And now for something completely different!
This year I’ve made a concerted effort to read more books. There is so much wisdom to be gleaned from those who have gone before.
During my ocean rowing years it was easy to get my “reading” done while at sea – I listened to a total of 270 audiobooks on my way across three oceans… although I confess that most of them were fiction. To be transported away from my rowboat and into a fantasy world was a most welcome diversion. And when I read non-fiction, I like to be able to highlight passages and make notes, which is rather difficult when your hands are full of oars. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. So there was a lot of George R. R. Martin and Jacqueline Winspear and Jodi Picoult and Diana Gabaldon, which may not make the world a better place, but certainly made MY world a better place for the duration.
Since my last voyage in 2011, I’d kept meaning to read more, but too often reading got squeezed out by all those “doing” type activities. So it was high time to start feeding my mind again. I’ve read 28 books so far this year, or about 3 books a month, which isn’t as many as I would like, but not too bad.
It’s really hard to narrow it down, but here are my favourites (in the order that I read them):
The Art of Asking: How I learned to stop worrying and let people help, by Amanda Palmer. A romping read from a “punk cabaret” singer who has perfected the art of asking – and giving. Her TED talk is fabulous too.
Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement, by Tony Robbins. Okay, so I have a bit of an intellectual crush on him. But wow, he’s good! The books of the NLP Ninja still stand the test of time.
Ocean Country: One Woman’s Voyage from Peril to Hope in Her Quest to Save the Seas, by Liz Cunningham. Fabulous book (and yes, I may have written the front cover blurb). Eulogy, manifesto, and call to action for the oceans.
The Boys In The Boat, by Daniel James Brown. So many people had told me I had to read this book – and they were right. A gripping true story, well told, of how the Seattle underdogs came through to…. well, that would spoil it.
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, by Oliver Burkeman. A bracing blast of fresh air through the fug of self-help, a thought-provoking and entertaining book that questions just what we should be aspiring to.
Walking Home: Great British Adventures . . . and Other Rambles, by Clare Balding. A tribute to the people and places of Britain, as seen through the eyes of our favourite TV sports presenter. And my choosing to include this one has nothing to do with the fact that she writes about me for the last 3 pages. 🙂
The Biology of Belief: Unleashing The Power Of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles, by Bruce Lipton. Ah yes, the reading list starts to get much more Hay House from here on. A cellular biologist discovers spirituality.
Coming Home: The Return to True Self, by Martia Nelson. An exquisite exposition on the nature of life, the universe, and spirituality, by my lovely friend Martia.
The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief, by Gregg Braden. Cosmology meets quantum physics meets miracles. Powerful stuff.
Beyond Civilisation: Humanity’s Next Great Adventure, by Daniel Quinn. From the author of “Ishmael”, a well-reasoned book that challenges us to find a new set of beliefs to replace the environmentally catastrophic culture we have now.
Unfoldment: The Organic Path to Clarity, Power, and Transformation, by Neil Kramer. I discovered Neil Kramer just this year, and am fascinated by his worldview. Meshes well with The Divine Matrix.
The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, by Alan Watts. Timeless wisdom from the British philosopher. Thanks to the amazing Brainpickings for turning me on to Watts. If you don’t already subscribe to this newsletter, DO!
The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. Oh! Really! Now it all makes sense! A very readable book that explains why we women sometimes struggle.
Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences, by Nancy Duarte. If you do any public speaking at all, please read this book! Your audiences will love you for it! Her TED talk is good too, but the book gives so much more.
Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting, by the late, great, Wayne Dyer. I listened to the audiobook, and to hear Wayne imparting his words of wisdom direct to my eardrums made it hard to believe he’s gone.
I hope that at least a few of those books might appeal to you.
And maybe you have some recommendations of your own. If so, please share! Post a comment and let us know your favourite book – and why.
And a general update…
Meanwhile, in the world of Roz, autumn is the season of mists, mellow fruitfulness, and many speaking engagements. A couple of weeks ago I spoke at Shrewsbury High School, an all-girls school whose headmaster has a powerful vision for the confident, resilient young women that his students are becoming. Last weekend I spoke to Avicenna, an alliance of independent pharmacists. Today I’m at the Cabinet Office, speaking to their women’s network. Next week I’m at sea, on board a boat rather larger than mine, delivering a keynote and two workshops for Richmond Events. Then, with barely a weekend to recover, I’m off to New York and Boston for a number of speaking engagements including two moderated conversations for World 50. I’m banging the drum of COURAGE all over the place, and so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Courage seems to be something the world is crying out for!