Top Ten Must Reads – 2018

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My favourite books of 2018 to add to your 2019 Reading List

“A book is a dream you hold in your hand.”

– Neil Gaiman

Books, Books, Books

As a writer, I am also an avid reader, although I must admit that in past commuting was my precious time to bury my head in a book and be transported to another world, or to be experiencing a different life through the eyes of someone else… it was pure magic! Now I have to make time to read, which has meant being open to reading e-books and listening to audio books, but my first love will always be a physical book in my hand.

So, here are my top book recommendations from my 2018 reading list, and it was really hard to narrow it down to my top ten!

1.  Rising Strong (by Brené Brown)

Want to know what makes for a ‘wholehearted’ life and how to weather the storms of life – then this is the book for you. Brené Brown is a researcher, who uses her data to find out the secrets to why some people fair better with life in general than others. It is about failing, getting right back up and going on. It certainly made me review my own life and how I can learn ways to shift negative patterns and adopt ways to begin living a ‘wholehearted’ and happier life.

I also listened to an audio book (Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice) to accompany the book, which also reinforced her insights and learnings as share by the author at as live event.

2.  Recovery – Freedom from our Additions
     (by Russell Brand)

I listened to the audio book version, and I must say it was, at time hard to listen to Russell Brand drone on. However, that said, there were lots of insightful points. I don’t consider myself an addict, but there were definitely points that resonated with me. The AA 12 Step Program is also very valid to anyone who wishes to transform their lives and start to live a life of purpose. Check it out, and see what comes up for you.

3.  On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft  (by (Stephen King)

As a writer/author, this is a definite MUST READ… and so I dutiful read it. Yes, it is packed with lots of well-written anecdotal stories about Stephen King’s lengthy writing career, along with pointers on his writing style and tips.  Does it help you become a ‘bestselling’ author like Mr King? That I can’t say, but it will get you thinking about your own writing, and how you can improve it.

4.  Conversations with Me (by Caroline Palmy)

A beautifully written memoir of Caroline’s personal story to overcome the trauma and impact of divorce. I love the way it is structured with a series of questions she poses and then answers. It is open and honest, and offers the gift of ‘hope’ to anyone who is going through the same experience. Caroline proves you can get through it, and find yourself, and happiness, again.

5.  The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris (Jenny Colgan)

What’s not to love about this easy to read ‘Chick Lit’ book? It is set in Paris, a city I adore, and it has lots of chocolate in it, as well as romance. I admire her writing style and the story flowed well. Definitely a ‘feel good’ read, snuggled up on the sofa, with a cuppa and a box of chocolates at hand – perfect!

6.  Stop ‘Should-ing’ and Start Wanting (by Judith Quin)

Taking back control of your life, becoming ’empowered’ starts with your self-talk. In her debut book, Judith shares with us her story of removing the word ‘should’ from her vocabulary, and why we need to reconnect with what is right for us by ‘wanting’. Easy to read, with lots of great little exercises to do along the way too. Follow her advice and before long you will be living a life you WANT to live.

7.  This Book is Not for You (by Carole Boudreau)

A self-help book with a difference – it was written by the author for herself as a blueprint to FEEL GOOD, but she has kindly shared her learnings and practices with us. I liked Carole’s forthright style – she tells it as it is. Definitely crammed with tips for us all on how to tune in to feeling good again.

8.  Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life 
     (by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer)

I have listened to the audio book three times now, because I love his voice… it is so calm, reassuring and makes me feel good. In the book he shares his understand and learnings from researching Tao Te Ching and how we can adopt it into our lives. I must admit it is quite long, with some 81 verses. However, if you are on a spiritual journey, then I would definitely recommend it.

9.  How to Fall in Love (by Cecelia Ahern)

Not the best book from Ms Ahern, but it was an enjoyable read, and she is on the list because she is one of my favourite authors. I love her writing style and enjoy the references to life back in Ireland (this one is set in Dublin). Her sense of humour matches my own, and this book does not disappoint on that score. It is a corny ‘chick lit’ romance, and that was just want I needed when I read it.

10.  The Naked Knitting Club (by Janet Groom)

OK, I’m biased on this one – but why not, as it’s my list!
This is my debut novel, a ‘chick lit’. The story follows the life of Cate Taylor from when she makes a New Year’s resolution, which sets her on a path of transformation and stepping outside of her comfort zone. She ends up joining a ‘naked knitting club’ and her life starts to change. There is some knitting, but mostly is about relationships, friendships and life, with a little romance sprinkled into the mix.

Let me know what your top book recommendations, as I am now planning my reading list for 2019! Happy Reading 🙂


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