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8 Books I’ve Read Lately (and loved)

Books-Ive-read

I’ve been meaning to do some reviews of some of the great books I’ve read this year, and just kept putting it off, so I thought I’d pull them together into one post.

I love reading – always have – and my list of books to read is growing faster than a kid on Weet-Bix.

So, here are some of my faves from the year so far (I read a lot of non-fiction, I hope you don’t mind!):

 

High by Tara Bliss

Part memoir, part contemplative ‘how to’, High is the story of Tara’s journey from Party Girl to successful and mega inspiring business woman.

Not only did I love her open and vulnerable story of transformation, I felt – for the first time – empowered to achieve what this fellow introvert has in her short time as a coach and writer. It didn’t feel out of reach, it felt completely doable, if you’re willing to do the work that Tara outlines in her book.

My fave quote:

[pullquote width=”500″ float=”center”]You don’t need to have hit Rock Bottom to invite change into your life.[/pullquote]

Why you might like it:

Because it’s raw, it’s real, there is sure to be at least one story or moment that you can completely relate to. I got so much from High, including a newfound love of meditation and the courage to take steps towards writing a book of my own.

 

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Daring and Disruptive by Lisa Messenger

This is one of those books I know I will come back to time and time again. The stories are fun, the message is inspiring, and the key theme to follow your heart and RUN with it makes you want to do just that.

I also love the way this book is broken down into small chapters with headings like ‘Fail Fast’ and “Dream Big, Dream Often’ to make it easy to read and refer back to often. Lisa’s stories paint the picture of a woman who is fierce and wildly passionate, intelligent and heart felt. And she has worked her BUTT off to get to where she is.

My fave quote:

[pullquote width=”500″ float=”center”] Dream big, dream often. Let your subconscious run wild. Look for inspiration everywhere. Accept crazy ideas. Make your dreams come true.[/pullquote]

Why you might like it:

If you’re looking for tips on all things business and being an entrepreneur. There are so many gems of wisdom in here, you’ll be having ‘ah-ha’ moments all over the place (read with a pen and notebook handy, and probably get the accompanying ‘Play Book’ that she released with D&D to get the most out of it.

 

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

This has become the go-to book for introverts, and Susan Cain is the voice of our people. Her Ted talk is instantly captivating and so relatable and I expected Quiet to be the same. But it’s so much more.

There are stories from moments in history to better explain her point about introverts and extraverts (from Rosa Parks to Dale Carnegie). There are stories from people she met during her research and actual scientific theories to better understand the difference between the personality types, but also the other factors that make up ‘us’. It’s fascinating and deeply thought out, rich with Cain’s theories and backed up with research.

My fave quote: 

[pullquote width=”500″ float=”center”]The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting.[/pullquote]

Why you might like it:

If you want to understand introverts, you are an introvert, or you know/love an introvert, you need to read this book (it’s just that good). That is all.

 

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Playing Big by Tara Mohr

I know that I’ve said all the books I’ve read have been brilliant, but this one is spectacular. Playing Big is a book from a program Tara Mohr runs (or used to run) to help women, in particular, stop holding themselves back.

Each chapter is a stage of the program, allowing you to understand the process and complete exercises that pertain to each lesson, but it’s the stories or case studies that allow you to see where you might be playing small in your own life. The visualisation in, I think, Chapter 2 is a game changer. Game changer.

It’s just one of those books that is easy to implement and will actually guide you forward and help you realise where you might have been playing small in your life.
My fave quote:

[pullquote width=”500″ float=”center”]The past was a world defined, designed, and led by men. The future – we hope – will be a world define, designed, and led by women and men. The present is the transition. Those of us born into this time were born into a unique and remarkable historical moment, a moment of in between. That means you and I and all the women we know have in a sense been “hired” for a very important global transition team.[/pullquote]

I defy you to read this book and not be over-the-top passionate and inspired to be part of this transition.

Why you might like it:

If you’re a woman, you need to read this because there is no doubt that you know women who hide their extraordinary talents from the world, and you probably do too. Just to be aware that you’re doing it is the first step, but this book will take you even further. Just read it and you’ll understand.

 

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Insight: Reflections on the gifts of being an introvert by Beth Buelow

More informal than the others, this book is a collection of thoughts and reflections about introversion. I definitely grew to like the casual tone but, mostly, I just loved the insights (should have seen that coming as the title kind of says it all).

There were so many moments that I felt understood and as though I better understood the quiet power of introverts, and how empowering that was. I can barely work out which quote to share with you because there were so many ‘ooh yeah’ moments in it.

My fave quote:

I think it has to be this one:

[pullquote width=”500″ float=”center”]My energy isn’t low or high, it’s mine. My unique and positive presence. My energy is calm, attentive, curious and centered. That’s what is authentic to me. It’s an energy that has its own power and magnetism, no better or worse than an energy that spins visibly faster.[/pullquote]

Why you might like it:

If you’re an introvert, you will feel instantly understood and you will understand yourself better too. It’s called Insight for a reason, there are plenty of thoughts in there that you might think you probably could have had, but Beth had them first and put them into words.

 

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Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron

You know when you pick up a book, read an article, or watch something that is exactly what you needed at the time. That’s what Start Where You Are was for me. A friend leant it to me and it sat on the shelf for weeks until I was feeling a bit bleh one week and started reading it. And it turned out to be exactly what I needed.

Essentially, it’s an explanation of parts of the Buddhist spirituality and a specific style of meditation, but really it’s a lifestyle. It’s about learning to lighten up, be present, learn self compassion and compassion for others, and easy to understand ways to do all of these things without being over demanding of your time and attention. It will definitely make you think differently about yourself (or not think at all, which is kind of the point).

My fave quote:

[pullquote width=”500″ float=”center”]We’re always trying to avoid unpleasantness and grasp pleasantness. There seems to be a need to change the fundamental pattern of always protecting against anything touching our soft spot.[/pullquote]

Why you might like it:

I don’t read a lot about spirituality, but when I have, I’ve sometimes found the theories too out there for my tiny brain to comprehend but everything in this book is SO simple, it’s almost crazy to think that we’ve trained ourselves the other way. I’m pretty sure everyone could get something out of this book.

 

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Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Wild is probably one of my all time favourite books, so I didn’t know what to expect with Tiny Beautiful Things. But it’s completely different. Cheryl became Sugar, the anonymous advice columnist and this book is a collection of the best letters she responded to.

It’s funny, it’s heart wrenching, it’s tongue-in-cheek, and she puts the hard word on more than one of her readers. I read it in less than a day. It’s so addictive, highly entertaining, and even had me in tears a couple of itmes.

My fave quote:

[pullquote width=”500″ float=”center”]The most terrible and beautiful and interesting things happen in a life. For some of you, those things have already happened. Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself, even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will. I have learned that over and over again.[/pullquote]

Why you might like it:

If you’re in the mood for some ‘light reading’. There are parts that aren’t light, but the chapters are short and it’s easy to read. The subject matter is varied but it’s like a bar of chocolate, one piece is just never enough. It will also open your eyes to how minuscule your problems are. Probably best read with that bar of chocolate. It’s thoroughly wonderful.

 

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Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I can’t believe I only read Eat Pray Love this year – how very behind the times I am sometimes! And, to be honest, because of all the hype, I was seriously underwhelmed at first by this book. In fact, I hated the first 30 chapters. The number of chapters has some meaning to Gilbert, but mostly it just irritated me because it disrupted the flow of the writing. I actually felt frustrated reading it!!

But then, she got towards the end of Italy/beginning of India and I finally started to see what was triggering me. Elizabeth Gilbert IS this book, warts and all. She isn’t trying to be all together. She isn’t hiding her middle-upper class, white person problems. She is all there on the page.

And I started to fall in love with her (and also very much wanted to go to India to stay in an Ashram – sorry Mum).

My fave quote:

[pullquote width=”500″ float=”center”]You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.[/pullquote]

Why you might like it:

Because I am yet to meet a woman who has read it and not liked it. And the best thing about it? Everyone seems to have a different section they love, or a story about where they were in their life when they read it, and I love that.

 

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I actually can’t believe how many books I’ve read this year (I left a bunch out otherwise this post would go on forever).

And I have a huge list next up that includes:

+ The Motivation Manifesto by Brandon Burchard

+ Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

+The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

+ The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

+ Quiet Power Strategy by Tara Gentile

+ The Introvert Mindset by Sara Elliot Price

 

What’s on your reading list? Any recommendations you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below so I can add them to my list!

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Comments

2 Comments

  1. Katherine

    I basically only read non-fiction too and it looks like your choice of books is very similar to my own! Thanks for the recommendations – Daring & Disruptive has been on my “to read” list for a while so this just may be the kick up the butt I need to get onto it 🙂

    Looking forward to another book review post!

    Reply
    • Katherine - The Beauty Of Life

      Whoa, Katherine, I wonder what else we have in common. It seems like it will be a lot hehe! Definitely check it out and let me know what you think and I promise to share some more soon x

      Reply

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