The One Word Resolution

I haven’t always connected with the concept of New Year’s resolutions, but recently the innocence and optimism of that tradition has brought with it a refreshing sense of normalcy, especially post-holiday frenzy.

To make the task of committing to a resolution less daunting and more lasting, I like to pick words as my “theme” for the year. It makes the intention for “New Year, New You” self-improvement seem simple and achievable.

My word for 2019 is laughter. Like many of us, I feel starved for a good time lately. Politics on both sides of the Atlantic is bleak, and I am craving a year with more light-heartedness and laughs. Even when times are hard, I want to pepper my daily routine with more humor and joy. The physical benefits alone seem irresistible: laughter lowers blood pressure and reduces stress! Seems like the perfect word resolution to start the year.

As an employee at Penguin Random House Audio, I have access to many incredible audiobooks and one of the ways I am attempting to incorporate more laughter into my life is by listening to funnier books. I am typically a sucker for good non-fiction or literary fiction, but this year I am branching out of my genre-comfort zone for the sake of a good laugh. Here are some titles I am excited to listen to:

Author: Jacob Tobia
Read By: Jacob Tobia

From the moment a doctor in Raleigh, North Carolina, put “male” on Jacob Tobia’s birth certificate, everything went wrong. Alongside “male” came many other, far less neutral words: words that carried expectations about who Jacob was and who Jacob should be. Naturally sensitive, playful, creative, and glitter-obsessed, as a child Jacob was given the label “sissy.” In the two decades that followed, “sissy” joined forces with “gay,” “trans,” “nonbinary,” and “too-queer-to-function” to become a source of pride and, today, a rallying cry for a much-needed gender revolution.

Samantha Irby laughs her way through tragicomic mishaps, neuroses, and taboos as she struggles through adulthood: chin hairs, depression, bad sex, failed relationships, masturbation, taco feasts, inflammatory bowel disease and more. Updated with her favorite Instagramable, couch-friendly recipes, this much-beloved romp is treat for anyone in dire need of Irby’s infamous, scathing wit and poignant candor.

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

Author: Helen Ellis
Read By: Helen Ellis

Helen Ellis has a mantra: “If you don’t have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way. In these twenty-three raucous essays Ellis transforms herself into a dominatrix Donna Reed to save her marriage, inadvertently steals a $795 Burberry trench coat, witnesses a man fake his own death at a party, avoids a neck lift, and finds a black-tie gown that gives her the confidence of a drag queen. While she may have left her home in Alabama, married a New Yorker, forgotten how to drive, and abandoned the puffy headbands of her youth, Helen Ellis is clinging to her Southern accent like mayonnaise to white bread, and offering readers a hilarious, completely singular view on womanhood for both sides of the Mason-Dixon.

Whether you’re picking a one word theme of the year or preparing to conquer specific goals, audiobooks have you covered. They’ll have you reading more, caring for yourself, and ready to start that new project in no time.