New Year, New You: A Poll

To you it was only yesterday, but to the consumer-minded capitalist Christmas is already a sepia-filtered memory. No doubt while we dreamt of sugar plums all snug in our beds, Target employees were already hard at work dismantling Christmas displays with all the speed and sadistic verve of a deranged retail grinch.


Christmas is dead. There is no doubt whatever about that. Radio stations resume their top 40 playlists, gyms steel themselves for a surge in attendance, and the publishing industry turns up the volume on its annual mantra: new year, new you.

The East Coast cynic in me longs to reject this media fantasy, but I can’t help but love a good new year’s resolution. Now that my school days are behind me and Augusts spent browsing aspirational tween catalogs and salivating over the brightly colored aisles of Office Max are no more (you can tell what kind of nerd kid I was), fresh starts, however market-approved, are hard to come by, so I take what I can get. This year, I have three resolutions:

  1. I resolve not to commit myself to any new Bravo programming. I likewise resolve never to give in to the urge to tweet @ Bravolebrities.
  2. When in doubt, I resolve to give my subway seat to someone who is of dubious age, health, or pregnancy.
  3. I resolve to read 50 new books this year.

You can help me keep at least one of these resolutions by voting in my very first poll:

Which self-help book should I read to kick off 2016?

51H8x07Fd7LThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (Ten Speed Press)

A year after its publication, this book is still the most popular self-help title out there. Trusted friends swear by the KonMari method of simplifying your life by jettisoning anything in your space that doesn’t “spark joy.” As an aspiring Swedish minimalist whose approach to housekeeping is limited to irregular, manic purges provoked by TV real estate envy, I could use some advice.


Selp Helf by Miranda Sings (Gallery)

I can’t look at this title without cracking up, and that seems like a healthy way to start a new year. Miranda is a pretty big deal, so I’m sure she will have some great advice.


41+7Y+I2kTL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (Pocket Books/S&S)

A classic. The title says it all, plus it bills itself as “the only book you need to lead you to success” so this could be the last self-help book I ever read.




The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight (Little, Brown)

Out next Tuesday. The author of this “practical parody” was a successful editor at my old publishing house while I was but a humble associate. She left to become a freelancer around the time I switched jobs and, legend has it, wrote this book in a period of mere months before quickly selling the rights for a nice sum. Now that I am an associate manager and have all the success I’ll ever need, I don’t know that I have much to learn from this woman who is so clearly my equal, but her methods seem to include not wearing pants and taking naps, so I’m intrigued.

Vote now through 12/31 via this link



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