Business, Reading - Book Reviews

Top Reads in 2018 & What I’m Reading in 2019…

2018 Reads – Amazon Kindle, Audible Audiobooks, Paperback and Hardcover

Yesterday, I received this message from my brother: ‘How many books did you read in 2018?’

So, in response, I drew up my list, as I always do at the end of each year. About 35 books. Not one book a week as I always promise myself I’ll do, but not bad. Out of that number, here are the ones I would actually recommend. I’ve also included a quick comment as to one thing that impacted me from each that may resonate with you enough to want to pick it up and read. Enjoy.

  1. Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

We all have subconscious biases that will trigger an unwanted response, often to the detriment of others. Even when we are aware of these subconscious biases, the outcome remains the same. Find ways to rid yourself of subconscious bias by changing your environment in areas such as: academic and career recruitment, policing, music choice, etc. Read the full PDF summary here.

  1. Everybody Always by Bob Goff

Be kind. To everybody. Always.

Bob is an incredible story-teller. I laughed and cried throughout. His first book, ‘Love Does’ is also a must-read.


  1. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Fiction tells a story of truth more weighty than non-fiction at times. An interesting, thought-provoking and humorous story about loneliness and depression.

  1. Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami (translated from Japanese)

As above! The first line of the first chapter still hits me every time:

‘From July of his sophomore year in college until the following January, all Tsukuru Tazaki could think about was dying.’

  1. The Choice by Edith Eger

A Holocaust survivor during WW2. Everything in this book speaks volumes.

  1. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

A big business was a small business, once. We often forget that.

  1. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Konde

Everything has its place. If you find that place, after the mass clean out suggested and guided by this book, you’ll then be able to maintain a de-cluttered, tidy home/workplace/life every single day.

  1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Hope keeps people living. When hope dies, the spirit dies and then the body quickly follows. There is always hope.


Another Holocaust survivor during WW2, but older than Edith Eger. He was a practicing neurologist and psychiatrist when he entered the death camps, so he speaks from both a personal and psychoanalytical perspective.

  1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Life isn’t fair when who you are is defined by the colour of your skin or your country of origin.

This one statement does not do this book justice, but because I’m limited by time and space, check out this other commentary in the Financial Times written by author, Pettina Gappah:

‘A deeply empathetic novel examines the lingering effects of slavery’ – The Financial Times – (Pettina Gappah)

Homegoing covers 250 year of history through the descendants of two sisters separated at birth. Mind-blowing. Informative. So real.

  1. The One Thing (The Surprisingly Simply Truth Behind Extraordinary Results) by Gary Keller

‘What one thing can I do today/this week/month/year to make everything else easier or unnecessary?’

The One Thing taught me FOCUS in 2018. Which has led to a few high-quality victories! What will the ONE THING allow you to achieve in 2019?

  1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

You have a Personal Legend (your story or purpose for living). Whether your Legend is a humble or mighty one, be sensitive to the promptings of your heart and bold enough to follow it obediently (for me, ‘heart’ means God’s direction). Why? Well, if you ignore your heart for too long, it may stop speaking to you and you may then fail to fulfil your destiny. I don’t want to live a life less than what I have been called to live. Do you?

I’ve read The Alchemist every year since 2011/12. Why don’t you join me doing this? It’s a good habit because it will propel your forward when you’re feeling complacent or weary. You can dip in and out or read the whole thing in a day or two (it’s very short).

Let me know if you do on Twitter @Airozuru and tell me what you’re aiming for in 2019 and beyond using the hashtag – #MyPersonalLegend. Here’s mine…


The Last Two

For creative and tech industries and general business buffs – Learn the jargon, understand some of the thought processes behind going public or staying private, when and why (it seems like a game of luck at times), building a good team and culture in yourself, your leaders and your team, and lots of business development wisdom.

  1. Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull
  2. The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Some of what I plan to read in 2019

Sports Psychology & Happiness – Getting the Mental Edge (Peak Performance & Wellness)

  • Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg
  • Flow by Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi
  • Switch on your Brain by Dr Caroline Leaf
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • Open by Andre Agassi

Business – Building, Growing, Negotiating, etc.

  • The Inner Game of Work by W. Timothy Gallwey
  • The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
  • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Inspiring, Funny, Relaxing, Classics

  • Wild by Cheryl Strayd
  • The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Etienne
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

P.S. You don’t have time to read, right? Or you travel a lot so you don’t have space in your luggage for books, right? Wrong!

Here are my suggestions.

No time? Audible for Audiobooks (First book free! I’d suggest… ‘I can’t make this up’ by Kevin Hart for a good giggle!)

No space? Amazon Kindle or Nook!

I also LOVE podcasts, which are great because I am sadly in my car (electric hybrid!) for at least 2 hours a day. See my top five podcasts to help you laugh, learn and grow  here.

Other book reviews and suggestions.

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