I love to read and want to help you to love it too.
Whether that's by creating monthly plans to help you achieve your reading goals or by showing you what's out there with book recommendations and summaries, I hope this page helps you to become the reader you'd like to be!
Below, you'll find a work-in-progress list of book recommendations and summaries to inspire you and help you on your way to discovering the magic of reading all over again.
(you can also sign up at the bottom of the page to receive a book summary in your inbox every Friday)
Don't worry, I only put the ones on here that I'd recommend to people I like.
Now, my friend, go and get lost.
The Power of Habit
self-help, business, psychology
Book 3-5 liner: Habits can be changed if we understand how they work. In the first half of this book, Duhigg explains the habit loop (cue-> routine -> reward), what powers it (craving), and how to take advantage of it (hijack the loop) to establish powerful habits that work in your favour. In the second half, Duhigg focuses on the habits of successful organisations, focusing on several key examples - my favourite centres around Target and how they learned to predict a customer was pregnant even before the customer knew - fascinating! My thoughts: One of the most interesting and actionable books on habits I’ve read. I've quoted it to more people than I can remember. This is a good one to get on Audible, very easy to listen to. Favourite quote: “Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.”
Four Thousand Weeks
self-help, productivity, philosophy
Book 3-5 liner: Each of us has approximately 4000 weeks of life and, no matter how hard we try, we won’t achieve everything we want to. Instead, we must embrace our limits, let go of the right things, and commit to bringing what’s in our minds to life, despite the pull of procrastination. My thoughts: A refreshing take on time management. The goal isn’t to be more productive for the sake of doing more - efficiency often leads to more things to do - it’s to work towards things that matter and to use your efficiency to free up time for things you love. I especially enjoyed his thoughts on procrastination and being willing to bring your perfect ideas into the reality of the real world. Favourite quote: “The world is bursting with wonder, and yet it’s the rare productivity guru who seems to have considered the possibility that the ultimate point of all our frenetic doing might be to experience more of that wonder.”
Daniel H. Pink
self-help, business, psychology
Book 3-5 liner: Traditional theories of motivation, with a focus on rewards and punishment, may work for labour-intensive tasks but for tasks requiring creativity and autonomy, rewards and punishment may not only be ineffective but could even be detrimental to performance. One of the greatest motivators is the intrinsic motivation of mastery, which occurs when a task is interesting, challenging and absorbing but slightly out of reach. An equally important motivator is that the task has meaning or significance, which provides a powerful drive for even uninteresting tasks. My thoughts: A helpful book backed up by interesting research that made me reconsider how I approach my own motivation. Especially helpful in a management setting to bring the best out of people. Favourite quote: “The science shows that the secret to high performance isn’t our biological drive or our reward-and-punishment drive, but our third drive—our deep-seated desire to direct our own lives, to extend and expand our abilities, and to make a contribution.”
The Coaching Habit
Michael Bungay Stanier
leadership, business, self-help
Book 3-5 liner: The key to effective coaching is found in asking the right questions not in providing solutions. The questions should be open-ended, thoughtful questions to allow the other person to think critically and creatively about their circumstances. Stanier helpfully outlines a framework of questions to guide people through a coaching conversation. My thoughts: I found this to be a particularly helpful book on an under-addressed leadership subject. It’s instantly actionable as it provides walkthrough examples of coaching conversations. Favourite quote: “If this were a haiku rather than a book, it would read: Tell less and ask more. Your advice is not as good as you think it is.”
Power of Moments
Chip and Dan Heath
self-help, business, psychology
Book 3-5 liner: We often remember the end and peak (good or bad) moment of an experience - focus on curating defining moments at those points to make them memorable. Defining moments are created from certain elements: elevation, insight, pride, or connection. We can intentionally create defining moments at points of transition to help move us from the old and into the new. My thoughts: Possibly my favourite book. It has made me more aware of intentionally creating moments personally and as a shared experience. Favourite quote: “Transitions should be marked, milestones commemorated, and pits filled. That’s the essence of thinking in moments.”
The Dream of You
Christian faith, women
Book 3-5 liner: The dream of you = God’s vision of you, the real you, your true identity. Interruptions and insecurities can wrongly shape our identity but, through His covenant, God has redeemed it. He calls us to walk in our true identity, we no longer have to worry about imposter syndrome because he fully sees us, fully knows us, and deeply loves us. My thoughts: An encouraging read that focuses on equipping you to live into your identity in Jesus, focusing on the question, “who were you before life told you what you were supposed to be?” This book is easy to read and full of truth. Favourite quote: “Sister, you need to know this: The “ordinary” you, the person you were before all the achievement and recognition, was already extraordinary.”
John Mark Comer
Book 3-5 liner: Eden was never meant to remain as a garden, it was always meant to become a garden city. As followers of Jesus, we now have two vocations - the original vocation to rule over the earth and subdue it, and the new vocation to go and make disciples. On the Sabbath, we rest, it’s more than a day off, it’s an act of worship. This rhythm is how it was always intended to be, and it will carry on into eternity, where we will continue to work, whatever that may look like. My thoughts: I’ve recommended this book more times than I can remember. It was formative in my view of work, rest, and the Sabbath and is a book I go back to often. Highly recommend it. Favourite quote: “Calling isn’t something you choose, like who you marry or what house you buy or what car you buy; it’s something you unearth. You excavate. You dig out. And you discover.”