What did you read in 2017? Here’s 8 of my best reads.

 “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”   Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

I like to read – a lot.  I love books.  I think I love books even more than I love reading. I have many books.  Some would say too many.  I love the smell of books – I open them up and take a deep inhale from the centre of the pages – it smells safe, and sure and inviting.  That smell gives me comfort, and brings back childhood memories of reading in bed, on a blanket on the grass, at the school library.  

Lately I’ve been more of a book collector than a book reader – I find I spend far too much time on social media and the internet to really get a lot of reading done – something I’m working on this year. 

I’ve even bought some books lately on my Kindle. 

But you can’t flick the pages of a Kindle book, write in the margins, underline words and sentences and you definitely can’t get that safe, sure and exciting smell of books from the Kindle. 

I know there’s a place for e-readers and I am embracing that for the most part – but I will never give up my books.  Did I mention the smell? 

The books I read in 2017 were all worth the read – some more so than others and so I will go back to them over time.  One or two I had to put down before I finished in the recognition that it wasn’t my time for that book.    You know the ones?  The ones you should like, people tell you so, but you really struggle to get through each chapter (or page) and then you don’t remember what you’ve read. 

Women Who Run with the Wolves (Clarissa Pinkola Estes) was one of these for me.  It’s a book of myths and stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.  I am still plugging away at.  I know I should like this book – but it’s not resonating with me at the moment.  This was one I had to put down and I’ll come back to it later. 

In my view life is too short to persevere too long on a book that isn’t doing it for you – time to drop that one and pick up another.  You can always come back to it later. 

That said, here are a few of the missives I got my head around in 2017 and briefly what I thought. 

If you’re looking for some new ones to add to your 2018 reading list I hope this helps.

No. 1 – Pema Chödrön’s Living Beautifully (with uncertainty and change) – I love Pema’s writing and listening to her audio books. She provides me with peace and a sese that I can get through anything.  If you haven’t heard of Pema she is an American Tibetan Buddhist. She is an ordained nun and disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She has written several books and is the director of the Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada.  I highly recommend both her audio and written works. 

No. 2  – Medical Medium Anthony William was an eye opener. For over 25 years, Anthony has devoted his life to helping people overcome and prevent illness—and discover the lives they were meant to live.  His approach takes into account well-being on every level.  This book explores all-natural solutions for dozens of illnesses including Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, hormonal imbalances, Hashimoto’s disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, neurological conditions, chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease, blood sugar imbalances, colitis and other digestive disorders, and more.  It provides a wealth of advice including eating plans.  Be warned though, if you’re afraid of a little woo-woo, Anthony takes his guidance from Spirit and his work is all based on this advice.  I must add that my attempt at the 28 day cleanse he provided in the book was far from successful!  It turned in to a 2 day cleanse followed by a 6 day binge on sugar and carbohydrates!  This says nothing about the book and everything about my eating habits!  Maybe this year!

No. 3 – Thanks to Brendon Burchard, I read (and took many notes on) his best seller The Motivation Manifesto, all about taking back our power. This book is a powerful call to reclaim our lives and find our own personal freedom. I found it had some good concepts and I’ve tried to incorporate these into my life.  Worth a second read.  It resonated for me in 2017. 

No. 4 – The Dream of a Common Language was a wonderful read, or ponderance. It’s a work of poetry written by award-winning author and activist Adrienne Rich, and is divided into three sections: first “Power”; second “Twenty One Love Poems”; third “Not Somewhere Else, But Here”.  I saw Reese Witherspoon with this book as she played her character Cheryl Strayed in the movie Wild and had to add it to my list.  I wasn’t disappointed.

No. 5 – 2017 was the year for me to start to read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, in which a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escaped from Pentridge Prison flees to India. The novel is commended by many for its vivid portrayal of tumultuous life in Bombay. I have it on my Kindle saving my wrists from holding up this massive novel.  It’s keeping me entertained and I’m about 70% of the way through, but it doesn’t smell as good as the other books J.

No. 6 – The Five Love Languages – Dr. Gary Chapman – one of my favourite reads in 2017 (so much so I have brought another of his books to read in 2018). Billed as the ‘secret to love that lasts’ its ideas are simple and conveyed with clarity and humour, making this book as practical as it is personable. One to get your loved ones to read alongside you and when you both do the Love Languages quiz to find out your primary love languages, there’ll be no stopping you!  Worth coming back to this one!  Guaranteed to give you a few light bulb moments.

No. 7 – The Barefoot Investor – Scott Pape – The only money guide you’ll ever need – so the book tells me. I found this book really easy to read (particularly given it’s a book about finances) and I got through it in two sittings.  In essence the book is about making smart changes to the way you deal with your money today, so you can rest easy in the future.  Nothing drastic and a lot of common sense but I found it well written and motivating.  I’m going to put in to practice some of his tips in 2018.   

No. 8 – Fat for Fuel – Dr Joseph MercolaFat is the new black it would seem. I enjoyed reading this book however found much of the first part a little heavy (but still useful) as it was related to the science behind nutrition and digestion and the way our bodies react to different foods.  This book is written for people dealing with chronic health conditions right through to people simply trying to lose weight.  If you take the time to read this, you’ll learn about the role of mitochondria, and how you can improve the health of yours, as well as practical advice on how to change your diet to a high fat, moderate protein and low carb regime to assist in your overall health.  It sounded convincing, and along with the other media at the moment about fat being our friend, I’m willing to take it on board. 

So that’s a wrap for 8 of the books I’ve read in 2017. 

What did you read in 2017 that you would love to share?  Comment with the book name and why you think it’s worth the read – I might add it to my 2018 list. 

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