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A fun way to start your day

The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder
The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder
By Jill Badonsky

Running Press: 2008

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This review first appeared in the January 4, 2009 issue of the North County Times.

A variety of almanacs out there offer daily inspiration; what sets San Diegan Jill Badonsky's new "Awe-Manac" apart is its focus on creativity.

Subtitled "A Daily Dose of Wonder," the "Awe-Manac" can get a bit New Agey at times, but her daily quotes (coming from sources ranging from Henry David Thoreau to George Clooney, Pearl S. Buck to Stevie Wonder) alone are better than most quotation collections.

Each day in the year starts off with the quote, and then contains other regularly appearing items such as an "Awe-Servances" (some sort of festival or observance on that date, from all kinds of sources), a "Journal JuJu," a Dose of Mirth, and an "Aha-Phrodisiac" – something to get you doing something creative.

The book has a bright, colorful design, with an illustrated cover (almost like a children's book) and lots of primary-color drawings inside. Even the fonts are light-hearted and a bit whimsical, without being difficult to read.

With 365 days to fill out, plus special monthly categories as well, some of Badonsky's entries are a bit of a reach. For May 8, for instance, her "Aha-Phrodisiac" is to write a poem about lost socks, buy a new pair of socks, or go sockless. For Sept. 9, she suggests making a collage that epitomizes the title of an Adam Sandler comedy album.

So not every entry is a winner.

But she hits more often than she misses, and even if some of her suggestions for creativity are a bit on the, well, goofy side, at least the "Awe-Manac" will have you thinking about something other than going to work.