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New Years' Resolutions? There's a Book for That

Book Cover United Breaks Guitars

Resolved: To Use Your Voice to Make a Difference.

Read: United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media by Dave Carroll

Songwriter Dave Carroll wasn't the first person abused by an airline's customer service. But he was the first to show how one person, armed with creativity, some friends, $150, and the Internet, could turn an entire industry upside down.

Since "United Breaks Guitars" emerged, nothing is the same—for consumers, for musicians, or for business. Whether you are a guitarist, a baggage handler, or a boardroom executive, this book will entertain you and remind you that we are all connected, that each of us matters, and that we all have a voice worth hearing.

Book Cover Persuasion

Resolved: To Communicate Your Ideas More Effectively

Read: Persuasion by Arlene Dickinson

At thirty-one, Arlene Dickinson found herself stranded. Recently divorced, she had only a high school diploma, no savings and no clue how she was going to feed four young children. But just one year later, she was a partner in Venture Communications. Ten years on, she was CEO, poised to grow the business into one of Canada's largest independently owned marketing firms. Today, as a co-star of the CBC hit Dragons” Den, she is one of the country's most sought-after female entrepreneurs. The secret of her journey from poverty to the corner office” The art of persuasion.
Blending her own frank stories with compelling social science, she explains how to persuade both in the boardroom and in everyday life: the crucial importance of a particular kind of listening; how to get people to buy into your ideas; how to attract followers and deal with naysayers; the art of storytelling; how to turn mistakes to your advantage; and how to seize opportunities where others see only roadblocks.

Book Cover Thrifty

Resolved: To Tighten Your Budget

Read: Thrifty: Living the Frugal Life With Style by Marjorie Harris

Written in Marjorie Harris's trademark witty, engaging, and accessible style, Thrifty is chock-full of simple and savvy tips drawn from her own richly thrifty experience, and those of renowned experts such as bestselling author Margaret Atwood, actor R. H. Thomson, travel writer Sylvia Fraser, and the Globe and Mail Style columnists. With solid tips on how to haggle, how to become a frugal fashionista, maintaining home and hearth on a budget, and practical advice on thrifty gardening, travel, and entertainment, Harris provides essential guidelines to living a quality life on less.

Book Cover Soap and Water and Common Sense

Resolved: To Defeat the Cold and Flu this Season

Read: Soap and Water and Common Sense by Bonnie Henry

In the spirit of bestsellers such as Guns, Germs, and Steel, The Coming Plague, and The Ghost Map, Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an eye-opening account of what ails us. As a physician who has spent the better part of the last two decades chasing bugs all over the world—from Ebola in Uganda, to polio in Pakistan, to SARS in Toronto, to the H1N1 influenza outbreak in Mexico—Dr. Bonnie Henry, a leading epidemiologist (virus hunter) and public-health doctor, offers three simple rules to live by: clean your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and stay at home when you have a fever. It all boils down to basic hygiene.

Book Cover Living Me to We

Resolved: To Live a More Socially Conscious Life

Read: Living Me to We:The Guide for Socially Conscious Canadians by Marc Kielburger & Craig Kielburger

After fifteen years travelling the country and advocating for social justice, Craig and Marc Kielburger became inspired to give you the practical tools to do one world-changing, but not life-changing, act every day. The result is a beautifully designed, extensively researched, and engaging book—just for Canadians.

Laid out with dynamic illustrations and clear, everyday tips, Living Me to We provides easy steps for anyone who wants to lead a more socially conscious lifestyle or who's had even the slightest urge to start. Here are facts and best practices for how to recycle your cellphone, conserve water and energy, make ethical investments, seek out carbon-friendly vacations, and get involved in the community.

Through interviews of Canadians across the country, you'll meet the people in your community who are taking small steps to a better world. You'll also get to know a new side of famous Canadians, such as Margaret Atwood, Rick Hansen, and George Stroumboulopoulos, as they recount their personal tales of lighter living. Finally, a resource guide lists websites, books, magazines, and city-specific stores and organizations to start your own movement.

Book Cover The Power of More

Resolved: To Finally Do the Things You Keep Talking About Doing

Read: The Power of More by Marnie McBean

The Power of More shows readers how to accomplish their goals, big or small. Whether you are a novice runner who wants to run a 10k race, a sales rep who wants to increase market share, or an elite athlete trying to conquer the world stage, you can achieve your ambition by believing in the importance of doing a little bit more.

With humour and insight, three-time Olympic champion Marnie McBean discusses the importance of breaking big goals down into manageable bits of "more." For example, when she decided to run to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto for a fundraising event, she focused not on running all 1,776 steps but on running up one step and then one more. The Power of More is about concentrating not on the more you can get but the more that you can do. Even when you think you're done, you aren't—chances are you have a bit more to give.

McBean discusses the importance of setting goals, the role of communication and teamwork, and the need for motivation, commitment, and accountability. Finally, while she encourages people to strive for perfection, she punctures the myth that we should expect to be perfect and stresses that both confidence and success are the result of preparation.

Check out Julie Wilson's conversation with Marnie McBean on goal-setting, and The Power of More.

Book Cover Menu Confidential

Resolved: To Make Better Choices in the Food Court at Lunch Time

Read: Menu Confidential by Megan Ogilvie

Is movie popcorn really that bad for me? Does a platter of nachos actually have as much fat as 40 strips of bacon?

Packed with information you won?t find anywhere else, Menu Confidential tells the nutritional truths about Canada's most popular foods, from delicious sit-down dinners to quick meals from the grocery store to tasty treats from the drive-thru.

Check out Julie Wilson's conversation with Megan Ogilvie in which terrible truths are disclosed about sodium and pad thai.

Book Cover A Brief History of Anxiety

Resolved: To Understand and Better Control Your Anxiety

Read: A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine) by Patricia Pearson

The millions of North Americans who silently cope with anxiety at last have a witty, articulate champion in Patricia Pearson, who shows that the anxious are hardly “nervous nellies” with “weak characters” who just need medicine and a pat on the head. Instead, Pearson questions what it is about today’s culture that is making people anxious, and offers some surprising answers—as well as some inspiring solutions based on her own fierce battle to drive the beast away.

Drawing on personal episodes of incapacitating dread as a vivid, often hilarious guide to her quest to understand this most ancient of human emotions, Pearson delves into the history and geography of anxiety. Why are North Americans so much more likely to suffer than Latin Americans? Why did Darwin treat hypochondria with sprays from a hose? Why have we forgotten the insights of some of our greatest philosophers, theologians and psychologists in favor of prescribing addictive drugs? In this blend of fascinating reportage and poignant memoir, Pearson ends with her struggle to withdraw from antidepressants and to find more self-aware and philosophically-grounded ways to strengthen the soul.

Book Cover UnDiet

Resolved: To Not to Go on Another Diet This Year

Read: UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health by Meghan Telpner (Coming in April 2013)

Meghan Telpner was never one to play by the rules; in fact, she usually broke them. So when she was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an incurable condition that she was told could only be treated through surgery and a lifetime of medication, Meghan decided to break a few more rules. She gave up her stressful job in marketing, her gym membership, and all the doctors, and began studying her condition, reclaiming her life and health through yoga, acupuncture, nutritional modifications, and herbal remedies. Within four weeks she was completely symptom-free, and remains so six years after her diagnosis.

Through her journey of healthfulness, Meghan—now a certified holistic nutritionist with a dedicated following around the world—has created a movement of vibrant, healthy abundance, focusing not on a life of deprivation and painful restrictions, but one of vitality, mindfulness, and joy. In an accessible, light, and encouraging voice, Meghan takes readers through a program that will transform their lives, small change by small change, and without the word "diet."

UnDiet is a lifestyle manual that challenges and reimagines the accepted notions and ideas for healthy living.

Book Cover Finding Peace

Resolved: To Work for Peace in Your Life, Community and Beyond. 

Read: Finding Peace by Jean Vanier

One of our deepest human desires and needs is to live in peace. We all yearn for peace, but what is it exactly? How do we find it, and how can we bring peace to our lives and our communities? Jean Vanier reflects on recent world events, identifying the sources of conflict and fear within and among individuals, communities, and nations that thwart us in our quest for peace. Peace is not just the work of governments or armies or diplomats, he argues, but the task of each one of us. We can all become makers of peace. We can do our part. And though it's easy to be a love of peace and much more difficult to be a worker for peace, Vanier shows us that ordinary people, unknown and unrecognized, are transforming our world little by little, finding peace in our neighbourhoods and lighting the way to change.

Book Cover Ecoholic Body

Resolved: To Treat Your Body Better, and the Earth Too

Read: Ecoholic Body: Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide to Living Healthy and Looking Good by Adria Vasil

Adria Vasil, Canada’s straight-shooting green living expert, is back, and this time it’s personal...care, that is. Her latest eco bible delivers the lowdown on virtually every product that comes into contact with our bodies. From the pollutants clogging your sinus meds all the way to the outlaw toxins leaching from your sandals, Ecoholic Body has you covered, head to toe. Never shy to blow the whistle, Adria calls out supplement and shampoo makers that exaggerate their green cred. This witty, indispensable guide will arm you with the knowledge you need to keep you and your family healthy, happy and green, all while detoxing the planet.

Book Cover Money Rules

Resolved: To Get Control of Your Financial Life

Read: Money Rules by Gail Vaz-oxlade

Covering every topic under the financial sun, from TFSAs to taxes, borrowing to breaking bad habits, relationships to RRSPs, Gail tells readers that many of the rules they have been following might actually be working against their best interests. Some of her advice is, as she says, common sense (Rule #17: Needs Must Come Before Wants), some of it is surprising (Rule #222: Don't Borrow to Contribute to an RRSP), and some is even counterintuitive coming from Gail (Rule #261: Take Pleasure from Your Money). All of the rules are delivered in digestible pieces that each give the reader a clear sense of what works and what doesn't.

For money-phobes, this book will be a kick in the pants; for money-minders, it will ease the worry that there might be a financial stone they've left unturned; for everyone else, Gail's rules provide what it takes to build a strong financial foundation that will last a lifetime.

Book Cover Better Sex in No Time

Resolved: To Perk Things Up in the Bedroom

Read: Better Sex in No Time by Josey Vogels

In those first heady days of a relationship, couples can barely keep their hands off each other. Any and every situation and location feels like a prelude to sex. But as relationships mature and responsibilities creep back into life (hey, remember that job? And the laundry that hasn’t been done in a month?), sex can get pushed further and further down the list of priorities. Suddenly, instead of a passionate date you can’t wait to keep, sex might start to feel like one more nagging to-do.
It doesn’t have to be that way. And it doesn’t require quitting a job or wearing dirty clothes to make enough time to reclaim the spark. Couples just need a few moments of tender connection a day (and a few pointers from Canada’s leading sexpert), and soon they’ll be looking for ways to devote even more time to amazingly hot sex.

Book Cover Stick to Your Vision

Resolved: To Overcome Life's Challenges and (Perhaps?) Become the Godfather of Canadian Hip Hop

Read: Stick to Your Vision: How to Get Past the Hurdles and Haters to Get Where You Want to Be by Wes Williams

As someone who has experienced the highs and lows that come with being a performer, Wes "Maestro" Williams has had to overcome many challenges in his life. These are also the same challenges that we all face on the way to where we want to be, and Wes's practical and empowering strategies will help you get there. Sometimes these obstacles come from within, whether it's a fear of failure or low self-esteem. Sometimes they come from your circumstances; perhaps there are people around you who are keeping you down or "in your place," even if they don't mean to. In Stick to Your Vision, Wes shows you how to define your vision, how to achieve it, and what to do once you're there. He offers useful tips and advice, as well as inspirational stories and quotes, and exercises that will keep you moving towards your own vision.

January 17, 2013
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