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New books for a new you in 2012

By A Contributor

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.  ~Bill Vaughan.  To make a New Year’s Resolution is to be an optimist.

A few weeks of this new year have already passed but 2012 is still merely an infant.  With nearly 350 days left which we can either wisely use or waste, may I suggest a few books to spark your interest in making improvements or changes in your life. Enjoy the quotes from the famous and infamous that reflect humor and wisdom in each of these categories.

To improve intellect

or brain power

Do you feel one taco short of a combination plate or dumb as a fence post?  These books will challenge your thinking and exercise your brain.

“Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything” Joshua Foer

“How to Be a Genius”  John Woodward - Children’s department

“Embracing the Wide Sky: A Tour Across the Horizons of the Mind”  Daniel Tammet

“Brain Power Game Plan: Foods, Moods and Games to Clear Brain Fog, Boost Memory and Age-Proof Your Mind”  Editors Prevention and Cynthia R. Green, PhD

“The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Genetics, Talent and IQ is Wrong”  David Shenk

Self Improvement- We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.  ~Ellen Goodman

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:  To rise above the little things.  ~John Burroughs

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.  ~Oprah Winfrey

“18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done”  Peter Bregman (new book, soon to be available)

“Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your Life Through the 40s, 50s, and Beyond”  Sarah Brokaw

“Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life As You Want It”  David Gershon

“The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and In Life”  Leo Babauta



You weren’t an accident. You weren’t mass-produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman. ~Max Lucado

Glory to God in highest heaven, Who unto man His Son hath given; While angels sing with tender mirth, A glad new year to all the earth. ~Martin Luther

“Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well”  Billy Graham

“Falling Upward: Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life”  Richard Rohr

“Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words”  Brian McLaren

“Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy”  Donald Kraybill

“Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life” James S.J. Martin


Diet and exercise

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.  ~Author Unknown

“Chic & Slim Toujours: Aging Beautifully Like Those Chic French Women” Anne Barone

“21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health”  Neal Barnard

“Carrots ‘n’ Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time”  Tina Haupert,

“Cleanse Your body, Clear Your Mind: Eliminate Environmental Toxins to Lose Weight, Increase Energy, and Reverse Illness in 30 Days or Less”  Jeffrey A. Morrison.

“20 Years Younger: Look Younger, Feel Younger, Be Younger”  Bob Greene

Humor-  A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.  ~Author Unknown

Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve.  Middle age is when you’re forced to.  ~Bill Vaughn

“I Didn’t Ask to be Born (but I’m Glad I Was)”  Bill Cosby

“Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter”  Lisa Scottoline

“Cool, Calm and Contentious”  Merrill Markoe

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)  Mindy Kaling,


Organization and

time management

Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.  ~Jim Bishop

“How Did I Get So Busy?:  The 28-day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule and Reconnect With What Matters Most” Valerie Burton

“One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, The Week-by Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized For Good”  Regina Leeds

“Getting Things Done:  The Art of Stress-free Productivity   David Allen

“The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth and Purpose”  Robert Pagliarini

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.  Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.  ~Brooks Atkinson


Mary Newkirk is an adult services librarian at the Manhattan Public Library.

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