Reading was once my thing, I loved to read, but somehow it had gotten relegated. It was a friends new boyfriend who unwittingly reminded me that I hadn’t been reading enough. He seemed to calmly drift through her open space house with a book under his arm and when I asked about it, my friend simply said ‘Reading is his thing’… Reading had once been my thing too before job, travel, life (and blog) got in the way and so now it was time to revisit my reading roots. And so I gave myself the goal of reading 12 books in 2017.
With so many books piled up on my bedside table, and so many sitting in my Amazon wishlist or aspiring to be read on my Pinterest board, I was quite frankly overwhelmed with with the question of what I should read. Someone once told me that ‘a book will find you’. So with no specific plan or genre, I simply started reading whatever took my fancy. Here’s my unfiltered list in chronological order:
1. Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez. [Non-Fiction -Business] A Christmas gift from my brother in law. A racy Silicon Valley page turner about start ups, mergers and acquisitions and tech companies. Great read, especially for those who work in the industry and are interested in real time bidding and digital advertising.
2.Swimming Home by Mary-Rose MacColl [Fiction] Bought at JFK airport, a slow read about a young girl in the 1930’s, attempting to swim the English channel. Has inspired me to try swimming in the Irish sea – maybe next Summer with a wet suit – maybe, not a firm resolution just yet.
3.Smarter, Better, Faster: Work Smarter not harder and be productive in life and business by Kor Martan [Non Fiction – Business] A mandatory work read which was surprisingly better than expected. In fact the last chapter on creativity that uses the movie Frozen as a case study was really interesting.
4. Within: A Spiritual Awakening to Love and Weight Loss by Dr. Habib Sadeghi [Non Fiction – Health] Recommended in a magazine I flicked through while chilling out in the relaxation suite of The Peninsula Spa Paris. A diet book that is not a typical diet book but more about eating healthily because you love yourself. A bit out there but certainly food for thought.
5. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout [Fiction] Recommended to me during a very very long drive through the Jordanian desert by an Unwind and let go contributor. Such a cleverly constructed and well written novel – a book for a long evening of discourse over a glass of wine at a book club – 12 stories around one central character.
6. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin [Non Fiction – Self Help] Written by a blogger, based on a 12 month project to only focus on things that made her happy. A concept I couldn’t agree with more. I came away with pages of quotes and ideas. Great little self help book.
7. Goop Beauty Clean by Gywneth Paltrow [Non Fiction – Health] If anyone wants it, you can have my copy.
8. Bobbi Brown : Beauty from the Inside Out by Bobbi Brown [Non Fiction – Self Help] Practical and interesting, with heaps of great make up tips. Perfect pressie for someone’s birthday and so much better than number 7 on this list.
9. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy [Fiction] A gift from a friend in work. A beautifully written rich, intense, sad, wonderful, deep book by an insanely fabulous writer. If only we could all write like her. This book was long listed for the Man Booker in 2017, which thankfully props up the quality of this years reads.
11. Its the little things, Francis Brennan’s guide to life by Francis Brennan [Non-Fiction – Lifestyle]. Crushingly disappointing. I had hoped for a witty book on decorum, manners and etiquette. Its falls short on all fronts – but I am still a huge fan of his hotel, linen and towels.
12. Prince Charles by Sally Bedell Smith [Non – Fiction – Biographical] . Super interesting – could be classified as Fiction. Still in the middle of it and enjoying it immensely. The question of course is will he ever be King. I’m really not sure.
And now having written out this list. I do wonder if I could have found more time to read more rather than loitering in airport lounges with a pile of magazines? I also wonder if I could have picked a more discerning list – especially as time is so precious. But alas this is how it is. So, what did you read in 2017? Perhaps you have a good recommendation.