The holiday season is the perfect time to take some much needed R&R (rest and relaxation). It’s also the perfect time to sit down with a cup of tea and blanket, or a smoothie outside (depending which part of the world you’re in), and get lost in a good read. Below are eight books we love and highly recommend you experience over this festive break:
1 | Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown
Brene Brown explores how vulnerability is not weakness, but rather a necessity in order to be engaged in a meaningful community and life. Backed up by years of research and personal discovery, this book is inspiring and incredibly challenging. It provokes you to live and dare greatly in life. You may want to get your highlighter out too and mark the golden quotes, like: “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” and, “What we know matters but who we are matters more.”. Brene is also renowned for her TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability – when it’s been watched over 17.8 million times, you know it’s got to be good.
2 | Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
Unbroken is a #1 New York Times bestseller and was hailed by TIME Magazine as the best non-fiction book of the year. Set in the 1940s, it tells the story of World War II hero Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic track star, who survives a plane crash in the Pacific, over 40 days at sea on a raft, and then more than two years prisoner-of-war in brutal Japanese camps. The resilience of the human body, mind and spirit is inspiring. This book is also set to be released as a major feature film around Christmas-time (directed by Angelina Jolie).
One day Gretchen asked herself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” She answered, “I want to be happy”. And that was that – she dedicated a year to her ‘Happiness Project’. The Happiness Project is an account of what she discovered paired with scientific research. It’s insightful, interesting and there are definitely parts of it that you can adapt to your own life too.
4 | The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield
Every creative must own a copy of this book. Tackling the one thing we all have in common, the internal voice and creative road blocks, Steven Pressfield will give you the kick in the pants that you need to keep on going and keep on creating: “Creative work is… a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Gibe us what you’ve got.” Once you read it, changes are you’ll find yourself picking up this easy-to-read and truth-filled book every year for another injection; it’s timeless.
5 | Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
Quiet looks at, as the title suggests, the power of introverts. By undervaluing introverted characteristics of people, we, as a society, lose so much. Susan Cain has done her research and provides not only stories of not only real people, but real introverted and inspiring people who are successful. This will change how you view introverts, and, how introverts see themselves. The introverted character traits we may see as ‘shameful’ compared the extroverts, are actually what makes introverts a valuable part of society. Very interesting read. You can watch Susan’s great TED Talk on the Power of Introverts here too.
6 | Thrive, by Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder of the Huffington Post, seeks to redefine what we, as culture, view as success. Right when she was considered one of the most influential women in the world, she received a wake-up call by way of injury from exhaustion and lack of sleep. Stemming from her own personal experience, this book is an attempt for people to rethink what success is, especially as our eulogies celebrate success different to society. It’s a thought-provoking, intriguing and insightful look into Arianna, and well worth the read: “We all have within us the ability to move from struggle to grace.”
7 | Morning Glory, by Sarah Jio
Sarah Jio’s novels always allow readers to immerse themselves in another world. Morning Glory, her fifth novel, is no different. Set in Seattle’s houseboat community, it mixes a woman’s present day tragedy and search for healing, with the discovery of a past mystery and uncovering its truth. All is never as it seems and the past is always closer to home than we realise. It’s a light-read, but one that will certainly draw you in and delight your senses.
8 | Daring and Disruptive: Unleashing the Entrepreneur, by Lisa Messenger
Lisa Messenger is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Collective, an Australian magazine for game changers, thought leaders, rule breakers, and style makers. Lisa has decades worth of experience in many industries, and in this book she gives readers a valuable insight into her world. Packed full of creative, real, and practical gems (like: “Don’t be afraid or held back by fear; it’s never as bad as it seems.”), it will help you stay on purpose and make the ordinary extraordinary.
What books are you reading over the holidays? We’d love to know in the comments below!
– Image credit: Briana Carrion