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10 Self-Help Books to Kick Off Your Spring

/ BY Athena McKenzie / March 19th, 2021


There’s nothing like a new season to spark self-reflection and change. If you’re the type of person who looks to books for inspiration, there’s a treasure trove of options. From building a better brain — at any age — to finding time to do what you love, begin your journey to self-improvement.

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image. 

1Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any AgeDr. Sanjay Gupta

Sticking to the science, celebrity neurosurgeon Dr. Gupta delivers a compelling guide to enhance your brain, complete with an easy-to-implement 12-week program. Following a section on self-assessment, Gupta outlines the steps and best practices he’s discovered from travelling around the world, including physical activity, proper nutrition, sleep and relaxation, and social connection. There’s also guidance for those already experiencing cognitive decline and for their caregivers.


2Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex LifeEmily Nagoski

Along with all its other life-changing consequences, it seems the pandemic has also messed with people’s sex lives. If you’re looking to reignite your own spark, this revised and updated edition of Emily Nagoski’s game-changing New York Times bestseller — which was born out of five years of talking to readers — includes new information and research on mindfulness, desire, and pleasure.


3The Natural Sleeper: A Bedside Guide to Complementary and Alternative Solutions for Better SleepJulie Wright

With this book, sleep expert Julie Wright explores non-medicated options, “staying away from sleeping pills, prescriptions, and pharmaceuticals.” She posits it as an opportunity to pause, reflect, try new things and walk away with a personalized sleep strategy. “With a good night’s sleep, nothing can stop you, and you will most likely be able to achieve your life’s dreams. I believe sleep is one of the answers to becoming a superhuman.”


4Good Food, Bad Diet: The Habits You Need to Ditch Diet Culture, Lose Weight, and Fix Your Relationship with Food ForeverAbby Langer

If you’ve jumped on every “it-diet” bandwagon and now struggle to truly understand what healthy eating looks like, this book is a great re-education. Through each chapter, Langer helps you uncover why you want to lose weight and your relationship with food, and then gives guidance on making a lasting, meaningful change to the way you approach food and nutrition.


5Relax, Dammit! A User's Guide to the Age of AnxietyTimothy Caulfield

Caulfield — the Canada Research Chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta, author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? and celebrated debunker of health myths — walks us through some of the everyday decisions we make, and how we can tackle them in a way that leaves us feeling less stressed and with more time to relax.


6The Dance Cure: The Surprising Science to Being Smarter, Stronger, HappierPeter Lovatt

The founder of Dance Psychology Lab (at the University of Hertfordshire) Lovatt combines his expertise in psychology with dance, using science to study the relationship between movement and the brain. His research shows that dance, which stimulates the link between the body and brain, gives tremendous benefits to a wide range of people: helping those with Parkinson’s disease and dementia; reducing depression and anxiety in adults; and increasing social bonding.


7The Feel Good Guide to MenopauseDr. Nicola Gates

Many of us can list the symptoms of menopause off the top of our heads — hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, decreased libido, pain — but that doesn’t mean we talk about it or understand the root causes. Looking to break the silence around the subject, The Feel Good Guide to Menopause explores the connection between hormonal changes in the female body, the brain and the gut, providing some fundamentals for transitioning through a challenging time.


8The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free MonthHilary Sheinbaum

Chances are you’ve heard about Dry January or Sober October. Given the health, mental and financial benefits of living a month without booze, you may want to try to squeeze in a Mocktail March or 24-Free May. The Dry Challenge shares strategies for opting out of drinking, including tips on how to combat social pressure. Find fun non-boozy activities everyone can participate in (including making delicious “zero-proof” drinks and throwing the best non-alcoholic shindigs).


9Two Meals a Day: The Simple, Sustainable Strategy to Lose Fat, Reverse Aging, and Break Free from Diet Frustration ForeverMark Sisson

In his latest book, health and fitness expert Mark Sisson presents a lifestyle approach based on the principles of intermittent eating. Sisson says he’s done a lot of self-experimentation over the years, and this is the one practice that makes the most lasting impact for the widest range of people. He calls intermittent fasting a simple, sustainable, effective strategy to help you lose excess body fat; increase energy and focus; and minimize your risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and cognitive decline.


10The 4% Fix: How One Hour a Day Can Change Your LifeKarma Brown

In her journey to find time to write her first novel, Ontario-based journalist and mother Karma Brown discovered that seizing an hour early in her day gave her the space she needed. A few novels later, Brown has written a nonfiction book to share how creating that one hour of meaningful time in your day can help you to become more productive, happy, and successful.


THE SCROLL

Brian Thomas Isaac’s “All the Quiet Places” wins $5,000 Indigenous Voices AwardThe B.C. author, a retired bricklayer, drew on his childhood growing up on the Okanagan Indian reserve for his coming-of-age story set in 1956


Canadian-American Author Ruth Ozeki Wins Women’s Book Prize for “The Book of Form and Emptiness”The UK judges said her fourth novel, inspired in part by the Vancouver Public Library, contained "sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy."


The Bill Gates Summer Reading List Includes a Sci-Fi Novel On Gender Inequality Suggested by His DaughterBill Gates' summer reading list includes fiction and non-fiction titles that cover gender equality, political polarization and climate change.


American novelist Joshua Cohen wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Netanyahus”The 2022 Pulitzer prizes include this satirical look at identity politics, focused on the father of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a crucial time in the Jewish state’s history


Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro Among Canadian Authors Recognized in Commemorative Reading List Marking Queen’s Platinum JubileeThe authors are among six Canadian scribes included on the The Big Jubilee Read list.


Queen Elizabeth II’s Aide Reveals Details of Life in Royal Pandemic Lockdown in New Addition to BookAngela Kelly, who's worked for the Queen for 20 years, discusses everything from cutting the Queen's hair to "the light and laughter that was shared ... even in the darkest moments."


New Leonard Cohen Story Collection, ‘A Ballet of Lepers,’ Set for October ReleaseThe collection features a novel, short stories and a radio play written between 1956 and 1961.


Archived Letters Reveal How Toni Morrison Helped MacKenzie Scott Meet Future Husband Jeff BezosBezos hired Scott at the hedge fund where he worked after receiving a recommendation from Morrison. Shortly thereafter, the pair married and Scott helped Bezos launch Amazon.


Prince Harry’s Memoir is Set to Rock the MonarchyFriends say the California-based royal got a million-pound book deal to write "an intimate take on his feeling about the family."


European Jewish Congress Asks Publisher to Pull Anne Frank BookThe Congress says 'The Betrayal of Anne Frank' has "deeply hurt the memory of Anne Frank, as well as the dignity of the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust."


Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.


Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.


Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.


Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro


“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.


Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories


Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel


South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 


Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.


Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events


Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards


Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde


Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 


Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations


Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


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