in the middle of “The Last Juror,” which tells the story of a new journalist who had just bought a struggling local newspaper, who was covering a murder trial. I’m nearing the end of the trial, and hope to finish that book in the next few days.

Also on my list to read soon is the book of the story of Minnesota’s own Jacob Wetterling that was written by his mother, Patty Wetterling, with Joy Baker.

I had the privilege of hearing from Wetterling and Baker at our Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention in January and look forward to reading that, though I know it will probably be one that brings tears.

As I move forward the rest of the year, I hope to also expand the type of books I’m reading. I know there are other captivating stories in other genres, and I’d love any recommendations anyone has.

If you have any must-read books, please send me an email with your favorites to

Thanks to those who have shared your ideas and books thus far, and I look forward to seeing what else I’ll be able to discover.

“It is books that are the key to the wide world; if you can’t do anything else, read all that you can.” — Jane Hamilton

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune.