My Favourite Books from 2018
Happy holidays! I hope you’re enjoying a fun few days of festivities and hopefully some R&R too (or not so much? You might find this and this helpful).In this post, I want to share some of my favourite books from this year, Before we get to those, however, if you’re looking for some additional holiday reading over the next week or so, may I suggest one or more of my books? (#cheekyplug)
Using a combination of theory, insight and reflective practices, you’ll learn where your critic comes from and how to look beyond its destructive words to uncover the real message underneath. Whether you’ve been struggling with your inner critic for a long time or are at the beginning of your self-kindness journey, this book offers a range of approaches and suggestions you can use to mend the most important relationship in your life: the one with yourself.
This is a comprehensive guide to making self-care part of your everyday life. With a balance between practical suggestions, coaching-style questions and psychological groundwork, From Coping to Thriving is designed to give you the self-knowledge and awareness you need to start integrating self-care into your life, instead of integrating self-care around your life.Not only does the book contain hundreds of useful tips and ideas to get you going, it will also take you deeper into related topics like habit-formation, coping strategies and dealing with resistance to self-care.
The Year of You is an invitation to discover more about yourself, become more conscious about what you want, and create a rich and fulfilling life through one journaling prompt a day. With this book, you can take the guess work out of journaling and use one writing prompt each day of the year to explore and unpack the most important aspects of your life and your being.You can start in January, June or November; simply turn to today’s date and start writing! Whether you're new to journaling or have enjoyed a reflective writing practice for some time, The Year of You offers a wealth of inspiration that will deepen your understanding and awareness of what makes you who you are.
If you have bought and/or reviewed one or more of my books this year, thank you! I hope you enjoyed it/them. Your support helps me keep writing and keep this site going, and I appreciate each and every purchase <3
Right, on to the rest of the post! Here are a few of my favourite reads from the last 12 months:
Part memoir, part personal growth book, this is an expansion of Bronnie Ware’s article of the same name that went viral a few years ago. Working as a palliative care nurse, Bronnie became deeply involved with her patients and heard about their life stories, accomplishments, memories, and deepest regrets. The book is structured around five of these regrets (for example “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me,”) and she encourages us to become more conscious of how these decisions influence our own lives so we can live fully in the present.
You’re Going to Survive: True stories about adversity, rejection, defeat, terrible bosses, online trolls, 1-star Yelp reviews, and other soul-crushing experiences―and how to get through it by Alexandra Franzen
When we’re going through some kind of failure or rejection, it’s easy to feel like we’re the only ones in the sticky middle of this experience. Alexandra Franzen decided to change that and collected stories from a wide range of people with all kinds of backgrounds and professions about their worst professional experiences and how they got through them. Even if you’re not in the pit of turmoil or career crisis right now, I love the fact this book gives you the courage to realise a) s*** happens, and b) you will survive.
Embracing Your Inner Critic: Turning Self-Criticism Into a Creative Asset by Hal and Sidra Stone
I came across this book while researching for The Power of Self-Kindness and found it to be an insightful and illuminating exploration of the inner critic. Through the framework of their voice dialogue therapy, Hal and Sidra Stone explain how to recognise the inner critic and how to overcome its negative effects so we can work with it, rather than in spite of it.
The Secret Lives of Introverts by Jen Granneman
Jen Granneman is the founder of Introvert, Dear and this book is a guide to this personality type—both for introverts themselves and for the people who love them. She talks about introvert behaviours, character traits, introverts in relationships and careers and more. Her aim is to encourage people to embrace their introversion in its many forms, rather than trying to force ourselves to be someone we’re not.
Although I’m not a buddhist, I was drawn to this book because I saw the value in applying practices like mindfulness and loving-kindness to parenting. This book is a good introduction to some of the ways buddhist principles can have a positive influence on our patience, presence, self-care, and overall parenting experience.
Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell
This is a fascinating book that shines a light on how the way we parent is informed by our own childhood and experience of being parented ourselves. More than anything, it’s about coming to terms with our own stories so rather than parenting by default and repeating the same patterns, we can become more mindful of how our behaviour towards our kids affects them and deal with parenting challenges in a compassionate and constructive way.
This book is co-authored by the daughter of the woman who wrote the original version of this book, How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen (and Listen so Little Kids Will Talk), and her childhood best friend. They adapt the principles from the original book to apply to younger kids aged 2-7 and offer some helpful perspectives on communicating with younger kids in a respectful, connected, and collaborative way.
No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury
Similar to How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen, No Bad Kids is about how to communicate with young children (and especially toddlers) in a respectful way, setting boundaries without resorting to threats, punishment, or non-peaceful behaviour. The book is a collection of easy-to-digest essays from her blog, janetlansbury.com.
Coming from a middle-class British background, hillbilly culture is something I know nothing about beyond generalised stereotypes, so this book was eye-opening, fascinating and deeply moving. The memoir of a man who grew up in a poor Rust Belt town and went on to graduate from Yale Law School, his reflections not only on his chaotic family but the culture surrounding them make for riveting reading.
Adam Kay spent several years working as a junior doctor in the NHS (the UK's healthcare system) before leaving the medical profession for good. His abridged diaries from that time are laugh-out-loud hilarious, cringe-worthy, sad, and shed light both on the realities of what aspiring doctors go through to become qualified, the best and worst of human nature, and the trials and tribulations of operating within a huge, ever-more-debt-ridden system. The email debacle, the misread ultrasound, and the health assistant’s unorthodox way of checking a pulse are a few of my favourite face-palm-inducing anecdotes.
What have you read and enjoyed this year? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!