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Amazing Lesser-Known Books of 2012 that You Should Read

Amazing Lesser-Known Books of 2012 that You Should Read

The books that most people gravitate toward these days are generally the ones that are publicized the most. Though word of mouth is all well and good when it comes to discussing great reads with a few friends, it’s the media moguls who tend to dictate which books will be promoted to the masses, and which will be tucked into relative obscurity.  The New York Times Best-Seller list is the primary resource for ideas about what to read next, with Oprah’s Book Club coming in at a close second… and though they’re both decent resources when it comes to finding something new to delve into, their recommendations tend to be based on how many people have read a book, rather than the quality of the story itself.

If you’re an avid reader, but want to shy away from the overly-lauded pieces that everyone else on the planet has inhaled, consider some of the titles listed below. They’re some of the best books of 2012, and though they haven’t received quite as much media attention as those on the NYT list, they are most certainly worth looking into. No pun intended, I swear.

Fiction

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry- A Novel

    The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel, by Rachel Joyce

    Every so often, we come across an antihero who is so awkwardly endearing that we just want to scoop him out of the book and invite him in for tea. Harold Fry is such a character, and this tale about his impromptu journey across England is both surreal enough to be believable, and genuine enough that the reader can relate to it. Fry is amazingly human, and his adventure takes us on a life-changing journey through the labyrinths of our own hearts.

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    Non-Fiction

    Quiet- The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

      Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

      If you or a close friend of yours would be described as an introvert, you might have more than a passing interest in this book. Often made fun of for being “too shy” or “too quiet”, introverts tend to pull away from the spotlight and prefer solitude over hyper-socializing, which is anathema to most modern societal expectations. This book is a fascinating study regarding the power and potential of introverts VS the extroverts that seem to be so idealized by American culture. There are tips on how to negotiate introvert/extrovert relationships, and fabulous, encouraging success stories about famous introverts who have changed the world.

      Sci Fi/Fantasy

      The Pattern Scars, by Caitlin Sweet

        The Pattern Scars, by Caitlin Sweet

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        Winner of the Canadian Bookie award for best Science Fiction, Fantasy or Speculative Fiction, this novel follows the story of a young woman named Nola, who was born into abject poverty, but managed to escape it with the help of those who recognized (and later, manipulated) her gift of prophecy. This isn’t a “unicorns and pixie dust” sort of fantasy book: it draws the reader through seedy interactions with brothel workers, psychopaths, and murderers, and intersperses blood magic and murder with devastating betrayals. The novel is dark and luminous at turns, and you never know if the next page will bring unimaginable heartbreak and terror, or dream-inspiring beauty.

        Graphic Novel

        Freakangels Box Set by Warren Ellis

          Freakangels Box Set by Warren Ellis

          The Freakangels web comic by the ever-brilliant (and oft-terrifying) Warren Ellis was published as a box set last month, and if you’re a fan of any of his work, this is a must-read. Written by Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield, the story revolves around twelve Londoners with startling psychic abilities: they accidentally flooded the world when they used their powers in unison a few years ago, and are now struggling to survive in the ruins of Whitechapel as something ominous creeps ever-closer…

          Cookbook

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          Food in Jars- Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, by Marisa McLellan

            Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, by Marisa McLellan

            The self-sufficiency revolution is gaining in speed around the world, with people re-acquainting themselves with knowledge and abilities that haven’t been cool since their great-grandparents’ time. Interest in homesteading is at an all-time high, and one of the most popular practices these days is canning one’s own food—preserving everything from fruits and vegetables to soups, seasonings, and even desserts. This book guides you through small-batch canning throughout the year for maximum production with minimum stress.

            Children’s Lit

            The Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver

              The Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver

              Anyone who has a younger sibling has likely wished that they were different, somehow: maybe less annoying, or more fun to hang out with, or even less inclined to break things and blame it on us. If we were to wake up one morning to discover that a Spindler (read: huge, evil spider with hands) has stolen our little brother’s soul for the Queen of the underworld, would we fight to get it back so he’d be normal and whole again? Even if that meant he was going to be his usual, annoying self?

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              (This book is geared towards ages 8 and up, but it’s also great for younger people with high reading abilities)

              These are just a few of the many gorgeous books that were published in 2012. If your preferred genre wasn’t represented here, or if you’re looking for even more books to explore in the New Year, head on over to Goodreads for recommendations tailored just for you.

              What was your favourite read of 2012? Let us know!

              Featured photo credit:  Vintage old books on wooden deck via Shutterstock

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              Catherine Winter

              Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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              Last Updated on November 18, 2020

              50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

              50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

              If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

              That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

              Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

              1. Believe It to See It

              Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

              2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

              While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

              3. Keep Looking for Solutions

              Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

              4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

              Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

              5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

              There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

              6. Always Ask Productive Questions

              It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

              7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

              Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

              8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

              Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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              9. Maximize Your Strengths

              Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

              10. Be in It to Win It

              Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

              11. Know That Success Attracts Success

              People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

              12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

              Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

              13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

              You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

              14. Be a One-Off Original

              Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

              15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

              Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

              16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

              Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

              17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

              Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

              18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

              We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

              19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

              Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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              20. Accept Challenge All the Time

              Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

              21. Make Your Own Luck

              In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

              22. Ignite Your Initiative

              While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

              23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

              Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

              24. Champion in Communication

              Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

              25. Plan Your Life Strategically

              Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

              26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

              To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

              27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

              While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

              28. Live by Core Values

              Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

              29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

              Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

              30. Don’t Get Carried Away

              Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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              31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

              Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

              32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

              Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

              33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

              Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

              34. Change Opens New Doors

              People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

              35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

              It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

              36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

              Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

              37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

              When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

              38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

              How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

              39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

              If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

              40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

              Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

              41. Swim Against the Tide

              Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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              42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

              More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

              43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

              Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

              44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

              While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

              45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

              Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

              46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

              Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

              47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

              While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

              48. Follow Through

              Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

              49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

              We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

              50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

              To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

              So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

              Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

              More About Success

              Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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