January 08, 2007 12:00 PM

A Better You!

Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

A savvy analysis of the reasons some ideas find traction and others fade away. Use the Heaths’ tricks (make communiqués concrete and credible) to pump up your own volume, even if it’s just with the kids.

Thinking About Tomorrow by Susan Crandell

An upbeat, practical handbook on “reinventing yourself at midlife” with stories from boomers whose second-act job titles include zoo owner and celeb look-alike.

How to Cheat at Cleaning by Jeff Bredenberg

Clever triage for lazy neat-freaks: wear sandals whenever possible (no sock-washing!) and pick lamp shades in warm colors like orange and yellow, which help conceal dirt. And it’s 234 skimmable pages, so you won’t get bogged down.

How to Spell Like a Champ by Barrie Trinkle, Carolyn Andrews and Paige Kimble Lively

Authoritative and accessible, this book and interactive CD from a trio that includes two Scripps National Spelling Bee winners will help you groom kids for s-u-c-c-e-s-s (or maybe just give you the confidence to ditch spell-check).

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