This is the year: the year that you’ll quit smoking/exercise/finish War and Peace. Sure, you’ve said it before, but this time you’re serious! Good for you! The only true defeat is surrender. The library stands with you against nicotine/heart disease/cultural illiteracy. Here are the books that can help.
Living healthy is a multifaceted lifestyle choice; getting healthy is a multifaceted lifestyle shift. The first step is to get inspired. If you feel like a mile may as well be an eternity when you’re wearing your running shoes, try Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, the stirring tale of people who run not one, not five, but a hundred miles at a time! If the cerebral approach is more your speed, Spark by John J. Ratey will convince you that physical fitness can amplify your mental health, too.
Now that you’re convinced, it’s time to work it! But there’s no reason to spring for an expensive gym membership this year. According to bodyweight trainer Mark Lauren, You Are Your Own Gym! His system is similar to the one that Brooke Siler promotes in her perennially popular Pilates Body. Of course, you may prefer to hit the road after reading all about superathletes. ChiRunning by Danny and Katherine Dreyer will send you on your way with a minimum of injuries and aches.
After all that working out, you’ll want something to eat. Food Rules by Michael Pollan is a good set of guidelines for a basic, healthy palate. Plenty of our readers will also already be aware of Wheat Belly, the anti-bread diet handbook by cardiologist William Davis. Of course, it goes without saying that there are a lot of silly and misleading (and even dangerous) diet fads out there, and Diet Cults by Matt Fitzgerald can steer you away from some of the worse ones.
Learning Something New
Did you know that many scholarships aren’t collected just because nobody tries for them? If you intend to return to school this year, don’t let that sweet free money go to waste! Check out the Ultimate Scholarship Book – and yes, you CAN bring it home with you!
If self-study is more your speed, then the library is your friend. Plenty of us wish we’d learned a little computer science back in college, or at least figured out what Microsoft Access is for. For us, there are Safari ebooks, hundreds of computing and programming textbooks that are free to read online. (You can even send yourself links to individual pages!) But don’t forget about that great book idea you’ve been hanging onto since 2006. How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir can send you off with a quirky, interactive strategy that has worked for countless authors. Then again, maybe your sixth grader is asking for help with math questions that absolutely baffle you. Time to get baking with How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng, a tasty exploration of the math that makes math, math!
Quitting Cigarettes…or anything else
This is the biggie. If you’ve struggled in the past, don’t give up! It can take several tries to quit smoking, but the results are worth it: a longer, healthier life and more money in your pocket. Everyone’s behind you! Alan Carr’s famous system, The Easy Way to Quit Smoking, is a great starting point. There are a number of different approaches, though: Quit Smoking For Life by Suzanne Schlosberg is another tack toward health.
But let’s face it: cigarettes aren’t the only bad habit out there. The Recovery Book contains wisdom for anyone who is trying to buck an addiction. Psychotherapist Richard O’Connor’s groundbreaking book Rewire is another powerful tool in the anti-addiction arsenal, describing how to break out of cycles of guilt and create lifelong change.
It’s a whole new year. Time to make those resolutions into reality!