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Top Reads | 2020

488 rules for life | Kitty Flanagan

488 Rules for Life is Kitty's tongue in cheek guide to modern etiquette, a list of rules that guarantees the world would be a better place if only everyone would follow them. A lot of them resonate:

  • Rule #19 - Flush. Pause. Check

  • Rule #26 - Cushions are not spiritual advisers

  • Rule #164 - Don’t serve food on planks, tiles, slabs of granite or any other building materials

Interestingly, there are only 447 rules (she thoughtfully leaves room for you to list your own)

Rating: 4 stars

101 essays that will change the way you think | Brianna Wiest

Wow! Just wow! I liked this book because It's not patronising or contrived in its advice. It doesn't promise magical and otherworldly solutions. It just speaks words of wisdom. It is a simple and easy read. Raw and true and commonsensical. It is comforting and challenging and filled with nuggets of gold. I found a strangely calm comfort through the spoken words of these essays.

Rating: 4 stars

The little book of big lies | Tina Lifford

This book is a must-read! We all think of being healthy physically but inwardly we could actually stand to be a little healthier. My personal take away from Tina's book is to remember that being comfortable is good but stepping out of our comfort zones and pursuing our deepest desires is way better.

​If I'm being honest, I also wanted to hear some of Aunt Vi's (from the show Queen Sugar) golden nuggets ;-)

Rating: 4.5 stars

Why we sleep | Matthew Walker

A number of people have given this book five stars in the sense of "everybody should read this book." It contains stunning information. Basically, the less you sleep the shorter your life span will be. Do I have your attention yet?

If so, read this excerpt from the beginning of the book (p3-5), and you will understand why this book caught my attention. Oh yeah, now he has a Masterclass too. Again - stunning!

Rating: 5 stars

The she book | Tanya Markul

The prose and poetry in this book were a collection about Love, Hurting, and Being there for yourself. I greatly enjoyed reading this collection and you could really feel the emotions that the author put into the work. There were a lot of original pieces that did not sound redundant when compared to other poetry collections. It is very empowering to every woman out there who is looking for something to get themselves back up. A lot of pieces definitely touched me and made me want more. “People are the way they are because of them. People love the way they love because of them. People do things they do because of them. Not because of you."

Rating: 5 stars

Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less | Greg Mckeown

Like many, I struggle with the disciplined pursuit of less.

Real talk: you cannot have it all. Decide what your agenda or goal is, and pursue opportunities that lead you to that goal.If you don't have your own agenda, someone else will make it for you. (Ain't that the truth though?) If you find yourself with a lack of time for things like sleep, food, family and reading… this book is a game-changer. An excellent addition to my little library for sure.

Rating: 3.8 stars

Tools of titans | Tim Ferris

I've always thought of Tim Ferris as a super human. I know that statement's controversial so...take from it what you'd like to :) For real though - he's not your average Joe. I thought Tools of Titans was readable and really smart. Ferris' curiosity about other people's habits is contagious. It's also the first book in a while that I couldn't put down. I found myself re-reading some of the interviews.

Rating: 4.8 stars

After the rain | Alexandra Elle

Like many, I stumbled across Alexandra Elle on Instagram (@alex_elle) many months ago and found myself repeatedly touched by her simple yet impactful words. Her posts were perfect and precise, and they resonated with the softest, most vulnerable parts of me. It seemed like she knew exactly what I needed to hear. I've shared many of her posts with people in my circle so when I saw that she had a book too, I didn't not hesitate to get it. I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed either. This was just the book I needed for 2020

Rating: 4.9 stars

Ikigai | Héctor García & Francesc Miralles

If ever there was a book to help you step back, slow down and contemplate on the meaning of life, this book would be it. The pace is unhurried and that is exactly how you should read the book. A really interesting little read. Has given me ideas of lots of other things I want to explore this year. My biggest takeaway was; 'A wise person should not ignore life's pleasures, but should always remain conscious of how easy it is to be enslaved by them. You have to be prepared for those pleasures disappearing in no time.'

Rating: 4.8 stars

Keep going | Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon is great at sharing reminders about how you can clear nonsense out of your life and make room for more good stuff. I'd call it a motivational or 'best practice' guide for artists and writers. He notes at some point during the book that he began this particular book with a series of blog posts relating to creativity, and that can easily be believed. As a mixture of text with some graphic elements to spice up the materials, the author has clearly done a good job at winning over the audience with a mixture of sound advice and good humor.

Rating: 5 stars

Happy reading in 2021.


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