Shawn Fain’s New Year’s Resolution Is to Lay the Ground for a National Strike
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New Year, Who Dis?: 10 Reads for Your New Year’s Resolutions

By Christian Coleman

Personal growth
Image credit: Mariana Anatoneag

You don’t always follow through on them and yet you make them anyway. That’s the fun of it! They can be as serious as heart bypass surgery or as carefree as a six-gallon bag of caramel popcorn. Come December 31, you flex your New Year’s resolutions as a vision board of the ensuing year. New Year’s is as good a time as any for a reset. Will you live up to it? Only time and your gumption will tell. But in the meantime, here are a handful of titles from Beacon’s catalog to help you steer the course to achieving the new you that you’ve been manifesting. They may even give you some ideas, too!


Ready for a New Look and Some Reinvention 

All Made Up

All Made Up: The Power and Pitfalls of Beauty Culture, from Cleopatra to Kim Kardashian

“Trying to understand people’s use of makeup throughout history and the influence it has had on culture and social structures is a way to reflect on people’s humanity. People of all genders wear makeup because they are getting something out of it, and the benefit is worth the time, effort, and money they spend. Learning about why people wear makeup sheds light on how people live and how the world is constructed.”
—Rae Nudson 


Time to Enrich Your Life with More Fiction 

The Birdcatcher

The Birdcatcher

Anyway, well, I remember this one time she’d just tried to kill him, and I got there and there they were sitting on a bench in the hallway outside the locked door, and he was holding her elbow. You’d think they were turtledoves. Baby! If all lovers could look that way! Well, it takes all kinds. And Catherine’s got enough jabber to fill the whole country. She starts talking about elbows! Just tried to kill the man and talking about elbows.”
—Gayl Jones 


Cultivating Your Inner Peace 

The Blooming of a Lotus

The Blooming of a Lotus: Essential Guided Mediations for Mindfulness, Healing, and Transformation

“As we meditate, we untie knots we have created in ourselves; knots of fear, hatred, anger, suspicion, despair, and attachment. A transformation takes place, gradually removing divisions and making our relationships with humans and nature much easier. We feel at ease and touch the joy of being alive, like a flower that is slowly opening. The human being is a species of flower that can bloom as freshly and beautifully as any other flower. The Buddha was a fully opened human flower, infinitely fresh and beautiful.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh 


Cutting Off the Toxic Relationships in Your Life 

The End of Love

The End of Love: Racism, Sexism, and the Death of Romance

“[T]he dissolution of straight relationships has not happened by chance but by design. I argue that a formation of male media moguls has worked to erode romance as a direct backlash to the twentieth-century feminist and civil rights movements. They have managed to do this by hiding their intent in plain sight. Through a series of messages communicated among themselves (and to us!) via the mass media, prominent men across racial and ethnic groups in the US have worked to kill romance by asserting that it should be limited to special cases involving the ‘right’ types of women. In its place, they effectively erected a new world sexual order. The new order depends on withholding love as a means of manipulating us and maintaining the upper hand over us.”
—Sabrina Strings 


Time to Take Care of Your Mental Health 

Living While Black pb

Living While Black: Using Joy, Beauty, and Connection to Heal Racial Trauma

“Our definitions of mental health will vary from person to person. However, generally when we talk about mental health we are talking about our subjective sense of well-being, and when we talk about ‘mental health problems,’ we are referring to difficulties in relating to ourselves, others, and/or to the world. Or we refer to feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that have adverse effects on our ability to lead fulfilling lives.”
—Guilaine Kinouani 


Reconsidering Why You Eat What You Eat 

No Meat Required

No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating

“The only thing that has changed in the last few years is that tech meat such as Impossible Foods burgers and Beyond Meat burst onto the scene; now, lab meat is discussed as though inevitable, despite reporting that suggests it will never actually make it to market at a scale that will be affordable. Suddenly, despite my commitment to vegetables, I was tasked with untangling what meat facsimiles mean. But I don’t eat these products, and I don’t actually care about them beyond what they represent. What they represent is a continuation of meat-as-symbol that I find rather troubling, because I personally want to see a radical reimagining of how we eat, how we use land, and how we think about our food.”
—Alicia Kennedy 


Finally Trying Your Hand at Penning Poetry 

Soul Culture

Soul Culture: Black Poets, Books, and Questions That Grew Me Up

“I’m often asked by students trying to make their way into the writing life, How do you know when poems are ‘good’ (though I’d argue ‘effective’ is a more precise term)? When poets trying to make their way into the wider world ask me, How do you know when a book is really ‘finished’ (effective/good)? I give them all the same questions: What’s the sound like? Is there rhythm as well as tension? Are there holes in the narrative? Is the title a help, hindrance, or spoiler? What are the ‘aha’ moments? Is the ending an opening or only a closing?
—Remica Bingham-Risher 


Rethinking Your Relationship Status with Social Media and Digital Technology 

The Stars in Our Pockets

The Stars in Our Pockets: Getting Lost and Sometimes Found in the Digital Age

“We’re forgetting we’re lost, and we’re forgetting what we’re losing, which is a far cry from being well adapted. We need a new kind of map. A map with the digital world and the traits it calls for, and with the old physical world and the traits it calls for, and with the borders clearly marked where the two realms conflict—where the border crossings are treacherous, where we’re bound to lose parts of ourselves we value.”
—Howard Axelrod 


Carving a Path for Liberatory Learning in and out of the Classroom 

Toward Liberation

Toward Liberation: Educational Practices Rooted in Activism, Healing, and Love

Teaching truth begins with the acknowledgment of our role as teachers in movements of resistance, in the practice of liberation. The ways we uphold or dismantle truths play a role in either dismantling oppression or perpetuating it. We must also consider that our practice is an art form, and as a result it comes with great responsibility and should be subversive. We ought to be required to teach our content fully, dissect our own beliefs, and include the voices of the marginalized and the silenced within the narratives and forms of history about this nation that are often regurgitated.”
—Jamilah Pitts 


Re-evaluating What You Think About Body Image and Health 

You Just Need to Lose Weight NYT

“You Just Need to Lose Weight”: And 19 Other Myths About Fat People

“Cultural conversations prompt us to regard thinness as a major life accomplishment; these myths lend credence to that belief. Many of these myths center around treating fat people as failed thin people, implying that thin people are superior to fat people. These myths aren’t just incorrect or outdated perceptions: they’re tools of power and dominance.”
—Aubrey Gordon 




About the Author 

Christian Coleman is the digital marketing manager at Beacon Press and editor of Beacon Broadside. Before joining Beacon, he worked in writing, copy editing, and marketing positions at Sustainable Silicon Valley and Trikone. He graduated from Boston College and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Follow him on Twitter at @coleman_II and on Bluesky at