Will this year be different than the last? It’s a question that, as the pandemic ground on, haunted the transition from 2021 to 2022 as it did the previous year. But change is inevitable, and for many, the pandemic put much of life – our wants, our needs, and our plans for the future – into new perspective. It's hardly surprising that many of things we’re concerned about as we step into the new year are about positive change.
From focusing on our living spaces to preserving green ones, here are the trends and issues on our minds heading into 2022 – and the books to read to indulge and inform you.
Making your home a better place to live
Many of us have spent more hours at home than we could have ever anticipated before the pandemic. Even those who aren't working from home have shifted their socialising and leisure time inside thanks to repeated lockdowns. It's understandable, then, that we'd want to make where we live even more comfortable, beautiful and enticing. If you're keen to make living more lovely, these are the inspiring books to help.
Making a difference and tackling climate change
It’s no surprise, given the world-shattering news of the past year or so, that climate change is weighing heavily on minds in 2022. Following COP26, the number of Britons saying the environment is a top national issue reached record levels – but people are also feeling very disillusioned and confused about the topic. So readers, why not take the first important step, and immerse yourself in the books tackling the world’s most pressing issues, by some of their foremost experts?
Being your best self
As pandemic has sharpened the conversation already happening around mental health the past decade or so, more and more readers are looking for ways to connect with their ‘best self’: a calm, purposeful, energised, content, and rested self who acts with purpose and intent. From seeking work on one’s own terms to therapy, from personal training to making space for hobbies and passions, there are plenty of ways to uncover your best self. Here are some books to help you get started.
Forging a more meaningful connection
After nearly two years of experiencing new and different forms of isolation, it's hardly surprising that so many of us are looking for new and meaningful ways to connect with one another. Why not start with a book club, or even a joint reading of a book among friends? It's amazing what kinds of conversations can be started through the words on a page. Here are some conversation-starting titles to kick you off:
Working less and living more
If you've considered a new way of working this year - perhaps by going freelance, cutting down your hours or finding a new career entirely - then you're not alone. So many people have been leaving their jobs to try new kinds of living that the term "The Great Resignation" has been coined. Fancy joining them? Here are some books to help.
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Image: Rebecca Hendin for Penguin