We’re into the final part of my effort to document all the books I read in 2016, finishing with a final collection of fiction, self-improvement, and random stuff I just happened to pluck down from the shelf.
If you want to catch up, you can do so below:
Without further ado then, let’s wrap this list up with a look at all the books I read between October and December.
20: Bill Bryson – At Home
I love Bill Bryson, and honestly don’t know how anybody could not. Though I admit it was the man’s undeniable humour that first drew me to him, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to really appreciate his fascinating insights into the history of the world around us.
With At Home, I found Bryson spent more time in the latter, remaining mostly factual and informative whilst still retaining that sense of wonder and enthusiasm that permeates so much of his earlier work.
What I love about this one in particular is how Bryson manages to take subjects which should just not be interesting, and turns them into the most intreguing, interesting, and compelling subjects in the world.
At Home was by far one of the longest books I read last year, but that’s by no means a bad thing.
21: Aesop – The Complete Fables
I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but The Complete Fables actually took me several years to complete, despite this Penguin Classics volume being somewhat on the slim side.
Given the unique nature of Aesop’s Fables, I found myself merely dipping into this book every now and again, rather than sitting down to read it as one would with a regular book.
Having just finished the long and info-intensive At Home, I felt like I need something a little lighter and easier to get through.
Finishing off The Complete Fables proved to be just the thing.
22: Paul McKenna – Change Your Life in Seven Days
I bought this book for £!0 from W.H Smiths in the first week of January, 2010, a few days after my marriage had ended.
Soon after completing it, I would refer to this book as the best £10 I ever spent, something I still believe to be true years later.
Every now and again, I return through this book of NLP exercises and accompanying CD just to help get me back on course, particularly when I start a new chapter in my life or find my motivation seriously waning.
I’m planning to go through it all again in the first part of 2017, it really is that useful of a book for me.
23: Paul McKenna – I Can Make You Thin
Reading Change Your Life in Seven Days got me onto something of a Paul McKenna kick, and I spent most of the next couple of months working through his other books.
After finally putting down the cigarettes, I realised I’d gained quite a large amount of weight, something I only now realise was because of the underlying emotional / psychological issues which sought me to seek solace in external things in the first place.
I Can Make You Thin certainly helped me to be more mindful of the food on my plate, to eat slower and more deliberately, and ultimately to make the changes I needed to make to start losing weight.
24: Paul McKenna – Instant Confidence
I’ve stood on stage and screamed down a microphone in front of several thousand people, I’ve delivered presentations to rooms full of senior managers and executives, and I’ve put myself out there in bands, online, and in many and sundry adventures over the years.
Yet still I battle regularly with a lack of self-confidence.
Which is why I’ve had Paul McKenna’s Instant Confidence on my book shelf for the longest time, and return to it regularly when I feel myself becoming withdrawn.
Every time, this book helps just a little, and will be one I’m sure to return to again later this year.
25: Paul McKenna – I Can Make You Rich
I’ve never been massively motivated by the need to have a tonne of money in my bank account; creating things and making a difference has always been the driving factor behind most of the things that I do.
So despite reading I Can Make You Rich several times, financial gain alone has never been my main reason for doing so.
Instead, I read this to help me appreciate how truly rich I already am, to be grateful for the abundance that is already in my life, and change my thinking as I prepare to take my freelance writing career to the next level.
In that sense, I Can Make You Rich really works, and again will be something I return to on more than one occasion.
26: Michael Chabon – Wonder Boys
The books that I read in 2016 were all part of a larger goal I set myself to read 100 books from cover to cover. As you might imagine, that goal took me at least a couple of years to complete, but I knew all the way through that I would finally get there, and when I did, that I would celebrate with one of my favourite works of fiction of all time.
Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys is hilariously funny, beautifully written, and -as a writer who has struggled with my fiction work for years- hits home on more than one occasion.
It’s been an absolute favourite of mine since my late teens, and I could not have chosen any better book to finish not only my reading for 2016, but also my longer-term 100 books goal.