Guide to Spring: Books

Grace McQuade


Spring is the time of year when everyone can let out a collective “aah.” The days are longer, the grass is greener, and people of all ages are ready to head outside and play.

A trip to the local bookstore will also bring many delights this season.

Here you will find shelves full of new books that promise to heal the body, inspire the mind, and revive the soul — in other words, books that will put more spring in people’s steps.

Many of these titles share true stories of resilience and hope from well-known personalities in the worlds of sports, politics, comedy, nutrition, fitness and more.

As a special perk, the undisputed reigning queen of self-improvement, Oprah Winfrey, returns with a lush volume about finding your place in the world that is sure to find its place on many reading tables and tablets this spring.

So as you enjoy a picture-perfect day in the park, breathe in the fresh air and take in one of the following inspirational books.


“The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose” by Oprah Winfrey (March 26): The woman who has made it her mission to get people to “live their best lives” with her “words that matter” and “aha” moments, now offers a guidebook to self-discovery by sharing important lessons she learned along the way, as well as wisdom from other soul searchers, including Eckhart Tolle (“The Power of Now”) and Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat, Pray, Love”).


“American Spirit: Profiles in Resilience, Courage and Faith” by Taya Kyle and Jim DeFelice (April 2): After losing her husband, “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, Tara Kyle entered a period of inconsolable grief, but she persevered with outpourings of support from many who suffered and survived.  In her book, she imparts her own story, as well as profiles of more than 30 individuals, from a 9/11 survivor to a blind cyclist, that will teach everyone how to turn challenge into opportunities to help and heal.

“Mostly Plants: 101 Delicious Flexitarian Recipes from the Pollan Family” by Tracy, Dana, Lori, Corky and Michael Pollan (April 16): “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” is New York Times bestselling author and food writer Michael Pollan’s seven-word credo that sparked a revolution in favor of a plant-rich diet.  The Pollan family practices what they preach, namely a flexitarian diet – moving plants to the center of the plate.  Their cookbook includes inventive recipes that keep the spotlight on fresh produce.

“The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World” by Melinda Gates (April 23): “When you lift up women, you lift up humanity” is the message in Melinda Gates’ literary debut, a book that shares her mission to address worldwide issues that most need our attention – from child marriage to gender inequality in the workplace – as well as her own road to equality in her marriage to tech titan Bill Gates.


“Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself” by Jill Biden (May 7): When aspiring U.S. Sen.  Joe Biden first entered Jill Biden’s life, she had to ask herself two important questions: How would politics shape her family and professional life? And, was she ready to become a mother to Joe’s two young sons?  Biden’s memoir shares her journey, balancing the roles of wife, mother, educator and political spouse.

“Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations, and Observations” by Craig Ferguson (May 7): Comedian, actor and former host of “The Late, Late Show,” Craig Ferguson has defied the odds his entire life.  In his candid memoir, he discusses his deep love for his native Scotland, his profound change brought on by fatherhood, and his refreshing perspective on aging and mortality.

“All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters” by Joe Namath with Sean Mortimer (May 7): NFL icon and star quarterback Joe Namath brought his New York Jets to Super Bowl victory in 1969.  But beneath this gridiron god’s rugged good looks and boyish charm was a man plagued by injury and addiction.  Now 74, Namath tells his story of recovery for the first time, revealing that his life was anything but charmed.

“Aging Backwards: Fast Track: 6 Ways in 30 Days to Look and Feel Younger” by Miranda Esmonde-White (May 21): This is the latest book from fitness pioneer and former ballerina Miranda Esmonde-White, who created the breakthrough exercise program, Essentrics, more than 20 year ago.  Focused on gentle stretching and movement to engage all of the body’s muscles and connective tissue, her DVDs, books and morning workout program on PBS have been embraced by many fans… time and “agayne.”


“The Beautiful No: And Other Tales of Trial, Transcendence, and Transformation” by Sheri Salata (June 4): What happens when you realize you’ve had the career of your dreams, but not the life of your dreams? This was the stark reality when Sheri Salata left her 20-year stint at “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” After years of telling other people’s makeover stories, Salata set out to “produce” her own life transformation in a memoir that is part-cautionary tale and part-midlife rallying cry.

“The Bottom of the Pool: Thinking Beyond Your Boundaries to Achieve Extraordinary Results” by Andy Andrews (June 18): Dive deeper with bestselling author Andy Andrews as he shares his unique philosophy on foundational thinking – searching for a reality that lies beyond the boundaries of “the way things are done.”  Andrews believes that it is often at the bottom of the pool where the path to extraordinary results lies.

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