In 2016 I was adamant that I was going to read one book a month. But thanks to a few radical life changes, I only managed 8, which I’m still pretty proud of considering that the previous year, reading had been a luxury only reserved for holidays.
(Yes, I’m usually one of those traditional book readers who has half a library stashed away in her hand luggage!)
Since passionately getting back into reading I’ve become a regular reader of book reviews and ask pretty much everyone I meet which books they would recommend. Not only does this help me find all sorts of new reads, but I think you can also learn a lot about people from their taste in books.
Looking at my list last year you will clearly see there’s a good mix of career focussed books and books that really make you think about life. (You can clearly see what my focus was on last year!)
So in the name of sharing knowledge and hoping to inspire any other avid readers, I thought I’d share my 2016 reads. If you have any recommendations to help me make it to 12 this year then please put a comment below. My amazon wish list can always do with fattening up.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go – Dr. Seuss
The PR Masterclass by Alex Singleton
As my day job is all about trying to secure clients press coverage, this book was a no-brainer to help me improve my pr-journalist relations.
Alex Singleton is a former newspaper journalist, and his honest, practical advice not only inspired some light bulb moments but also secured my confidence in how to create PR campaigns that would be successful.
Unlike many books out there Alex doesn’t talk in jargon, he is just really honest about what journalists are looking for, and how best to get in touch with them.
I can understand why this is a best-seller, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to get into PR or learn the best practices for outreaching to journalists.
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I was given this book by a friend during a relationship break-up last year, and it completely changed my life.
In fact, it’s probably the best gift I’ve ever been given.
I know many people have read this and say exactly the same thing, but due to my circumstances at the time I could completely relate to Liz and how she was feeling.
For me, this book was like chicken soup for the soul while I was going through a dark and traumatic time.
It taught me that making changes for myself was a good thing and that there is far more to life than a jean size. And actually, in the end, everything happens for a reason.
Her wise words still resonate with me, and I will treasure this book forever. If you haven’t read it, you need to.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I will be completely honest and say that the only reason I picked this book was because I wanted to read the book before I watched the film. Yep, that old chestnut!
Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautifully thought-provoking read, but it didn’t have quite the effect on me that it did on everyone else, and it did end up in the charity bag.
When Breathe Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi
I discovered this book after reading a snippet of it in a Fast Company review and just knew that I had to read it.
It is an auto-biography of DR. Paul Kalanithi, who in his thirties is diagnosed with cancer.
The book follows his life and his battle with cancer. But what truly separates his story, is the detail he goes into about his life as a neurosurgeon and the incredible stories of his patients.
This book had me hooked from beginning until end, and my heart truly felt broken at the end.
I’ve since shared this book with a number of friends and would recommend it to anyone.
DR. Paul’s story may be heart-wrenching to read, but it is full of life lessons that we should all hear.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
After watching Shery Sandberg’s TED Talk, I bought this book.
As someone who is passionate about making positive changes in the workplace, I found Sheryl’s words completely inspiring, and I’m going to be completely honest and say that it changed my way of thinking.
Since reading this book I feel like I’m a mission to support other women in the workplace, and as a manager, ensure that my team feel supported and encouraged in their careers.
No matter what position you are in you should read this book. It is an unconscious feminist book that calls for women all over the world to take action.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I can’t deny that Elizabeth Gilbert became my favourite writer last year, and I think it’s this book that secured my girl crush.
As someone who pretty much procrastinates before putting my hand to anything creative, this book has helped me to battle the white space worry and boost my confidence in putting my words into the world.
Plus her anecdotes in the book blew me away and made me see creativity in a different light.
If you struggle as much as I do sometimes putting yourself out-there, then this is your antidote.
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight
If you always say yes to things that you don’t actually want to do, then it’s critical to get this book before you end-up hating your life.
That may sound extreme, but I’m notorious for agreeing to do things I don’t really want to do, or worrying about things that don’t matter.
So Sarah Knight has constructed practical ways to help you live a life you want to, and learn how to that magic word – NO – without offending anyone.
It’s pure genius, and I should probably read it again.
Like a gift that keeps on giving, I’ve bought this book for a number of friends, and it’s almost become a bible for women everywhere. Plus I love that way she’s happy to use expletives in her writing. A woman after my own heart!
The End of Guesswork – The Role of Data in Marketing by Ben Harper
When our Co-Founder Ben Harper told us that he had written a book, I was beyond impressed, and naturally wanted to read it to get an insight into what he believed was the future of marketing and how we can use data to improve and enhance marketing campaigns.
After all, it’s the bread and butter of what we do at Datify, so why wouldn’t I want the opportunity to get inside my bosses head and make sure I’m contributing in the best way possible to our company’s goal?
Putting all bias aside, Ben’s book is honest, practical, jargon-free, and offers truly helpful advice in the ways in which you can use data.
Being completely honest, data has always scared me and made me glaze over in fear, mainly because I’m more of your a floaty creative type, and because I always think it’s going to involve some form of maths.
But Ben has taken this fear away and I feel far more confident in utilising data and thinking about how it can help people make more informed decisions.
Well folks, I hope that’s inspired your 2017 reading list, don’t forget to make a suggestion below!