Goodbye to 2020, welcome 2021!
If your last year was a doozy, no doubt you’re looking forward to a quiet, uneventful new year. Like me, you might be swearing off making New Year’s resolution – just getting through 2020 feels like enough of an accomplishment!
However, you don’t have to be a fan of resolutions to feel that itch for self-improvement that comes with marking the transition to a New Year. There are plenty of books out there to help you work towards your goals (or at least feel better about not making any), learn a new skill (or make a new friend), or just get your brain (and your breath) moving after a sluggish holiday season. Here are a few titles that we hope might spark some joy as we move into 2021!
Friendshipping: The Art of Finding Friends, Being Friends, and Keeping Friends – Jenn Bane and Trin Garritano
In Covid times (and modern times in general), making and keeping friends can seem more difficult than ever. In this primer for adult friendship from the besties behind the podcast of the same name, you’ll learn the tools you’ll need to make new friends and revitalize the quality of existing friendships. Do you want to know how to give a non-creepy compliment? This is the book for you!
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art – James Nestor
There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat twenty-five thousand times a day. Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head. You will never breathe the same again.
Making with Meaning – More Than 20 Meditative and Creative Crochet Projects – Jessica Carey
The beginning of the year is a great time to start learning a new skill, or begin exploring a new style of art. Accompanied by essays focused on gratitude, creativity, and living with intention, this book invites you to take time to reﬂect while learning how to crochet with 20 different patterns and visual guidance. Jessica oﬀers support and encouragement so that you can strengthen more than just your crochet skills as you explore this adventure.
Laziness Does Not Exist – Devon Price, Ph. D
2020 saw many of us pushing to learn new skills and cope in a world where the idea of work and productivity looked entirely different from what we had been used to. In this new title, the author offers science-based reassurances that productivity does not determine a person’s worth and suggests that the solution to problems of overwork and stress lie in resisting the pressure to do more and instead learn to embrace doing enough.
Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning – Tom Vanderbilt
Why do so many of us stop learning new skills as adults? Are we afraid to fail? Have we forgotten the sheer pleasure of being a beginner? Or is it simply a fact that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This book weaves comprehensive research and the benefits of being an adult beginner to show us how – and why – we should take the awkward first steps and learn something new!
Storey’s Curious Compendium of Practical and Obscure Skills: 214 Things You Can Actually Learn How to Do – How-to Experts at Storey Publishing
Have you ever wondered how to capture a swarm of bees? Predict the weather by the clouds? And just how do you darn a pair of socks, anyway? With this visual guide, you can learn how to do all those practical things you never had the gumption to do before: carve a turkey, create a butterfly garden, set up a dog agility course, keep a nature sketchbook, navigate by the stars, and more. Make 2021 the year you finally capture that swarm of bees with Storey’s Curious Compendium!
The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book: An Interactive Guide to Life-Changing Books – Stephanie Kent
As a librarian, any book that inspires me to read more is sure to go on my holds list! The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is an interactive illustrated homage to the beautiful ways in which books bring meaning to our lives and how our lives bring meaning to books. Carefully crafted in the style of a retro telephone directory, this guide offers you a variety of unique ways to connect with readers, writers, bookshops, and life-changing stories.
And remember, you can always check out a robust library of courses for FREE using Lynda.com and your library card. Maybe this year is finally the year you learn to play the ukulele!