Reader’s Lounge: Four Books to Kick Off the New Year

by Mark Dunham

A new year equals a new you! Find inspiration in achieving your New Year’s resolutions with these uplifting reads that get you moving in the right direction.


Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

by Gretchen Rubin

The author of The Happiness Project returns with a self-help book that is fun, friendly and informative. Rubin explores the things that shape routine behaviors we find so hard to give up. The book serves as a guide through the process of understanding how those habits evolve and get in the way of personal happiness by covering the sections of Self-Knowledge, Pillars of Habit, Desire, Ease and Excuses, and Uniqueness. It’s an entertaining and informative book that allows readers to understand their personal tendencies and set goals towards achieving their best self.


Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

by Marie Kondo

If your vow for the new year is to get organized, then this book is for you. In this illustrated and comprehensive follow-up to her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo outlines specific methods for organizing and prioritizing particular items and areas of the house. She stresses the importance of treating our objects with compassion and respect, an idea prevalent in Japanese culture, and the experiment of testing whether or not certain objects “spark joy.” If they don’t, you have to ask yourself why you have it in your life and decide from there to hold on or let it go.


Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert writes, “Creativity is the relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.” Human beings are inherently creative, but for most, the process is a mystery. Gilbert shares her understanding of the creative process with grace and humor, and reveals many different ways to achieve creativity, from artwork to mindset. Get inspired to unlock your own creativity with this refreshing read.


The Feast Nearby: How I Lost My Job, Buried a Marriage and Found My Way by Keeping Chickens, Foraging, Preserving, Bartering, and Eating Locally (All on $40 a Week)

by Robin Mather

Sometimes life throws unexpected obstacles your way, but that didn’t stop former food writer and Michigan native, Robin Mather. After finding herself in an unexpected financial struggle, Mather relocated to a vacation home in Barry County and re-evaluated her perspective on life. Despite her unfortunate circumstances, Mather found that she was still quite rich in many ways. She ties her experiences together with a recipe book delivering 150 unique and healthy dishes designed to help promote a nutritious lifestyle while advocating support for the local economy.

Mark Dunham is an adult services librarian at the Kent District Library. He is also an aspiring gardener.




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