12 months ago I was inspired to set some goals for 2017. One of them was to read a bit more this year than I have in the past. Well it seems that I may have been successful in that goal seeing as I have so far worked my way through 40 books in the past 11 months.
Through December I am going to be changing things up a bit and will be doing a fair bit of reflection on what I have learnt this year. I will be discussing how that learning has influenced me and how I may push things forward into 2018. I will also be going back to refresh some of the ideas I have discussed previously but expanding on them and refining those ideas now that I have had months of putting them into practice.
The first of these posts is a run down of my personal favourite books I have encountered this year. I will likely later also do posts explaining which books I would recommend to different groups in more detail.
So here is the top 10 list of my favourite books from this year and links to my reviews of each of them and how to purchase them on amazon. These are not necessarily the ones that I would automatically recommend to everyone, but the ones that I have found most interesting or useful for me at this point in my career. Because each of these books are in my opinion great, the list isn't in any order of preference.
How to be a Productivity Ninja - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-how-to-be-a-productivity-ninja
Sapiens (and Deus) - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-sapiens
How to have a good day - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/how-to-have-a-good-day
Start with Why (and Find your why) - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/start-with-why
Black box thinking - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-black-box-thinking
Deep work - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-deep-work
Peak Performance - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-peak-performance
Critical thinking - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-critical-thinking-lectures
The art of learning - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-the-art-of-learning
Life on purpose - http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-life-on-purpose
Many other books nearly made this list so this doesn't mean that these are the only good books I have encountered this year but these impacted on me the most.
It is interesting to me that the majority of the books on this list were ones that I have read in the last few months rather than those from the beginning of the year. I think there are few reasons for this:
1) Over time I have become better at choosing books that I think I will relate to or find useful. At the beginning of the year I wasn't really thinking much about which books I downloaded but just went with those highly recommended to me.
2) The knowledge gained in some of the better books from the beginning of the year has enabled me to more deeply appreciate later books.
3) My mindset, overall health and diet have also changed a lot this year which means I think I can focus better on what I am reading or listening to.
Because of this in 2018 I will be going back to revisit some of my favourite books from this year to see if I can pick up more from them with a second encounter.
Reflecting on why I chose these as my top 10 I can see a few overall themes to these books. By seeing this pattern it will help me to make better book choices over the coming year. If you read a lot I would strongly suggest you consider not only which books were your favourites but also why. The themes that resonate with me are:
Mindfulness (or presence)
Critical thinking and re-evaluating the world around me to see it in a different light.
Because I have spotted these themes it means I can make even better choices of upcoming reading material in the future. On my reading list next are books by Thich Nhat Hanh who is seen by many to be a master in mindfulness and I also plan to listen to the great courses series of lectures on the same subject. And one more book I will be reading soon is Man's search for meaning by Viktor Frankl. while it may be 50 years old, many other authors have mentioned this as a powerful work so I want to experience that for myself. I would love to know what books are on your reading list for the near future.
If you want to see the overall list of all the books I have read that can be found as a spreadsheet in my google drive via the link here:
Dr Chris Harper