Call me cheesy, but I’m a sucker for the hit restart notion of the new year. I love taking time to reflect on the areas of my life that I feel need enriching, especially after the non-stop whirl of December socialising/recovering is finished with, and ESPECIALLY after a mud-pie year like 2016.
Too often I end up in the same corner of the book shop, going for the same kind of titles, but this is the time of year to challenge yourself. I’ve put together a broad list to inspire you to expand your book repertoire and pick up some new skills, attitudes and experiences.
One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living –Alice Bamford and Ann Eysenring
“This book will help empower readers to totally reshape their life, with easy, approachable ways to reinvent the way they eat, exercise, and rejuvenate their minds and bodies.”
Great for those looking for a total reset. Just looking at the stunning pages of this book makes me feel healthy – maybe after a few recipes I’ll be biodynamic enough to start my own ranch.
Making Stuff and Doing Things – Kyle Bravo
“From making clothes, to making out, from taking care of your pet, to dealing with the problem of fruit flies, from binding a book to brewing some beer, this book has got everything covered” – Last Hours
For those looking to learn DIY alternatives to pricey fixes, compiled from zines, this book has been called more important than the Bible, and will surely fill some of the gaps in your dusty mind.
How To Steal The Mona Lisa – Taylor Bayouth
“A considered, clear series of attacks on convention and the concept of value. …a work of sublime absurdity.” – Library Journal
For those who didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas.
Copenhagen: 60 Creatives Show You the Best of the City – CITIX60
As hygge and “living Danishly” dominated 2016 – who doesn’t love a lifestyle trend that revolves around pastries, candles and fuzzy socks? It seems like this would be a good year to discover what Denmark is really about. And who better to show you than 60 local creatives, who can take you to the really special spots?
The Global Vegetarian Kitchen – Troth Wells
This recipe book is all about creating international flavours but using local ingredients; Wells encourages responsible consumption without sacrificing flavour.
This is a perfect antidote to the Christmas overeating, and is sure to get your thinking more carefully about the environmental impact of your avocados.
Draw Your Own Manga: All The Basics – Haruno Nagatomo
“Just the right pick for anyone who secretly draws Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! characters on notepads in office meetings … ” – Animation Magazine
Whether you’re a loyal manga reader or an occasional Pokémon Go-er, perhaps 2017 is the year you hone your doodles into masterpieces.
Deceptive Desserts: A Lady’s Guide to Baking – Christine McConnell
“Cinnamon rolls rise as scary serpents… chocolate gelatin squids appear amid seas of whipped cream.” –The Washington Post
Some say cookbook, others say lifestyle guide – whether you’re learning to cook up spooktacular treats for a party or seducing your 5th husband (after your 4th mysteriously disappeared), Ms McConnell has got you covered.
Become a Fat-Burning Machine : The 12-Week Plan – Mike Berland
This time of year is rife with slimming talk, but I much prefer to think of my body as a machine to be fed than a burden that should be shrunk.
Berland’s guide has received rave testimonials from happy burners, and is my favourite kind of dieting regime – a short term one.
Becoming a Supple Leopard – Dr Kelly Starrett
“Learn how to perform basic maintenance on your body, unlock your human potential, live pain free… and become a Supple Leopard.”
This New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller could be your ticket to an agile and painless 2017. PLUS the rad name – the Supple Leopard would be the kind of superhero who would say something hilarious and sassy before supple-ly pouncing on criminals.
Democracy in Chains – Nancy Maclean
“The capitalist radical right has been working to change not simply who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance.”
The time of Trump is now – if there has ever been a time to brush up on your understanding American politics it’s 2017, if only to make some sense of the headline carnage. Get woke, stay woke.
“It is a powerful call for standing up for what you believe in and provides hope in an era of uncertainty and a constructive notion about how to simply move forward.”
With essays from Paul Krugman to Gloria Steinem to Bernie Sanders, among many others, this is a rallying call for those who feel wracked by uncertainty in the wake of the election crisis, and want to get clued up on how best to be of help.
For more fiction ideas for the new year, check out our best reads of 2016.