I love the new year as I've already stated a million times. Its a fresh start, like getting out of the bed in morning on the right foot. So if you're looking for some books to give yourself a quick step at the start of this new year; here's a few of my favs...depending on the uplift you're looking for hopefully some of these will help give you that certain 'je ne sais quoi' to get you on the right path for 2011.
Uplift: Clean up & clear out
How many times do I have to say it? Throw out 50 things - Clear the Clutter find your life by Gail Blanke. Easy to read, easy to follow, and really quick bursts of inspiration throughout. I read this book several times in the year when I start feeling really cramped and stagnant.
This book is also really helpful to read when preparing for a garage/yard sale, or moving, or preparing for a new family member, or when your closet is bursting with too much, or your parents are trying to get you to take all your junk from their house into your own...and any other time you need to skim down.
I love that this book also address mental and cyber clutter. Two things usually forgotten when getting rid of clutter - but both places generally are the most packed with unneccessary things. This book is like a personal therapist.
Uplift: Change the world.
Three Cups of Tea - One Man's Mission to Promote Peace..One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. ahhhhh, that was a sigh of fresh air. It was difficult for me to get started in this book, but after pushing through the first few pages I became mesmerized. This book is listed in my inspiring book pages (see above) and that's because it really is inspiring. Not just at what he does and how hard he works...but because the work that Greg Mortenson (supported by his amazing wife) will literally change the path of people's lives. There are individuals on the other side of the earth that can proclaim - this man has changed the course of my life. Amazing.
I am also continually inspired to read stories about people that go with all they have in one direction. This is not a talent that I have - although I have a lot of interest in helping, I find it impossible to just pick one thing. I am too interested in too many things. So to read about Mr. Greg and how he dedicated his life towards this one goal is massively impressive.
Uplift: Be better to Mother Earth
The Green Year by Jodi Helmer. I love the Earth and I want to be good to her because she is so giving and good to us. This is a day by day book; think calendar style, but with a quick helpful green tip each day of the year. It's quick, easy, and helpful. Even if you don't use it daily, its really easy to flip through and get ideas on how to make your daily living a little less negatively impactful. Like ordering tap beer over bottled beer in restaurants OR changing your margins in Word before printing to save on paper!
Besides helpful green tips, it also gives lots of really awesome (maybe unbeknown to you, cause they were to me) websites that offer eco-friendly opportunities. Like http://www.freecycle.com/ which is like Craig's list but with free items to re-gift/re-use and http://www.greenerchoices.org/ which helps you make decisions about appliances that are better eco choices.
Uplift: Eat Better.
Eating for Life by Bill Phillips is a great cookbook for making delish food but with the right types of ingredients so you don't hate yourself in the morning. He also has a whole change your life diet+exercise thing happening in there too (who doesn't love before&after shots, hello!) but just using it as a cookbook is really helpful. We love eating good food in our house, but we'd like to eat better too - not just tasty. These recipes provide the best of both worlds and we tap into for dinner ideas at least once a week.
Uplift: Have more fun!
This Book Will Change Your Life by Benrick is highlarious. I purchased it as kind of a joke for my sisters waay back in my college days but still flip through it occasionally for a some quick chuckles (yea, I just used that word...how else do you describe breathing out and laughing simultaneously? I can't think of the word for it, so deal with chuckle). Let it be known I have not finished the whole book. I have made some weak attempts and I think I have legitimately made it to day36, but I strive to be the kind of a girl that can finish the whole thing. It gives a task for each day - some of them are ridiculous, some absolutely shameful, and others are downright genius...but no matter how you cut it, its an awesome book.
Whatever your start of the new year book choice may be - open your brain up and re-energize your mind! Happy new year:)