In 2017 I made a small pact with myself that I would attempt to read one book every single month. How did that go? Well, like many good intentions, I didn’t quite make it to twelve books, but I did read eight. Which is actually two more than I read the year before, so I think somewhere in there, there is a small success from the challenge.
As I know many of you, like myself, are hungry book worms, I thought I would share with you what I put my nose into last year.
On a side note to this reading list, if you would like to read any of them I would really like it if instead of buying the book first of all, you could perhaps go to your local library and see if they have it there. Libraries are a gorgeous treasure troves of literature, and it’s sad to think that in many years to come they may no longer exist. So even if it’s a few of these books, just see if you can borrow from your local library before you hit Amazon.
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
I didn’t really know what to expect from picking up this book, but oh wow did it astound me.
In fact, it was such a page turner that I got through this one fairly quickly.
As a spiritual awakening style of book, it provides spiritual enlightenment and many buddhist notions through a very simple story.
When I discussed reading this book with a colleague, they agreed at how beautiful it is, and I will echo his words to me, “I think many people can find themselves in that book”, and I couldn’t agree more with him.
On Becoming Fearless by Arianna Huffington
While I have to be honest and say that this seemed to scatter all over the place, I did enjoy that it had many anecdotes and stories from other women.
We can undermine ourselves as women more than we realise, so it was refreshing to hear tales of how other women have overcome their fears and anxieties.
Happy by Fearne Cotton
I would most definitely recommend this to someone struggling with severe mental health experiences, but as I’m of a steady temperament at the moment, I did not feel this enlighten me.
I always like to read new mental health books and self help books to provide me with more education so that I can help others, but this was much more of a step-by-step guide to help people struggling than really discussing things in depth.
I’m not going to lie that I was a little disappointed, and although it’s a beautiful book and has actionable tasks for those struggling, I personally did not find it useful.
The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
I’ve been a fan of philosophy since completing an A level in the topic so naturally enjoy reading stories that can pull on the big questions in our lives.
As this is told as a story, it’s perfect if you want to understand philosophy a little more.
I read this book when I was a teenager, but love it so much I decided to pick it back up again.
There’s something about the way that Jostein describes things that makes the book come to life in my head so vividly, I love that a book can still spark my imagination like that.
Be Life Happy by Emma Lannigan
This is a refreshing book by a local wellbeing author and such an honest experience of mental health and the journey to finding happiness.
We all take a different path to get to our happy place, and I love learning about other people’s experiences because I feel we can learn so much from each other.
I would highly recommend this to people who need a little push to make some changes in their lives, as Emma took some big steps in order to create her happiness.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
I’m such a massive nerd for anything to do with history so when I heard about this book on BBC Radio 2 I just had to grab a copy.
It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted, and not what you would call a light read, but I was hooked by all the insights and facts about our existence that I kept pausing to tell my partner what I had read because it was blowing my mind!
I’ve since passed this on to many friends and relatives who like me, can’t stop talking about it.
The Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
I took this book on holiday and couldn’t put it down. It was so funny, light-hearted and enlightening all at the same time.
After reading this I felt so much lighter and truly realised what endless possibilities we all have. In fact, I think the moral of this story gives a lot of food for thought.
The Scandalous Lady W by Hallie Rubenhold
As I live in a Georgian town, you may have realised that I have a thing for the historical decade. However, I was also lucky enough to attend a talk by the author, and since then have been working my way through her collection.
The Scandalous Lady W is an incredibly insightful book about the woman and the dramas that unfolded in the era.
It’s quite crazy to think that an affair could have caused quite the uproar, but you will definitely come away feeling grateful to be in our current decade.
I hope that my eclectic choices have helped you to expand your reading list, and as always, if you have any suggestions for what should pick-up this year, please post your ideas below.