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!


July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).