Inspirations and aspirations to greet the new year.



How to Be Idle

By Tom Hodgkinson


From the founder of The Idler, the magazine that celebrates the fine art of doing nothing, comes this whimsically erudite argument for indolent defiance of our work-obsessed culture, enlisting the support of Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Nietzsche—all of whom admitted to doing their best work in bed.



Getting Things Done

By David Allen


A step-by-step productivity primer that immediately pays dividends. Veteran coach and management consultant Allen offers a simple, practical, yet profoundly habit-altering system for managing projects, actions, and whatever else you want to call the mess that clutters our desks, our kitchen counters, and our minds.



An Incomplete Education:
3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn't

By Judy Jones and William Wilson


Can you distinguish Keats from Shelley? Shiite from Sunni? Deduction from induction? All of us have left potholes in our path of learning, and this decidedly cheeky tour of the highways of cultural literacy will go a long way toward filling them in, while eliciting more than a few laughs along the way.



The No Sweat Exercise Plan

By Harvey Simon


Why you should exercise—and how? The author, a founding member of the Harvard Cardiovascular Health Center and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, provides the rationale for regular exercise along with a rational, achievable regimen that even non-athletes can master.




1,000 Places to See Before You Die 

By Patricia Schultz


Here's the perfect book to help plan all those trips you've been meaning to take. Shultz's continent-spanning wonder of a world tour covers destinations from the Taj Mahal to the best Chicago hot dog joint in informative and winning style, including all the info you need to travel—or just stay at home and dream!


April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.