As 2018 comes to a close and we’re looking to the New Year, it’s a great time to think about what we’d like to read and learn in the coming year. Here are a few suggestions to get your 2019 off to a great start.
America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks by Ruth Whippman
Ruth Whippman found herself increasingly perplexed by the American obsession with one topic above all others: happiness. She began to investigate and what she found was a paradox: despite the fact that Americans spend more time and money in search of happiness than any other nation on earth, research shows that the United States is one of the least contented, most anxious countries in the developed world. What she finds, ultimately, and presents in America the Anxious, is a rigorously researched yet universal answer, and one that comes absolutely free of charge.
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
(To be honest, I thought I would not like this book, but I loved it.) Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles? This guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing. Clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro Best-selling novelist and memoirist, Shapiro, delivers her most intimate and powerful work: a piercing, life-affirming memoir about marriage and memory, about the frailty and elasticity of our most essential bonds and about the accretion, over time, of both sorrow and love.
Devotion: A Memoir by Dani Shapiro
Settling into the responsibilities and routines of adulthood, Dani Shapiro found herself with more questions than answers. Devotion is a spiritual detective story, a literary excavation to the core of a life. At once poignant, funny, intensely personal, and completely universal, it is the story of a woman whose search for meaning in a constantly changing world ultimately leads her home.
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
American employers have discovered a new, low-cost labour pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that Social Security comes up short, they have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant labourers who call themselves “workampers.” Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive.
All Things Consoled: a daughter’s memoir by Elizabeth Hay
Getting old is no fun. Caring for aging parents is no fun either. In All Things Consoled, Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning novelist Elizabeth Hay lays bare the last few years of her parents’ lives while moving back and forth in time in an effort to better understand her mother and father and her relationships with them. Hay’s honesty verges on the brutal at times.
A New Purpose: Redefining Money, Family, Work, Retirement, and Success by Ken Dychtwald,
Happiness in life is about more than what’s in your bank account or stock portfolio. Success is more than achieving power and respect. Each one of us has a responsibility for changing the world in a positive, significant, and enduring way—and the challenge is less daunting than you might think. Ken Dychtwald shares inspiring stories of people who have made a difference and points us to resources that will enable us to do the same. All it takes is an investment in head, heart, and spirit. For those of us who find ourselves asking, “Now what?” A New Purpose has the answers.
Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown
A thought-provoking, accessible, and essential exploration of why some leaders (“Diminishers”) drain capability and intelligence from their teams, while others (“Multipliers”) amplify it to produce better results. Including a foreword by Stephen R. Covey, as well the five key disciplines that turn smart leaders into genius makers,
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
(I highly recommend this series as it’s such a hoot to read.) This is the first book in the Flavia de Luce Series. Canadian author, Alan Bradley, delivers a delightful story full of quirky characters and intrigue. It is the summer of 1950 and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.” Be sure to check out the other books in this series.
The Good Daughter: A Novel by Karin Slaughter
“A searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.” Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…Twenty-eight years later, a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized and Charlotte is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever… Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.
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© 2019 Lorraine A. Moore. All rights reserved. Permission granted to excerpt or reprint with attribution.