Three books - Empowered, Four Thousand Weeks and On Tyranny graphic novel - scattered on white bedsheets

The new year is traditionally a chance to reassess our life goals, but all this talk of self-development can become overwhelming and make it hard to know where to start. From career achievements and political action to good habits and healthy eating, this selection of books is here to help you re-think what’s possible. This year, stop feeling stressed about resolutions and, instead, get excited about what you have the power to change.

Empowered by Vee Kativhu (2021)

From YouTube visionary and education activist Vee Kativhu, Empowered is the book you need to supercharge yourself going into 2022. Drawing on her own journey From Zimbabwe to Oxford to Harvard, Vee writes on topics including how to achieve your life goals; staying motivated in the face of rejection and hardship; learning from your mistakes; taking chances; and cultivating feelings of self-love and self-empowerment. Empowered is ‘a roadmap for following your dreams’, according to Malala Yousafzai, and is sure to inspire and motivate you in every part of your life.

Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman (2021)

Did you spend the previous year so busy that you felt like you could never get anything done? This year, learn to accept your limitations and turn your energy to what really counts. In Four Thousand Weeks, award-winning author and journalist Oliver Burkeman sets out to realign our relationship with time – and in doing so, to liberate us from the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about it. This book is a breath of fresh air that will teach you to approach the new year with purpose and focus. The average human lifespan is just four thousand weeks, so here’s to making the next 52 of them count.

Can’t Even by Anne Helen Petersen (2021)

Are you fed up with being tired, stressed and feeling like your best is never enough? Burnout is a creeping part of modern culture that has come to define the Millennial experience. Through her own life, original interviews and detailed analysis, Anne Helen Petersen traces the institutional and generational causes of burnout in this enlightening read. We may not be able to leave burnout behind us completely, but we can learn to let go of our guilt and treat ourselves – and others – with greater compassion as we enter the new year. 

Spoon-Fed by Tim Spector (2021)

If your New Year’s resolution normally features a fad diet, make a change this year by picking up Spoon-Fed to learn why almost everything we’ve been told about food is wrong.

From Tim Spector, one of the world’s leading scientists of food and nutrition and creator of the Covid Symptom Study app, this groundbreaking book debunks popular food myths. With Yotam Ottolenghi recommending it as ‘illuminating and so incredibly timely’, Spoon-Fed encourages us to rethink our whole relationship with food – not just for our personal health, but also for the future of the planet.

On Tyranny (Graphic Edition) by Timothy Snyder and Nora Krug (2021)

Now in a captivating graphic edition by illustrator Nora Krug, Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny looks back on the twentieth century to uncover key lessons on how to protect democracy and combat modern-day authoritarianism. But these aren’t just lessons for our political leaders: these are instructions for every one of us. By being active, conscious, and deliberate participants in resistance, we are all empowered to fight tyranny.

Unattached, edited by Angelica Malin (out 3 February)

Unattached is a must-read for anyone starting the new year single. Curated by entrepreneur and journalist Angelica Malin, thirty women write on what modern singlehood means to them, featuring essays from Megan Barton-Hanson, Shaparak Khorsandi, Shon Faye, Stephanie Yeboah and more. This inspiring collection shines a light on brilliant women stepping into their power, owning being alone, and revealing the true depth of female potential. The single positivity movement is here: get on board.

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