The power of a good book is priceless. But how often do you have the best intentions of reading books that end up decorating your bookshelves instead? I’ve scoured the shelves of the last remaining bookstores on my travels to New York and Sydney this winter and here are my picks for some healthy and enriching reads for the coming year. Fill your mind with some ideas that are enlightening and stories that are so gripping you’ll have a hard time setting them down. One of my goals in 2016 is to slow down and read more books. Read this list and then head over to Amazon to buy some now!
1. Find a Way
Find a Way tells the passionate and heroic story of how Diana Nyad managed to swim 111 miles from Cuba to Florida in 53 hours in 2013 at the age of 64, despite four crushing failures in 35 years. Why was she able to do it in her 60s, and not in her 30s? On her journey she carries three important messages: Never ever give up, you’re never too old to chase your dreams, and it looks like a solitary sport but it’s a team effort.
A gripping story of a bold athlete with an indomitable will.
Read it if: You want to be inspired to chase after any dream no matter the size.
2. Zero to One
Written by legendary entrepreneur Peter Thiel, Zero to One is an empowering story about the next generation of leaders. In a world of ‘more is more’ and ‘same-same’ this book will challenge you to make an impact and help build greatness. I’m currently engrossed and I won’t give too much away other than – pick up a copy!
Read it if: You want to know why you’re not the next Steve Jobs – yet.
3. My Journey
My Journey is the candid memoir from fashion legend Donna Karan. She’s a passionate visionary and her book entertains, uplifts and inspires. This is the story of a young woman whose hard work made her a role model for women everywhere: A woman who dreamt big, fought to have it all, broke the rules, and loved passionately along the way.
Read it if: You want to connect to your feminine potential.
4. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Eat, Pray Love inspired people around the world to embark on journeys of self-discovery; Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book, Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear will incite the same journey in our creative lives. In this book she shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process, showing us all just how easy it can be.
Read it if: You need a kick up the butt to get creative in 2016.
5. Why Not Me?
A collection of humorous essays by Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me? will have you in stitches. Relatable and lighthearted, it’s on my night table for those lazy days or early nights when I just want to curl up with a fun book.
Read it if: You like a lighthearted read that sneaks in some empowering messages.
6. The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life
We could all benefit from being more grateful and you’ll certainly get your dose of goodness after this convincing read from journalist Janice Kaplan. After spending a year “looking on the bright side”, talking to academics, psychologists, celebrities and more, she explains the positive impact that being grateful can have on every aspect of your life.
Read it if: You could use a start to looking on the bright side!
7. Daring Greatly
Ever since I’ve listened to Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on the power of vulnerability, her message has had a deep impact on the way I parent, love and live. Pick up this book and start off 2016 with the courage to let go.
Read it if: You want to improve the way you live, love, parent and lead.
8. Falafel for Breakfast
This isn’t as much of a read as it is a drool-over the most delicious looking Middle Eastern recipes I’ve come across recently. The other week I was in Sydney – home of Michael Rantissi’s famed Kapok restaurant – and the book was sold out everywhere. Thankfully it is available on Amazon and is on its way to my kitchen!
Read it if: You love to cook and get inspired by great recipes and drool-worthy pictures of great food.
9. Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
Reading a book on grammar may not seem like the best read for 2016, but this great find by New York copy editor Mary Norris will have you laughing out loud. Between You & Me is a thrilling adventure in the English language, both an entertaining and an educating read in the era of auto-correct.
Read it if: You want to improve the way you read and write and have a giggle in the process.
10. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
We are on a mission at home to tidy up. Throw things out. De-clutter. I’m buying this book for my teenage kids – we’ve lost touch with the simplicity of less and the skills needed to get there. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up does feel like a life saver. If not, then at the least a pragmatic space saver, sanity saver and a lesson in the art of less.
Read it if: You have things lying around that you haven’t used or touched since 2012.