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Self-Improvement Books for the New Year

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Self-improvement books

Bellaire librarian Mary Cohrs suggests books to help inspire personal growth this year.

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

We are three weeks into a new year and many of us have already started action on our resolutions made to improve mind and body. Memberships in gyms have increased, workout clothes bought and the recent spring-like weather has produced a daily flurry of new joggers and walkers in bright, new outfits. I admire those people.

For as many resolutions that are in progress, there are as many being revised or forgotten, never to be activated again until next New Year’s Eve. I am one of these people.

In 1976 a book was published that profoundly changed me in ways that the current glut of exercise books never will. That book was Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer. The title spent 64 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and it helped me rise above feelings of guilt and approval-seeking that plagued me through my young adult years. I also learned self-acceptance from those chapters, which is probably why I do not feel so guilty when my resolutions begin to waver so early in January.

Self-improvement can take several paths and there are thousands upon thousands of books ready to help people with their never-ending quest for improvement. Books abound on diets, physical exercise, organization, wealth and happiness. A visit to your local library can help navigate those choices. 

A few titles for consideration:

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Power of Positive by Norman Peale
  • Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Whether you call it self-help, inspiration, self-empowerment or personal growth, the path for improvement is a deeply personal one. Continue your journey all through the year; do not limit your journey to a month on a calendar. Read along the way.

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