Recommended Reads

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I am a true bookworm at heart and read up to 25 books a year (excluding re-reads) so I’m never short of a recommendation.

Inspired by National Book Lover’s Day, I decided to share some of the books that I’ve enjoyed reading in the first part of my ‘recommended reads’ series.

The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup is all about turning your passion project into a reality. Guillebeau provides clear examples of how to start a new business venture with minimal resources and funding. He discourages you from getting stuck in the planning phase and encourages you to get started right away. You’ll enjoy this if you’re looking for a quick entrepreneurial read that isn’t too technical.

Kindred – Octavia Butler

Kindred is a classic novel within the Afrofuturist genre. Butler’s narrative explores race relations in 1970s America in relation to the antebellum using the concept of time travel. The novel is engaging and thought-provoking; I am definitely keen to read more of her work.

Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

This infamous book happens to be one of my all-time favourite reads! Gladwell explores the concept of success and how to become successful. He features Dr. Ericsson’s 10,000-hour theory, which states that 10,000 hours worth of deliberate practice will make an expert in your field. This is a great book for curious minds and those who enjoy light reads. Gladwell’s writing style is engaging and concise, you really can’t go wrong!

My Age of Anxiety – Scott Stossel

I purchased this book on a whim at Foyles as it was featured alongside Quiet by Susan Cain. This non-fiction, biographical account of Stossel’s own experience with anxiety is combined with case studies that explore the history of anxiety and prescriptive medication in America. This book resonated with me for many reasons. It could potentially be a triggering read, but I would strongly recommend to anyone wanting to know more about anxiety and mental health.

Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

A classic work of literature by an amazing writer. The famous novel explores European colonialism in Nigeria following the arrival of Christian missionaries. Although it was a short read, I found it highly enjoyable — I definitely want to read more of his work.

Damn Good Advice – George Lois

Another purchase from my beloved Foyles, I preferred this to the infamous It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be. The book contains over 100 nuggets advice from the advertising legend, George Lois. Many argue that the advice isn’t revolutionary, but I see as a nicely packaged kick up the backside for any creative who has temporarily lost their steam. Not a must-have by any means, but worth reading if you have the chance.

Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work! – Austin Kleon

Unsurprisingly I purchased both of these books from the front tables at Foyles… These two short reads by Austin Kleon are a must have for any creative regardless of your discipline. The first book is all about inspiration and channelling creativity, whilst the second one is about putting your work out there. As with Damn Good Advice, these books serve as a reminder of what you should be doing and are short enough to read through every so often. I would say these are on my list of all-time favourite books.

The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success – Deepak Chopra

Purchased at JFK airport in September 2011 — if you haven’t guessed by now, most of my books hold sentimental value. This pocket-sized version can be carried around on a daily basis and read from cover to cover in about an hour, making it perfect for travel. I truly believe the principles in this book go a long way in changing your outlook on life and helping you to attain a peaceful existence. This probably deserves an in-depth review, but let’s just say I hold this book in high regard.

The Alchemist – Paul Coelho

I stayed up late and read the entire book in one go. The Alchemist is a parable about listening to your heart and chasing your dreams. Coelho’s style of writing is very engaging, he manages to combine spirituality and wisdom seamlessly into his narrative and I found myself laughing throughout, eager to find out what happens next. I think this is a great book that will appeal everyone, even those who don’t enjoy reading as much – it’s that good!

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