<p>Fall reads. </p>
Whether you love a thriller or autobiographies, we've got something for everyone to add to their fall reading list.
For the music fan
In this tell-almost-all memoir, Brian Wilson candidly reflects on his struggles with family, substance abuse and mental illness and digs deep into the inspiration and meaning behind his music. It's a must-read for any fan of The Beach Boys—or the '60s pop scene, in general—with big-name music icons of the era (Phil Spector, Carole King, Paul McCartney) featuring in many of the stories. — Jes Watson
I Am Brian Wilson (Random House Canada) by Brian Wilson with Ben Greenman, $34.
For the thespian
Margaret Atwood revisits William Shakespeare's The Tempest in a new novel about Felix Phillips, a man who is wrongfully fired from his job as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. He becomes the drama teacher at a nearby prison and, when an opportunity for theatrical revenge arises, launches a trick-filled production of The Tempest for his former coworkers. Even if you've never enjoyed Shakespeare, you'll love this hilarious—and sometimes tragic—retelling of his final play. — Andrea Karr
Hag-Seed (Knopf Canada) by Margaret Atwood, $30.
For the history buff
From one of the most successful authors of all time, Danielle Steel, comes a new work of fiction about Gaëlle, a French teenager who endures unspeakable loss during the Second World War, which inspires her to join the French Resistance. She spends years rescuing Jewish children and trying to protect France's artistic heritage, only to be wrongly accused of collaboration at the end of the war—until many years later, when her granddaughter fights to have Gaëlle's heroism recognized. — AK
The Award (Delacorte Press) by Danielle Steel, $37.
For the crime lover
In John Grisham's latest legal thriller (his 29th!), Florida judge Claudia McDover comes under the scrutiny of the Florida Board of Judicial Conduct when a secretive whistleblower claims McDover is corrupt. The accusation?
The judge has spent years under the thumb of Florida's "Coast Mafia," which skims money off the top of a casino on aboriginal land (in addition to hundreds of other sometimes-violent crimes), then pays her a hefty fee to ensure that any legal disputes are quickly silenced. A slow and steady read, this novel offers a fascinating look at the inner workings of an elaborate crime ring and all the layers of corruption and deceit that run through each level of business, local leadership, law enforcement and the justice system. — AK
The Whistler (Doubleday) by John Grisham, $37.
For the suspense addict
Based on the 2015 hit novel, the film adaptation of The Girl on the Train lands in theatres on Oct. 7 with Emily Blunt in the lead role of Rachel Watson, an alcoholic divorcée whose husband left her for another woman. Rachel rides the train every day, passing by the house of her husband and his new family, as well as an attractive couple a few doors down—until one day, something terrible happens. — AK
The Girl on the Train (Anchor Canada) by Paula Hawkins, $22.
Quick and easy days to boost your mood
Feeling blue? Here are three simple ways to instantly boost your mood.
Whether it's a rough day at work, you had a fight with your partner or you're struggling with your personal finances, there's no denying that life's little obstacles can put a damper on your mood. But you don't have to suffer through these bad feelings, especially when there are so many easy ways to turn that frustration and sadness around.
1. Focus on the positive
It can be easy to fall prey to negative thoughts and emotions, but all that really accomplishes is upping your stress levels. Stop thinking about everything that's going wrong and start thinking about the positive things in your life. Are you looking forward to a date this weekend? Or maybe you've just finished a great workout. Are you going home to a loving family? It doesn't matter what the source of the happiness is, so long as you feel it. It's these positive thoughts that can ease your mind and lift your spirits.
2. Give yourself a break
Do you feel too stressed out or exhausted from your routine? Perhaps you're juggling too many things at once and simply need to give your body and mind a break. Take your mind off your troubles by doing something you know will put a smile on your face, like going dancing with your friends, playing games with your pet or treating yourself to a spa treatment. You'll feel much more relaxed and you'll be able to deal with what's troubling you with some clarity.
3. Talk about your problems
If you have a problem that you can't get off your mind, find someone you trust to talk to about it. They may understand what you're going through and will be able to offer you advice and support. Voicing your frustrations to a good listener will also help you destress, and you'll feel happier knowing there's someone on your side.
More ways to feel happier
9 ways to get healthy and happy
Are you stressed out, overweight, overworked, uninspired, or plagued by negative emotions? Not a problem -- anyone can achieve health and happiness by trying out some new behaviours and attitudes, and working at it step-by-step. Here are nine ways to achieve a fit body and soul.
How to find happiness in 5 easy steps
The building blocks of enduring happiness can be yours with these expert tips on how to find happiness and live a happy life.
8 more ways to feel happier:
Get healthy and happy now
Get happy right away with these 10 great tips for better health.
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The best ways to have more fun while staying true to your fitness goals.
Photo gallery: 16 ways to have a better day
Check out these 16 simple pleasures to heighten your happiness.
Destress, decompress: 5 ways to feel better
Five easy ways to take care of yourself and lower your stress -- mind, body and soul.
Discover the power of positive thinking
A confident, upbeat approach to life can lead to living loger and healthier.
9 ways to stop being negative
Learn nine ways to shift your thinking for a happier you.
Photo gallery: 9 ways to stop being negative
Find out how you can get rid of negative emotions and feel happier.
Stress busters: Easy mind and body exercises for a happier life
Over 20 easy stress busters to calm your nerves and lighten your mood.
Our experts answer reader questions about dropping the last 10 pounds—or more.
Question: I've heard that lifting weights helps the body burn calories even when you're not active. True or false? — Reiko
Answer: That's true. A lot of women prioritize cardio because they want to lose fat, but that burns calories only while you're exercising; as soon as you stop, you're no longer burning as much. Instead, lifting weights revs up your metabolism, so you'll continue burning calories for a few hours after your workout. And don't worry about bulking up; women don't have enough testosterone for that. But you will get leaner!
— Trudie German, certified personal trainer and owner of bodyenvy.ca, Toronto
Question: Is it possible I'm meant to be this big? I've been about the same size all my adult life, give or take a dress size. My mom and my sister are both size 14, and so were my grandmas. Maybe it's genetics? — Anne
Answer: Your genes do play a role, but it's more important to remember that size isn't really a good measure of health. If you're active, feeling good and sleeping and eating well, you probably don't have to worry. According to the World Health Organization, obesity is defined as "abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health." Of course, as you get heavier, there's a greater likelihood your health could be negatively impacted. But it's impossible for me to tell just by having you step on a scale; I have to do all sorts of tests to see if your weight really is affecting your health.
— Dr. Arya Sharma, founder of the Canadian Obesity Network and professor at the University of Alberta
Question: I'm injured and I can't work out. Is it still possible to lose weight? (Even if I'm eating my feelings about not being able to exercise?) — Katie
Answer: It's certainly possible! In fact, what you eat has more of an impact on your weight than exercise. You won't be able to work off extra calories, so be particularly mindful of other factors that influence weight, too, by getting enough sleep, finding ways to manage stress and choosing healthy whole foods in appropriate portions. And try these tricks: Serve vegetables family-style so they're within easy reach, but keep richer foods on the stovetop; use a smaller plate; and focus on your food—you're more likely to overindulge if you're distracted, so try not to eat in front of the TV, in the car or at your desk at work. Lastly, don't deny your hunger; eventually, it will backfire and you'll find yourself overeating or grabbing a convenient but unhealthy snack. People often think they have to cut back on food if they're going to lose weight, but I counsel my clients to eat more during the day. The idea isn't to willpower your way to weight loss; it's to make sustainable changes.
— Casey Berglund, registered dietitian and owner of worthyandwell.com, Calgary
Drop that takeout menu, and walk away from the fast food. These tips will make you an ace at Monday-to-Friday dinner prep.
Set for success
Shop once, eat all week
If it's Sunday and you haven't thought ahead to what you'll have for dinner on Thursday, you're missing out on the world's simplest time-saving tool: meal planning! Write out a list of what you'll need to prep your family's meals for the entire week, and get it all in a single supermarket trip before your busy weekday cycle begins. There's no need to worry about wilted veggies when you have a Bosch refrigerator that is equipped with the special VitaFresh system. It maintains just the right level of humidity and helps keep produce fresh longer.
Call in the troops!
You don't have to handle meal prep alone: enlist your family's help. Even young kids can gather ingredients from the fridge, and Bosch's large-capacity drawers and shelves mean it's highly unlikely the broccoli will have been flattened by a jar of pickles. (Everything in its place!) Plus, the efficient LED lighting system keeps items in clear view without hogging a lot of electricity. Once your ingredients are on the counter, kids can shift to sous-chef mode. Safe tasks for little ones include tearing lettuce, crumbling cheese and whisking dressing. Older kids can peel veggies and stir sauces or brown meat on the stove.
Love your leftovers
Plan to make a double batch of your favourite casserole, soup or stew, allowing you to easily transform leftovers into lunches or use them as a base for tomorrow's dinner. Consider cooking more than one recipe at a time: Bosch stoves have five burners and three oven racks, so you'll have space for it all. Don't your weeknights feel less stressed already?
Label and date all freezer foods so you can know at a glance what you have on hand at all times. This minimizes waste, as you're less likely to buy items you already have, and makes it easier to put dinner on the table efficiently by using up leftovers.
Thaw frozen dishes in the fridge, as opposed to on your kitchen countertop, to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. To avoid freezer burn and keep food at its best, use airtight storage containers or large bags that are designed for the freezer.
To maximize storage space in your freezer, package items like soups and sauces in resealable freezer bags so you can flatten and stack them on top of one another.
Freezer staples—like peas, edamame, corn, bread, ravioli and puff pastry—make weeknight cooking easier. Have these on hand at all times and make a note when one of those items is running low so you never run out.
For more on how Bosch appliances can make prep, cooking and cleanup easier, visit bosch-home.ca.