I read lots.

In fact, I often have multiple books on the go. I am currently listening to Martina Coles No Mercy on Audible for my long runs, have Esther and Jerry Hicks Ask and it is given in my bag for training journeys, and Michelle Obamas Belonging by my bedside.

I love to read.

I buy more books than I have time to read, and I often put self-inflicted “no more books” periods of the year to try and give myself time to catch up.

But anyway as we approach the end of this year I thought I would share the books that have had the most impact and why this year.

Let’s start with my Friend Brene Brown…did you not know we were friends?* inserted sarcasm here

Braving the Wilderness – Brene Brown

I came to Brene late. And when I first listened to this on audiobook I was angry. It was like she was in my head saying all the stuff I believed and thought about. Some of her stories about growing up felt like they were my stories. And I thought bummer, will I ever have an original thought of my own again. I loved braving the wilderness and it helped me to be more OK with my aloneness.

Back in April, the night before my marathon I was feeling unusually nervous. As a distraction, I put on Brenes Netflix documentary and sat back and enjoyed. Just before bedtime, I hopped on twitter and just sent out a little thank you…you know as we do. The following morning as I was checking my social media before heading to the start line I saw she had messaged me back “#andbreath” so from that moment onwards that wonderful lady has forevermore been labelled as “My friend Brene Brown”

Chillprener – Denise Duffield Thomas

I listened to this book while running loops of a 1 mile cycle track in the spring while training for the marathon. I love Denise DT…after binge reading her other book Get Rich Lucky Bitch many years ago and joining her bootcamp…I can hand on heart say this woman has changed my life.

At an event in October where she was speaking in London, I got the chance to ask her a question about my new business venture and I loved how she simply asked me “what feels good?” and when I told her she said “Yep, and I see that being succesful for you”

Chillpreneur is all about ease and flow. Finding success on your terms and making it easy for yourself. Somehow we have this bullshit beliefe that being an entrepreneur has to be hard…it doesn’t. In the book (and from the stage) she tells the story of her nan who like mine was from the East End of London (despite Denise being a proud Aussie) and she says “My nans life was hard” and it puts things into perspective doesn’t it.

Many of us come from generations of hard-working folks…but we don’t need to graft like they do…so make things easy for yourself.

Why we sleep – Matthew Walker

This was a great book to run to while running. I like books about the body and the brain. Books I can zone in and out of on long runs. Not sure if I listened to this all the way to the end but I heard enough of it to start valuing a good nights kip and to understand more about the impact of a lack of sleep both on me and my daughter.

In fact, off the back of this book, I have changed my bedroom decor and started a new bedtime routine for my 7 years old which now involves nightly meditation for children, which she loves….so do I ha ha because we don’t have so much of a battle each night.

Stories that stick – Kindra Hall

I saw Kindra Hall speak live at the national speakers association convention back in 2017. I wasn’t sure I’d like her with her perfect body, swishy hair, and a beautiful face….she looked like an all american beauty queen…but her stories OMG.

I have been on her mailing list ever since and often stop what I’m doing to watch her videos, or read her blog, so when she said she was publishing a book I was all over it.

I’m still making my way through it, as I am stopping quite frequently to think and take note of my own stories I want to tell. She will explain why stories sell businesses much better than I can…but I have built a 6 figure coaching business simply by telling good stories….so buy this book!!!

The Surrender Experiment – Michael A Singer

I’m not going to lie, I found this book hard going. I listened to it as an audio book on a few long drives and a long Sunday run which ended in my breaking down uncontrollably…triggered by the book I think.

It’s a fascinating read. One where you are forever going, “Really????” like did that really happen or is he making it up. But I feel like that about my life too.

Some would call this book a “law of attraction” or “spiritual” book, but I think there is also a heap of social commentary in here about business, and growth, and consumerism, and fairness and all kinds of other juicy things to think about.

I struggle with the idea of surrender because I am a bit of a control freak. I am a planner, I like to know where I am going, I find it hard to trust people and hard to trust the universe…for me these are both an active practise, something I’m working on.

this book forced me to confront my fears about being alone, and it forced me to confront some of the bullshit stories I have about needing a safety net and not being supported. It is probably the most powerful book I have read this year…even if I can’t really say I enjoyed it.

Super Attractor – Gabby Bernstein

I loved this book. So much I listened to it twice through and I never do that with audiobooks. Gabby is easy to listen to. I loved her stories I loved her commentary on the world we live in, and I loved the practical application of her super attractor principles.

Sometimes just listening to someone who has found a way of getting what they want using this mindset stuff, just helps. I don’t care if you are a believer or not. If something makes you feel good it’s going to help…nothing good ever comes from feeling shitty all of the time.

And that is what the book talks a lot about…your vibe attracts everything you want to you and more if you’d just allow yourself to be in that place of joy.

This will be a book I listen to again, in fact, I may even buy a paperback version so I can scribble my own notes into the pages.

I reckon I easily read 100 books this year. I really should keep a list. And there are books that I come back to time and time again…like my good friend Bryony Thomas’ Watertight Marketing…that has a second edition coming out very soon, and Profit First...the only money book to ever help me get my shit together and pay myself properly.

Other notable books from friends this year include Dave Hensons Your Slides Suck (Something I already know Dave ha ha) a great practical book and also Jackie Barries (who I’ve been to lunch with today) Experiential Speaking…a book jammed packed full of engaging exercises to use in your speaking and training…many of which I recognise from my drama leader days.

I was inspired this week to write this overview of 2019 books by one of my Tribe Builder clients Erin Chamberlain, she is a book coach who is on a mission to get small business owners masterpieces finally out of their head and onto the shelves next year…with her self on the shelf campaign.

She has given me a kick up the bum to get my next book out there.

Over the Xmas period work starts on my 9th book…this one will be about the lessons I’ve learned over the last decade of being a plus-size fitness influencer, and what we can all learn from leading from the back….which is the working title at the moment.

So watch this space.

What did you read this year?

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

PS. Please note as an Amazon affiliate I may get a share of the book price if you purchase via these links, at no extra cost to you of course.

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