Our Founder Shares Her All Time Favourite Books on World Book Day
Ever since I can remember, I have gravitated towards places where books are kept – libraries, book shops and even the humble bookshelf that houses a friend’s personal collection.
There’s something so deeply gratifying about thumbing through a book and getting a sense of the journey the author is taking you on.
Fiction, non-fiction, encyclopaedic – you name it, I love it. If you can’t tell already, I have a thing for books.
When I was tasked with writing this piece, I thought a lot about the books that have made the biggest impact on my life. I can think of many examples of fictional books that are so memorable due to their incredible storytelling and narratives, but for me, it has been non-fiction that has been truly transformational.
Philosophy non-fiction, such as Meditations by Marcus Aurelius which is a series of personal notes on life and ideas on Stoic philosophy by the Roman Emperor, explores a deeper understanding of humanity and the meaning of life.
A more contemporary version, which I read every day is The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holliday, which offers bite-sized lessons by philosophers interested in Stoicism such as Epictetus, Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Zeno and of course Marcus Aurelius, on personal growth, mindfulness and managing life’s ups and downs.
There are many books within the self-help genre that have had an enormous influence on the way I think. These too can offer different perspectives on life’s meaning and techniques for handling the challenges one might face throughout their lifetime.
The timeless classic The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck is one of the most read books on my bookshelf. Peck’s experience as a psychiatrist forms the basis of the book, drawing on both scientific and spiritual perspectives in personal development. I have revisited this book many times over the years, and it never grows old.
Australian writer Sarah Wilson’s book First, We Make the Beast Beautiful demystifies mental health and takes the reader on a journey towards acceptance and peace in living with anxiety. I thumb through this beautiful book regularly that lives permanently on my bedside table, reading my annotations and reflecting on how helpful this book has been.
The business and economics genre would have to be up there as one of my favourites of the non-fiction genres and spans everything from leadership to finances to running a start-up.
I read Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People at the start of my career on the advice of my boss and mentor at the time in my very first management role, and it has been invaluable throughout my career. Another timeless piece about what makes people tick and the lifelong journey of being the very best leader you can be.
Social Science guru Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point is a firm favourite of mine in this genre, as are his other books. The Tipping Point explores what makes something viral, whether it be a trend in behaviour, business, or marketing. This book demonstrates how behavioural science, psychology, and economics are intertwined.
Below you will find a few of my favourites, many are oldies but goodies, some contemporary and a few on their way to being read.