Last week on 4th March was World Book Day 2021 celebrating everything to do with literature and reading. I wanted to share some of the books that I’m currently dipping into and why I’m drawn to them.
I rarely have just one book on the go and 4 books is a bit extreme even for me! However I’m currently juggling reading all of them for various reasons...
Olive Mabel & me by Andrew Cotter
Olive and Mabel went viral on social media with their sporting contests during the COVID-19 lockdown, with Andrew Cotter’s unique commentary propelling the videos to over 50 million views and certainly contributed to keeping my chin up during lockdowns. The new book from broadcaster Andrew Cotter and his famous canine companions, Olive and Mabel is laugh out loud brilliant!
Second Wave Positive Psychology by Ivtzan, Lomas, Hefferon, & Worth, 2015; Wong, 2011
The positive psychology (PP) movement, launched by Martin Seligman (1998), is celebrated as the most significant phenomenon in contemporary psychology. PP continues to flourish and evolve in light of new theoretical formulations and research findings and the ‘second wave’ of PP (PP 2.0) represents a maturing of PP that is more nuanced, balanced, and inclusive. This is my current area of study – my “brain food”.
English Pastoral by James Rebanks
This is a fascinating book around our changing landscape and it really takes me back to my roots - growing up on a smallholding in the Peak District alongside the hardiest of farmers. It’s the story of an inheritance and legacy but most of all our changing relationship with the land. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. Then how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy and hope for the future.
From Field & Forest: An artist's year in paint and pen by Anna Koska
This is stunning! Anna (my fabulously talented cousin) celebrates the natural world; the changing of the seasons, the blossoming of flowers and the ripening of fruit. Anna's illustrations are reproduced in beautiful detail and they are accompanied by her musings and observations of objects, engaging us in the everyday realities of her artistic practice. Truly inspiring us all to take time to appreciate our surroundings.
An eclectic bunch of books - I know! but I think it’s a pretty sound reflection of me & my interests!!! The natural world, our inner world and a good dose of humour!! How does your bookshelf reflect you?!
While many start by cherishing one book at a time, there are several advantages of switching to multiple stories at a time. You’d be surprised how easy it is to keep track of separate books. Plus, reading multiple books at once can actually help you finish faster. If you don’t like a book, you have a backup. If you can’t remember a story, re-read it. This way you can also balance reading for work and reading for pleasure or both!
Reflecting on the best books I’ve read in 2020 - most of them were about running!!! However here are my stand outs: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, Finding Ultra by Rich Roll, Set Free by Emma Slade & The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.
The book I recommend to everyone in 2021 - Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat
Why do I love this book? So many reasons but the short answer is it is logical, challenging, well researched and Mo has a unique way of looking at happiness. His story is one that hits you square in the stomach (I strongly encourage you to listen to his audio version if you can!) and helps keep all of his insights fresh in your mind. What I also love about the book is that it doesn’t hold the ‘golden ticket’ until the end – it doesn’t promise five sure fire ways to reach optimum happiness!! It is a rich discussion looking at happiness from a multitude of angles which can challenge our way of thinking.
In fact, I love this book so much that I’d like to give the gift of either this book or a bouquet of Freddie’s Flowers to anyone who recommends my 1:1 services in 2021 & their referral signs up with me. Just tell your connection to mention that you recommended them, and I’ll be in touch with your gift!
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a bit about my bookshelf – I’d love to hear what you’re reading, any recommendations and also what you think your bookshelf says about you!