Maybe after 2012 you won't have to worry if you're overweight or otherwise unhealthy, since we'll all be enlightened with the coming of a new era of consciousness. But until then, you can knit, try a new diet, or simply read all about the evolution of human awareness.
If there's a theme for fall, it's "something old, something new." Bernie Siegel (of the very bestselling Love, Medicine, and Miracles) is back and still a believer in miracles, with A Book of Miracles. Earlier this year, Siegel was named to the first-ever list of 100 Most Spiritually Influential People (he was #20), an international list that appeared in the Watkins Review.
Mark Nepo appeared on a different list recently—the bestsellers list—thanks to, who else, Oprah Winfrey, who liked an earlier book (The Book of Awakening) by the poet-philosopher. As Far as the Heart Can See: Stories to Illuminate the Soul is Nepo's newest, and the author, a cancer survivor who has been teaching and writing for decades, has always had fans.
A look at the spiritual backstory of Josh Radnor, star of the CBS hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother, is the promise of One Big Blissful Thing, written by the actor, who is branching into writing books after branching into filmmaking and scriptwriting with Happythankyoumoreplease, an indie film released earlier this year. The publisher isn't giving many hints yet, but it involves ayahuasca, the hallucinogenic brew used by Amazonian shamans.
Beyond food for new thought, there's food for the stomach. Veganism isn't new, but its rapid growth is apparent in health books, cookbooks, and grocery store shelves. The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau looks like a successor to Kathy Freston's Veganist; Patrick-Goudreau became a vegan more than 20 years ago. But if you can't bear the thought of never eating pigs again, Chubster: A Hipster's Guide to Losing Weight While Staying Cool by Martin Cizmar might be a better pick. Cizmar, the music critic at the alt-weekly Phoenix New Times, lost 100 pounds in eight months. More conventionally, the South Beach diet franchise rolls on, with The South Beach Wake-Up Call: Dr. Agatston's Real-Life Program for Reversing Our Toxic Lifestyle. Cardiologist Agatston developed his famous diet as a way of preventing heart disease, the #1 killer of Americans. His aim with the new book is even more ambitious.
The locavore food movement finds an ally in crafts. Knit Local: Celebrating America's Homegrown Yarns by Tanis Gray presents 30 projects made with yarns manufactured and sold in North America, along with their journey from sheep to skein. Knitters can have fashionable clothes and a good conscience. Bust, the quirky and raw magazine for women, redefines DIY with 250 projects from its 15-year history, for Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day.
Those who heart Jane Austen can curl up with a book or a crochet hook (or both) thanks to Austentatious Crochet: 32 Contemporary Designs from the World of Jane Austen by Melissa Horozewski. The author is a crochet designer and book lover; Lizzy Bennett would doubtless be pleased.
This subcategory of books also brings a clear contender for title of the season: Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva by sexologist Debby Herbenick and social psychologist Vanessa Schick. Eve Ensler, move over.
PW's Top 10 Lifestyle
A Book of Miracles: Inspiring True Stories of Healing, Gratitude, and Love
Bernie S. Siegel. New World Library, Sept.
As Far as the Heart Can See: Stories to Illuminate the Soul
Mark Nepo. HCI, Sept.
One Big Blissful Thing
Josh Radnor. Atria, Oct.
The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Cleaner, Getting Leaner, and Living Compassionately
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Ballantine, Aug.
Chubster: A Hipster's Guide to Losing Weight While Staying Cool
Martin Cizmar. HMH/Mariner, Jan.
The South Beach Wake-Up Call: Dr. Agatston's Real-Life Program for Reversing Our Toxic Lifestyle
Arthur Agatston. Rodale, Oct.
Knit Local: Celebrating America's Homegrown Yarns
Tanis Gray. Sixth & Spring, Oct.
Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day
Debbie Stoller and Laurie Henzel. Abrams, Oct.
Austentatious Crochet: 32 Contemporary Designs from the World of Jane Austen
Melissa Horozewski. Running Press, Oct.
Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva
Debby Herbenick and Vanessa Schick. Rowman & Littlefield, Nov.
Body, Mind & Spirit
One Big Blissful Thing by Josh Radnor (Oct., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-4391-8804-0), the star of the TV show How I Met Your Mother, tells the unlikely story of his spiritual awakening (hint: it involves a shaman in Brazil).
Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein (Sept., hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-0-307-88740-5). Generation Y self-help maven Bernstein shares the story of her spiritual journey and shows readers how they, too, can overcome the fears that paralyze them and manifest the greatest joy in their lives.
The Source Field Investigations: The Hidden Science and Lost Civilizations Behind the 2012 Prophecies by David Wilcock (Aug., hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-525-95204-6) provides a tour through scientific mysteries in the modern world.
Be the Miracle: 50 Lessons for Making the Impossible Possible by Regina Brett (Jan., hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-4555-0033-8). The newspaper columnist and call-in radio show host offers lessons in how to see the miracle of change.
The Little Book of True Ghost Stories by Echo Bodine (Aug., paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-57174-650-4). The world-renowned psychic and ghost hunter relates humorous, unnerving, and entertaining true stories about things that go bump in the night.
Deep Truth: Igniting the Memory of Our Origin, History, Destiny, and Fate by Gregg Braden (Oct., hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4019-2919-0) examines the topics that divide families, cultures, and nations, and argues that they all stem from the false assumptions of an incomplete science.
As Far as the Heart Can See: Stories to Illuminate the Soul by Mark Nepo (Sept., $15.95, ISBN 978-0-7573-1571-8). Telling simple stories, the bestselling spiritual teacher calls people to be in relationship with deep and life-giving material.
New Consciousness for a New World: How to Thrive in Transitional Times and Participate in the Coming Spiritual Renaissance by Kingsley L. Dennis (Sept., paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-59477-412-6) calls for a paradigm shift in human thinking in light of the interconnectedness of all things—bringing a new mind to a new world.
Bear & Company
Awakening the Planetary Mind: Beyond the Trauma of the Past to a New Era of Creativity by Barbara Hand Clow (Nov., paper, $18, ISBN 978-1-59143-134-3) argues that the next step in conscious human evolution involves releasing the collective fear of catastrophes.
Llewellyn's Complete Book of Predictive Astrology: The Easy Way to Predict Your Future by Kris Brandt Riske (Oct., $18.95, ISBN 978-0-7387-2755-4) is a fundamental reference manual from the publisher with 110 years of publishing books on astrology.
New World Library
A Book of Miracles: Inspiring True Stories of Healing, Gratitude, and Love by Bernie S. Siegel, foreword by Deepak Chopra (Sept., hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-57731-968-9). The bestselling inspirational author and physician compiles examples from his diverse patients, admirers, and colleagues to showcase miracles and what creates them.
Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness by Jose Arguelles (Sept., paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-58394-303-8). The founder of the Harmonic Convergence hypothesis and bestselling author calls for a collective effort to activate the Noosphere—the stratum of human thought and consciousness encircling the Earth—and bring about a new harmonic alignment on the planet.
The Paranormal: Who Believes, Why They Believe, and Why It Matters by Erich Goode (Dec., paper, $19, ISBN 978-1-61614-491-3). Phenomena such as angels, astrology, UFOs, and ghosts are accepted as valid by many people, despite being roundly and almost unanimously rejected by science. A sociologist explains paranormal belief.
Simon & Schuster/Gallery
Destination Truth by Josh Gates (Oct., paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-7434-9172-3) offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Syfy channel's popular reality series, Destination Truth.
Why I Am a Five Percenter by Michael Muhammad Knight (Oct., paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-58542-868-7) provides a thoughtful, historically grounded insider's view of the Five Percenters, a complex and frequently misunderstood esoteric community whose ideas and symbols contributed to the rise of hip-hop, influencing the work of artists such as Nas, the Wu-Tang Clan, and Jay-Z.
The Original I Ching: An Authentic Translation of the Book of Changes by Margaret J. Pearson (Sept., hardcover, $18.95, ISBN 978-0-8048-4181-8). A new translation based on recent archeological discoveries and Zhou dynasty text removes inaccuracies.
Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days by Raven Grimassi (Oct., paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-57863-505-4) offers a magical view of the plant kingdom and the spirits attached to it.
Health & Fitness
The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Cleaner, Getting Leaner, and Living Compassionately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (Aug., paper, $22, ISBN 978-0-345-52617-5) is a step-by-step guide to adopting the popular vegan lifestyle and reaping its health and weight loss benefits, from the woman dubbed the "vegan Martha Stewart."
Smart at Heart: A Holistic 10-Step Approach to Preventing and Healing Heart Disease for Women by Dr. Malissa Wood (Dec., paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-58761-278-7) provides a program for heart health, intended for women at risk for or diagnosed with heart disease, by the Harvard-trained cardiologist behind the Women's Heart Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Breast Cancer: 50 Essential Things You Can Do by Greg Anderson, foreword by Christiane Northrup (Oct., paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-57324-536-4) is aimed at women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis, showing cancer patients how to get well and stay well through an integrative approach to treatment and prevention.
DA CAPO LIFELONG BOOKS
The Beauty Experiment: How I Skipped the Lipstick, Cut My Hair, Forgot Fashion, and Faced the World Without Concealer for a Year... and Made Over My Life by Phoebe Baker Hyde (Dec., paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-7382-1465-8) recounts one woman's journey to reclaim her sense of self-worth and redefine what beauty means to her.
The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet (Nov., hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-56148-730-1), from one of the country's leading health centers, sets out a reliable plan to lose weight and help control diabetes.
GLOBE PEQUOT PRESS/LYONS
Fat Kid Got Fit: And So Can You! by Bill Baroni with Damon DiMarco (Dec., $24.95, ISBN 978-0-7627-7047-2). Baroni, executive director of New York's Port Authority, weighed 320 pounds and was hooked on junk food. He set about changing his life forever and explains what others need to know to lose weight and, more important, keep it off.
GRAND CENTRAL LIFE & STYLE
The Physique 57 Solution: The Groundbreaking 2-Week Plan for a Lean, Beautiful Body by Tanya Becker and Jennifer Maanavi (Jan., hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-446-58533-0). The innovative Physique 57 workout offers a signature sequence of moves (isotonic and isometric exercises, complemented by orthopedic stretches) to work every muscle group in the body for weight loss and body sculpting in just 57 minutes.
The Belly Fat Cure Fast Track: Discover the Ultimate Carb Swap and Drop Up to 14 lbs. the First 14 Days by Jorge Cruise (Sept., spiral bound, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-4019-2914-5). Hidden sugars are the culprit in people's diets, and a leading weight-loss coach offers a science-based solution.
Chubster: A Hipster's Guide to Losing Weight While Staying Cool by Martin Cizmar (Jan., paper, $13.95, ISBN 978-0-547-55934-6) is a humorous and appropriately snarky weight-loss and lifestyle guide for hipsters looking to shed pounds and stay cool.
Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution by Chris Powell (Oct., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4013-2445-2), from the celebrity fitness trainer and star of ABC's upcoming Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, gives advice on motivation, nutrition, exercises, tips, and tricks to help anyone lose those last 20 pounds.
Diet Rehab: 28 Days to Finally Stop Craving the Foods That Make You Fat by Mike Dow (Dec., hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-58333-442-3). The co-host of TLC's hit series Freaky Eaters shows how to kick the junk-food habit in just four weeks—without the pains of withdrawal.
The South Beach Wake-Up Call: Dr. Agatston's Real-Life Program for Reversing Our Toxic Lifestyle by Arthur Agatston (Oct., hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-60529-332-5). After helping millions lose weight, Agatston targets an even more dangerous health challenge: the toxic lifestyle that is aging Americans quickly and reducing life expectancy.
The Happiness Diet: How Eating Real Food Will Build a Better Brain by Tyler Graham and Drew Ramsey (Dec., hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-60529-327-1). Psychiatrist Ramsey and health journalist Graham examine the deleterious effects of the modern American diet and provide an action plan for reclaiming health and happiness.
ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD
Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva by Debby Herbenick and Vanessa Schick (Nov., $15.95, ISBN 978-1-4422-0801-8). A research scientist and social psychologist team to educate women and men about the vulva and vagina in a manner that is smart, informative, and entertaining.
SIMON & SCHUSTER/GALLERY
Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snack Foods by Andrea Donsky, Randy Boyer, and Lisa Tsakos (Dec., paper, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-4516-1656-9) is an accessible, full-color guide to the best-tasting natural and organic "junk" food, with nutrition info and tips for finding healthy snacks.
The Mind Tree: A Miraculous Child Breaks the Silence of Autism by Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay (Nov., paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-61145-002-6). Diagnosed in early childhood with nonverbal autism, the author has learned to communicate in writing.
The Chic Geek's Fashion, Grooming and Style Guide for Men by Marcus Jaye (Aug., hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-84732-769-7). The men's style guru for Chic Geek magazine takes the guesswork out of achieving geekness in a comprehensive guide to the geek look (casual, comfortable, and just a little offbeat).
ST. MARTIN'S GRIFFIN
You Don't Know Sh*t by Doug Mayer, Val Stori, and Tod Van Jahnes (Aug., hardcover, $12.99, ISBN 978-0-312-64990-6) compiles an informative miscellany of all things poop, from the historical (the circumstances of the very first flush) and the scientific (which chemicals make poop smell the way it does) to the cultural (the many, many euphemisms for poop).
The Alzheimer's Prevention Program: Keep Your Brain Healthy for the Rest of Your Life by Gary Small (Jan., hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-7611-6526-2). One of the leading authorities in the field provides a practical, science-based strategy that promises to forestall the onset of Alzheimer's.
Hobbies and Crafts
Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day by Debbie Stoller and Laurie Henzel (Oct., $29.95, ISBN 978-1-58479-896-5) is an eclectic yet practical collection of more than 250 how-to craft projects, recipes, and essays from Bust magazine, created by bestselling craft author Stoller.
All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Oct., hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-7407-9757-6). In her third collection, the New York Times bestselling author and self-proclaimed "Yarn Harlot" writes with wit and wisdom about knitting, parenting, friendship, and—gasp!—even crocheting in essays that are at times touching, often hilarious, and always entertaining.
ARSENAL PULP PRESS
Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery by Leanne Prain and Jeff Christenson (Sept., paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-55152-406-1). Written by the coauthor of the bestselling Yarn Bombing, this guide elevates embroidery to an art form and includes 28 patterns from contemporary artists.
BARRON'S EDUCATIONAL SERIES
Tasty Cute: 25 Amigurumi Gourmet Treats by Annie Obaachan (Sept., paper, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-7641-4727-2) gives detailed directions for crocheting unique and eye-catching toys that will delight children and amuse friends.
A Life in Stitches: Knitting My Way Through Love, Loss, and Laughter by Rachael Herron (Aug., paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-4521-0053-1) collects 20 heartfelt essays about a life spent knitting, from the author's very first sweater to the yellow afghan that caused a breakup, in a candid and funny book perfect for the knitter who loves to read and the reader who loves to knit; includes a bonus pattern.
Liberty Book of Home Sewing by Liberty of London (Sept., hardcover, $27.50, ISBN 978-1-4521-0237-5) is the first sewing book from Liberty, the internationally popular textile brand and iconic London department store.
Austentatious Crochet: 32 Contemporary Designs from the World of Jane Austen by Melissa Horozewski (Oct., paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-7624-4146-4) features original crochet projects inspired by Austen novels brought up-to-date, fully illustrated with photos, Regency-style illustrations, and schematics, plus quizzes and quotes.
QUAYSIDE PUBLISHING GROUP/ALL AMERICAN CRAFTS
Steampunk Chic: Vintage Flare from Recycled Finds by Jennifer O'Neill and Kitty O'Neill (Sept., paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-936708-08-6). The popular steampunk style goes crafty as the authors and designers present their own version of the fun and funky look in 15 new projects in crafts and home decor.
Microcrafts by Margaret McGuire, Alicia Kachmar, and Katie Hatz (Oct., hardcover, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-59474-521-8) introduces the world of miniature arts and crafts—each of the 25 projects are no larger than a spool of thread—and provides step-by-step instructions, color photographs, and hand-drawn illustrations.
Handmade Chic by Laura Bennett (Nov., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-60961-300-6) is a collection of chic, sophisticated, do-it-yourself accessories from the outspoken fashion designer and Project Runway finalist Bennett.
Knit Local: Celebrating America's Homegrown Yarns by Tanis Gray (Oct., $19.95, ISBN 978-1-936096-18-3) showcases 30 beautiful fashion, accessory, and home decor projects made with yarns manufactured and sold in North America. Expert knitter Gray stresses the wisdom of preserving local businesses, protecting the environment, and treating livestock humanely while tracing how her yarns go from sheep to skein.
Origami Architecture: Papercraft Models of the World's Most Famous Buildings by Patrick Yee (Nov., Mixed media product; $24.95, ISBN 978-4-8053-1154-7). The renowned origami artist gives instructions and templates for 16 of the world's great buildings that will absorb and delight the would-be architect, the papercraft hobbyist, or a model builder.