The 12 Days of Books #12
- Posted by Liz Gooster
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- books, growth, self-development, The 12 Days of Books, Wellbeing
To round off my 12 Days of Books series, we don’t just have one book, we have a whole list! A mini library, if you will. Some of these I’ve read, others I’m part-way through. Some I’ve dipped into, others I’ve yet to begin. If you read any of them, I’d love to know what you think of them. Maybe some of these titles will make it into next year’s 12 Days of Books … Although no doubt I’ll have come across lots of other tempting gems by then too. Please do let me know if you have any other suggestions for my creaking bookshelves!
Roy Baumeister & John Tierney (2012) Willpower: Why self-control is the secret to success
My understanding of the core tenet of the book is that our willpower is finite, so we need to use it wisely. For instance, we may have more of it earlier in the day, or when we’re not hungry, so it’s a good idea to make important decisions at those times. At this time of the year, I usually feel as if my annual reserves need replenishing! That would explain my lack of restraint in regard to the mince pies, mulled wine and festive fizz! Often I can summon the willpower to embrace a dry January: this year, so far that inner strength is proving elusive …
Philippa Perry (2019) The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read
So many parents have urged me to read this that I feel I need to do so at my earliest opportunity. I’ve also heard Philippa in a radio interview and really liked what she had to say, so I am definitely relishing the prospect.
Tara Brach (2003) Radical Acceptance: Awakening the love that heals fear and shame
I started this alongside Kirsten Neff’s Self-compassion as part of a covid-prompted journey into better self-care, for myself and my clients. More spiritual than the books I usually read, I’m finding the departure from my norm stimulating and challenging.
Susan David (2017) Emotional Agility: Get unstuck, embrace change and thrive in work and life
Another discovery of 2020’s summer lockdown, I loved Susan David’s podcast series. I think I will forever remember listening to snippets of them while parked in a deserted RSPB car park with a drowsy toddler snoozing and sweating gently in the back. Birds sang, the sun shone and I relished David’s messages of resilience along with some welcome peace and tranquillity. Now I just need to read her book!
Andy Lopata (2020) Just Ask: Why seeking support is your greatest strength
This book was written by a close connection of mine and I worked with him during the early stages of its life. So I’m keen to read the final result. And the topic of being supported by our networks could not be more timely. Our appreciation of the profound human need for social connection has been brought into sharp relief during the pandemic, when we’ve been deprived of so much of this connection. If we need more of it, maybe we could just ask??
Angela Duckworth (2017) Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success
This somewhat controversial book has long intrigued me. Its unorthodox premise is that our character, in particular our determination and our ability to persevere in pursuit of our goals, has a definitive impact on our success. In Flourish, which I reviewed in an earlier post in this series, Martin Seligman talks about Duckworth’s own remarkable character and research, which has revived my interest.
Viktor Frankl (2004) Man’s Search for Meaning
An astonishing book. Testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Simultaneously hard to read and incredibly inspiring. I feel it’s time for me to read it again.
Brene Brown (2015) Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead
Brene Brown is a trailblazer in the field of authenticity, vulnerability, bravery and self-acceptance. Any one of her books could be on this list.
Rangan Chatterjee (2017) The 4 Pillar Plan: How to relax, eat, move and sleep your way to a healthier life
I read this a while ago now and was very taken with its holistic approach to health and wellbeing. The author has a medical background and still practices as a GP, so the practical tips and guidance are scientifically grounded. Health is on many people’s radar at the start of the year, so this might be a good time to revisit this one to pick up some healthy new habits!
M. Scott Peck (1990) The Road Less Travelled
This is far from being a new book. I bought it on the recommendation of a trusted colleague. I’m sure it’s full of sage insights that will richly repay the time needed to read it.
Maxwell Maltz (2015) Psycho Cybernetics
I know nothing about this one. Again, it was recommended by someone whose opinion I trust, so I will take a look!
Ben Goldacre (2012) Bad Pharma: How medicine is broken and how we can fix it
Another book that was published quite a while ago but one that treats a still highly relevant issue. This was another recommendation – I seem to be gathering them wherever I go at the moment!
Charlie Mackesy (2019) The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
And finally (for now!), to end on a whimsical but inspiring note, the book most recently suggested to me as a must-read is said to be beautifully uplifting both to read and to look at. It promises solace for troubled times like ours.
Other posts in this series
- 12 Days of Books overview
- FT Guide to Business Coaching, 2e
- Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race
- Vital Conversations
- What Doesn’t Kill Us
- The Colour Monster
- Why We Sleep
- The Promise that Changes Everything
I like to describe myself as happily ‘At Large’ in an independent portfolio career, balancing coaching, leadership development, coach training and being a mum to my young daughter. Positive psychology is a big influence on my work and I’ve recently gained an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology from the University of East London. My interests include reading, writing, travel, yoga, Zumba, coffee and wine! Connect with me on LinkedIn and sign up for my newsletter, Positive Intentions.