By Brian Freitag
TASPL Director

Whether or not you set resolutions, the start to a new year often leads to self-reflection. When you take the old calendar off the wall and replace it with a new one, you might look at what goals you completed the previous 12 months and which ones you failed at. You might also set new goals, or look to make a major change that you may have been procrastinating on.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution that you’ve made? I started that process a little early this year, thanks to my mid-December reading material, The Eagle and The Dragon: A Story of Strength and Reinvention by Chris Duffin. Chris Duffin is a record-holding powerlifter. He is also a gym and fitness company owner.

His book, an autobiography, defies stereotypes, however. The Eagle and The Dragon isn’t about losing weight or going to the gym. It is about making those sometimes-difficult choices that will put your life on track to be where you want it to be. It is also about not letting your past or your circumstances hold you back.

When you read my description of Duffin as a powerlifter and gym owner, you probably had some ideas about what kind of biography this was going to be.

I am guessing that those ideas about Duffin didn’t include a childhood living off the grid in the mountains, learning to catch rattlesnakes by age 6; or overcoming a family history of depression and substance abuse; or graduating college with a degree in engineering and having a very successful career in management at automotive and aerospace firms. Duffin’s therapist was surprised that he “wasn’t dead, in jail, or addicted to drugs” based on some of the stories described in his book.

Instead, the reader is given an inspirational text about setting goals and following through.

Rather than just share his story, Duffin wants to give the reader tools to be successful in their own situation. At the start of each chapter he lays out what he hopes you’ll get from the stories covered and then follows that up with ways that you can apply those lessons to your own life. His background is interesting and inspirational and as a result, it doesn’t feel like a self-help book at all. In the end, it will have you thinking about your own goals.

At this point, The Eagle and the Dragon is only available as an eBook via our digital Hoopla service. You can access the book with no wait time using the Hoopla app and your Tahquamenon Library card. However, if you’d like a physical copy, I will buy one for our collection, if there is a demand as a result of this column. Just call 906-293-5214 or email to let us know.

The library has a special New Year’s Resolution display with books that will help you with a new hobby or craft for 2024. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, let us help. We can find books that will guide you on any change that you’re trying to make. We can order in books from libraries across the Upper Peninsula, around the state, or even across the country.

Tell us what you’d like to see at the library in 2024 such as books, movies, programming etc. Drop by the library and share your thoughts or message them via our Facebook page at By “liking” Tahquamenon Library and pressing the interest button on preferred events, you will receive updates on events, new material, closures, and more.

Each year our collection grows, new educational and entertaining programs for all ages are brought in. Help us make 2024 our best library year yet. Take care keep reading!