Inspiring Audiobooks to Ring in the New Year
By Kathryn Alley, Cameron Phillips, Nuria Berbel Torres and Sarunicka Satkuruparan
Happy New Year! As we celebrate the start of 2023, we wanted to recommend audiobooks that offer a wellness approach to “New Year, New Me” that is rooted in self-love. The New Year is a time for reflection, and we hope that these listens provide insight and recognition that personal growth is a unique journey worthy of celebration each day of the year.
The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest challenges the obstacle between where you are now and the life you desire. Mountains have often been used as critical metaphors to represent the ups and downs of life. Flipping this on its head, Wiest offers that it is each person’s experiences and hardships that form the mountain that must be overcome to truly grow. The timely audiobook, narrated by the warm, comforting voice of Stacey Glemboski, suggests that climbing your mountain is the best way to heal.
The Mountain is You is a powerful self-help book and even more special to listen to. Glemboski’s narration is soothing and sensitive to their readers, encouraging introspection and emotional intelligence. Listeners are given the courage to step out of their own way from damaging, self-sabotaging behaviors to find resilience and healing. I cannot promise that this will be an easy listen, but from personal experience, The Mountain is You is one of the most beneficial audiobooks for 2023.
My recommendation to start off the New Year is Atomic Habits, written and narrated by James Clear. Self-help books have received their fair share of mixed reviews but this one has not only stood the test of time but serves as an example of the value they can have. Atomic Habits demonstrates how small, incremental, everyday improvements compound into large, transformative change over time.
Clear’s podcasting experience combined with his belief in what he is saying means he delivers the narration with sharpness and conviction. From breaking down why it is so much easier to develop bad habits to providing a four-step framework on how you can build good ones, resounding points are littered throughout this listen. Instead of thinking about goals, results and drastic changes, like we have a tendency to do at this time of year, Atomic Habits reminds listeners of the immeasurable value of process, environment and being 1% better every single day.
My favourite takeaway is Clear’s outcome vs identity habits where he argues that instead of thinking about what you want to achieve, think about who you want to become.
“The most practical way to change who you are is by changing what you do.”
Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self by Lise Bourbeau.
In this book, Lise Bourbeau tackles the idea that all problems, physical, emotional or mental, are rooted in five important wounds of the soul: rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal and injustice. The book explains how we are born to be ourselves and to live diverse experiences that will shape us as humans, but also how the environment in which we are born will determine what these experiences are and their consequences. The book centres around the need for acceptance of the consequences of these events, not as forgiveness for what or who caused these wounds, but as a way to become conscious about our mindset and bring awareness to how we have carried these wounds alongside us. Her outlook on neutral acceptance caught my attention. Not to tie emotions, agree or disagree with an experience, just to accept it. Acceptance is how we grow, and how we can learn to identify what benefits us and what we want to leave behind.
What better way to start the new year than by learning to leave behind the wounds of your past? This book will bring you healing and new perspectives to walk the path towards your goal: your true self.
I always associate the turn of the New Year with the idea of renewal and new opportunities. I’ve decided that 2023 will be my year. I’ve set myself some goals, and one of those goals is to feel younger and be with my mates more. Fittingly, my pick is Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, written by J.M Barrie, and in this version, it is narrated by Christopher Cazenove. Originality is an extremely difficult thing to achieve in any art, and whilst the idea of eternal youth is something ancient, J.M Barrie’s Peter is an extraordinary view on the topic through the lens of childhood. “To die will be an awfully big adventure," says Peter. I think the character is brilliant. He’s actually not very likeable, but that’s because he is a child, and children have very little inhibitions. This is paralleled by his unquestioning bravery and loyalty to Neverland and its inhabitants. Barrie’s writing is just gorgeous.
The idea of being “betwixt and between” is quite a difficult one to grasp, but Cazenove’s narration melds the magic and whimsical adventures of Peter, Tinkerbell, the Darlings and the Lost Boys wonderfully.