For me, August 9th is a special day: Book Lover’s Day (or should that be Book Lovers’?).
I’m a book lover. So, I’m going to own it as my own. But I will share the day with you!
In fact, I have been a book lover for as long as I can remember.
I love getting lost in fiction and fantasy, as well as learning and the personal growth and transformation that comes from the total immersion into stories, legends and myths.
I was the kid you could find at the top of a mango tree, reading Famous Five or Nancy Drew (yes, I’m that old!). I also read my dad’s Louis L’Amour books when I could get my hands on them!
Reading was the perfect way to escape from boarding school while doing something “acceptable” that wouldn’t get me in trouble.
This year’s reading list:
I have to sadly admit, this year, I have failed to read fiction and fantasy. I’ve watched Netflix and got a very healthy dose of fantasy series on there, but it’s not the same as immersing myself in a book!
My reading this year has all focused on:
- health and wellness;
- spiritual growth;
- forgiveness and letting go;
- neuroscience and mBraining; and
- the vagus nerve (ANS – autonomic nervous system), somatic healing and trauma.
While it might look like these unrelated topics, I find that they all come back to health, wellness and well-being. It’s impossible to create well-being if everything (including your nervous system regulation) is balanced!
mBraining (Grant Soosalu & Marvin Oka)
I’ve read this book five times now, and each time I continue to learn. What I find notable is that as I learn more from my studies in other areas and return to this book again, I realise the depth of knowledge and learning of the authors!
This book is about where neuroscience meets ancient wisdom: why do ancient practices like breathwork and mindfulness work so well?
And how do we integrate all of this knowledge into our daily lives? There are so many hidden benefits in rereading a book!
I know, without a doubt, that the first book I will reread in 2023 is this one because I can’t wait to see how I’ve grown and changed from the books I’ve read this year!
Avoiding the Enemies to Happiness (Grant Soosalu)
Grant was a prolific writer in his lifetime, perhaps subconsciously knowing he had a limited time to share all his gems of wisdom with the world!
This is not a book for the faint-hearted!
As a coach, it’s a “reference book” on my bookcase! Cover-to-cover, it’s full of gems from NLP, positive psychology, behavioural science and mBraining.
I’ve read it twice, and I don’t think I fully understand the depth of transformation possible when you put it all into practice. I haven’t done all the exercises or journalling suggested in the book.
This is another one that I will come back to in 2023 and have another run at.
Loving your Life (also Grant Soosalu)
Of all of Grant’s books, this is one that I would recommend to anyone. It’s light reading and easy to implement.
You might read one chapter a day (each is only a couple of pages) or a couple of chapters each week while you put the exercises into practice.
This is one book that I haven’t actually finished reading yet – I pick it up sporadically and read one more chapter and then just give myself time to mull it over.
Grant created a course called “Loving Your Life”, which I haven’t done yet. I’ve got so many other things on the go I haven’t made it a priority! It might make the cut in 2023 – or maybe not!
The Artist’s Way (Julia Cameron)
I first read this book last year and then made the time to read it twice with others so that I would have weekly accountability. I only managed once to read every single chapter, and I can say I’ve done most (not all) of the exercises.
I still do morning pages (but not always first thing in the morning because that really doesn’t work for me!), and I fail most weeks miserably with making time for myself.
But I have discovered that my blocks often move when I move – whether it’s cleaning the house, folding laundry or taking the dogs for a walk!
Getting away from my desk is essential!
No matter what your “art” – even if it’s legal writing or research – this is an excellent book for finding your mojo and motivation!
The Body Keeps the Score (Bessel van der Kolk, MD)
This is “the big read” for this year, at least in neuroscience, trauma and somatic healing. It’s been on my reading list for about eighteen months, and I finally created a group with my Book Club to make our way through it.
It was a fantastic read, but technical and scientific with lots of discussion of studies, psychology and psychiatry.
As someone with C-PTSD, this was a wonderful gem in my healing journey, as it opened up more possibilities of what to ask for in therapy rather than traditional talk therapy.
As part of my healing journey, I loved this book and everything I learned from it.
Radical Forgiveness (Colin Tipping)
My book club is halfway through Colin Tipping’s “Radical Forgiveness” book.
This book is about the spiritual journey of letting go of expectations and control and seeing how every experience in life brings us closer to healing and wholeness!
I’ve often said that other people come into our lives as pumice stones to “sand off” our rough edges. Colin takes this a lot further: what if you signed a soul contract with this person to be the catalyst of you learning that “all is one” and that there is no separation?
I’m still struggling with the level of letting go and acceptance that Colin suggests we adopt for life. But it’s a beautiful part of my soul journey to healing and wholeness.
Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can (Caroline Myss)
Another book I am making my way through leisurely, but this one I’m taking notes from as I go and creating journal prompts for myself as I stumble over ideas and thoughts I want to explore further.
Caroline has a totally different approach to healing and wholeness – physical and metaphysical.
Once again, I am challenged to see illness as a healing journey of heart and soul rather than just my body.
It challenges my way of thinking and attempts to be entirely rational. What if it’s not all about diet, exercise and healing trauma?
How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People (Jonar C. Nadar)
I’m a thinker. I also get things done, but I spend a lot of time in my head and less time networking and making friends.
I hate chitchat and small talk.
So, this book really resonates with me, even though one-third of the book is dedicated to “working with others”.
The reality is that no one is an island, and we must make teams that work! As an introvert, I am constantly looking at better ways to manage myself that are effective in building great relationships.
Even for me, connection with others is essential. I don’t really want to piss everyone off!
I might also have a few other books on the go at the moment…
Book Club: what’s next?
In September, I’ll start the final two books of the year (at least for the book club).
I’ve chosen one that’s on my “virgin spine” list that I’ve been meaning to read for so long: The Biology of Belief (Bruce Lipton).
The second choice is one I’ve never read, but I have read the original version of “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
After reading Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey” and then diving into “The Heroine’s Journey” by Maureen Murdock, I’m curious about the differences between these two perspectives on another classic.
Other books I’m browsing randomly.
Of course… I always have other books I’m dipping into but not reading yet cover-to-cover. I promise them, “I’ll get to you next”… and then find another book gets in first!
Yes… I have all of these “on the go”, but not actively reading them yet. There are so many great books and so little time!