I have an action for 2016 (as opposed to a goal) to read 50 business-related non-fiction books. At the start of each month I’ll share my What I’m Reading list for the previous month.**
This list won’t include cookbooks (actually, it might sometimes…), of which I have acquired more than a few already in 2016. Or Lonely Planet guides – three so far have been added to my collection. But I’m heading to the US again in March, so I have a valid reason for those. Or so I tell The Accountant.
I’ll blog a list with a short review each month so you can see what I’m reading. If you have any suggestions, or are an author and think I might like your book, please get in touch. For info, I also love cookbooks, travel books, lots of fiction – especially crime, suspense, drama and a bit of romance.50 non-fiction books in 2016 - What I read in January #takeaction Click To Tweet
1. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
This book had been sitting on my iPad for quite some time, and it wasn’t until my friend Chris raved about how much she enjoyed it and identified with it, that I was prompted to open it. I read it in about three days, and also thoroughly enjoyed it. Much of this resonated with me, particularly the conversation around gender gap and how women are often expected to be subservient in the workplace. That was certainly the case when a male boss I once had told me I was “too aggressive and pushy” when it came to sharing my professional opinion – which they were paying me to do. All I could do back then was roll my eyes and dust off my CV.
Verdict: Definitely worth a read.
Dan generously gave away a few copies of the kindle version of this book via Amazon some time back, so I made sure to grab one. As I am in the midst of re-evaluating what I want from my blog, podcast and business in general, I decided it was time to read it. Dan has very generously packed his book full of practical advice on how to effectively use content to grow your business. More impressive however, is the long list of free resources and templates he has made available via his website www.contentmachine.com. This book was so much better than I expected it to be.
Verdict: Highly recommended for business owners who are creating content.
I hadn’t heard of Amanda Palmer, or her famous Kickstarter campaign (where her fans donated over $1 million to fund an album), until a few months ago when my friend Anita told me how much seeing her speak had influenced her. I immediately googled her TED talk and was transfixed. Then I read her book. Bloody fantastic. I have never had a problem with asking for help, but if you do, then you must RUN and buy this book to read. I wanted to tweet Amanda after every chapter to tell how much her book resonated with me. But I didn’t. Because, stalkerish. Amanda’s basic premise is that when your work means something, people will be prepared to pay for it. And they are. I tend to read non-fiction in the morning and novels in bed at night. However this was my bedtime reading for the few nights it took me to finish it. I really didn’t want to put it down.
Verdict: If you struggle to ask people for help and/or don’t fully value your self worth, read this book. Especially if you are a woman in business.If you struggle to ask people for help, read @AmandaPalmer's #theartofasking Click To Tweet
I have read some fabulous new fiction recently too:
I am a new fan of Alafair Burke and I think I have read almost all her novels over the last two months. Luckily I was on holiday for at least some of that time! The Ex is one of her few stand-alone novels, and tells the story of Olivia and Jack, who were college lovers, until Olivia broke it off. Twenty years later Jack, now a famous novelist, is arrested for murder and Olivia, a criminal defence attorney, insists on defending him. Burke writes very strong and likeable female characters (who have strong personalities – no doubt my former boss would hate these books…). The story was compelling and well written, with a plot that had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing until the end.
Verdict: If you like crime thrillers that don’t have a lot of blood, guts and other gore, then read The Ex.
My very clever friend Jo wrote this book (her second), so of course, I had to buy and read it. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn’t want to put it down. Abby, the main character, is a very strongly written character, who I fell in love with from the first page. Feisty but flawed (aren’t we all!), and more than a little marriage-phobic. Which is an issue when boyfriend Brad gives one of the most pathetic proposals I’ve heard of – I would have said no too! Let’s just say I could completely relate to Abby.
Verdict: If you’re a fan of Cathy Kelly, Jill Mansell or Erica James (three of my favourites), you will really enjoy Big Girls Don’t Cry. It’s chick-lit but very relationship focused.I fell in love with Abby, the main character in @jotracey_'s Big Girls Don't Cry, on page 1 Click To Tweet
I just wrote a great little review of this book and frigging wordpress didn’t save it. Not happy Jan. I will say I really enjoyed it, and and you should read it. Be warned, it will make you want to visit the Margaret River in Western Australia. It will also make you want to read it with a glass of wine. It took me a chapter or two to warm to Beth, the lead character, but by the end of the book I was sharing ALL her emotions. There may have been tears. Anyone who has ever dated a stubborn man will also eye-roll at some of Clayton’s actions. I was really sad when I finished this book, and I hope that Penney writes a few more soon.
Verdict: An easy read with a fabulous cast of characters, all of whom I grew very attached to.
Disclaimer: Books marked with a * were provided to me by either NetGalley, the author or the publisher in accordance with my editorial policy. I have not been paid to write about any of these products. All opinions are mine unless otherwise mentioned.
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