Last week, while walking through the book store, my eyes fell on the reference section. I've always been a fan of reference books, especially recent releases like Book of Secrets and Schott's Original Miscellany, just because it's so much fun to flip open one of these books, read a few pages, and jam some interesting but trivial bit of knowledge into my brain. It's stimulating, and it always feels like time well spent.
When I passed the reference section last week, I saw this book that was faced out, with an interesting cover and a title that I instantly understood: The Intellectual Devotional. I picked it up to confirm my suspicions, and was thrilled when I read to back cover: "Daily Devotionals have long been a favored tool of those looking for a regular dose of spiritual growth. The Intellectual Devotional is a secular compendium in the same tradition -- one year's worth of daily readings that will refresh the spirit, stimulate the mind, and help complete your education."
I managed to suppress the urge to squee right there in the store, and I went straight to the check-out line. Then I went back to the shelf, picked up the book, and took it with me to the check-out line. Then I bought it. Heh.
The book isn't dated, but is organized by day of the week, so if you bought it today, you could open to the first Tuesday and begin enriching your mind. (This is a good place to start, by the way, because the first Tuesday entry is about James Joyce's Ulysses.)
Every day has a different theme: Mondays are for History, Tuesday is Literature, Wednesday is Visual Arts, Thursday is Science, Friday is Music, Saturday is Philosophy, and Sunday is Religion.
It's a great idea, and if you're like me and crave some sort of intellectual stimulation every day, you'll be really happy to have it in your library. The material is entirely appropriate for teenagers, too, making this a cool gift for those smart kids in your life.