Did Reading 51 and a 1/2 Books Change Anything?
Updated: Jan 15
I was in San Diego in February at a Brendon Burchard event (my last one pre covid).
I was just coming off the back of a break up and wasn't in a good space so I'd headed out to San Diego to get some space, reflection time and motivate myself into a new version of me.
It was during Brendon's epic HPX event that he mentioned that for the past decade he's read a book a week and it had changed his life.
So many of the worlds most successful men and women are prolific readers.
Warren Buffet who is the worlds best known investor with a fortune of $80 billion is known to read 5-6 hours per day.
I remember thinking to myself as I listened to Brendon "That sounds pretty easy to me"(I was thinking crazy I'm sure!).
I've always loved reading from a young age and over the past 2 decades I've studied for a bachelor degree and a post graduate degree whilst working full time.
So I not only loved reading and learning, I knew how to do it fast (remember last minute exam cramming?).
For those who aren't familiar with Brendon, he is a world leading coach, trainer and writer. He started with absolutely nothing and has multiple successful businesses now.
I ask my clients when they say that they want something out of their life. "Who's done it well already?". Then I ask them; "Can you find out how they did it and model them?"
So I figured if it was good enough for the likes of Brendon Burchard and Warren Buffett, then it's sure as heck good enough for me!
So back in February I set out to read a book a week for a year and I've documented my entire journey for you.
So has it changed my life? YES!!!!!! But how so....?
Even the very first book I read of the year ended up changing my whole being. It changed how I thought about things and what I thought about.
And almost every book thereafter shifted at least one part of me.
I read about money, mindset, psychology, love, energy, health, living longer, the universe, war, online businesses, sales and marketing, setting intentions, magic and much much more....
So I know the question you have.....was it easy to read a book a week?
No it really wasn't.
Even being an avid reader and a speed reader at that plus with a pandemic going on when I've had so much more time at home than normal, it still wasn't easy.
But the incredible thing is that I've found nothing else that shifted me more in just 1 year than doing this.
So I've documented my year long journey for you.
So pull up a cuppa and get cosy.
There's some gold contained in here that might also begin to change your life.
For ease of reading I've kept them in the order I naturally read them. This is because some books led me on to explore the topic more.
Also to help you pick out the ones I loved the most, I've put *** next to my Top 15. These were the ones that impacted me the most. They may have the same effect on you.
My journey began with just one book in my hand.....so here goes....
1. Mirror Work - Louise Hay ***
I don't even remember how I got my hands on this, I just knew that I wanted to read it.
It's a 21 day program where you have a focus for each day which is inner shadow work (the things that we hold on to from our pasts which tend to hold us back). It includes affirmations, visualisations and an audio to listen to each day.
In all honesty I felt like a bit of an idiot talking to myself in the mirror to begin with but by day 3 I'd already experienced a shift in how I saw myself.
The biggest exercise I remember is when she gets you to visualise yourself as a 5 year old. You then take care of that 5 year old version of you. This shifted everything for me.
I can honestly say that this book partly helped save my life. It gave me an anchor during my darkest days of grief, despair, hopelessness and the feeling of overwhelm I felt coming out of a breakup, a breakdown, death, infertility and everything in-between.
It felt like a book of pure love and this has now become my most gifted book. This is powerful and a must read for every single person on the planet.
2. Yes Man - Danny Wallace
Jim Carey is in the film version of this. It's a book about a guy stuck in the rut of saying "No", that decides one day to start saying "Yes" to literally anything and everything.
A really funny lighthearted read when you want your mood lifted.
3. Spirit Babies - Walter Makichen
I was in Holland for the weekend when my friend gave me this to read.
She knew I'd had many years of trying unsuccessfully to have a baby and she'd just gone through a miscarriage herself.
It focuses on energy, healing and creating the right environment for your unborn baby. I read it from cover to cover while I was there.
It made me feel like I had more control over my infertility issues which was a comfort.
4. The 5 Love Languages - Gary Chapman ***
This book is one of those books you wish someone had told you about years ago! I remember saying to my partner at the time "I want you to show you that you love me not just say it". Little did I know that him saying it was his love language (Words of Affirmation) and mine I wanted evidence of it (Acts of Service).
I've had some amazing relationships and some not so great ones too. I feel that this book now allows me to realise that not everyone sees or shows love in the same way.
A relationship life changer. Get this book if you're single or in a relationship, it will help.
5. O's Little Guide To Starting Over - Oprah Magazine Editors
I love anything Oprah so I was delighted to get this book in my hands. She (or her editors) always offer such sage easy to understand life advice.
This was an easy to digest book which feels like eating a piece of chocolate. Comfort and a smile all in one.
6. The Motivation Manifesto - Brendon Burchard
Being at Brendon Burchard's event in February got me started on my reading journey so I couldn't NOT include him!
This book was a nice read, an easy introduction into Brendon's learnings. His more recent High Performing Habits has more impact if that's what you're aiming for.
7. The Fast 800 - Michael Moseley
I met Dr Michael Mosley at an event in January where I got this book. For those not in the UK he is a prominent doctor who has a focus on nutrition and health. He developed the 5:2 diet (5 days of eating normally and 2 days fasting).
My focus this year was definitely on health so this was a really interesting read. I have since tried both intermittent fasting (the fast 800) and the 5:2 diet and find both approaches really useful to stay fit and well.
This book gives us a nice introduction to another way of eating.
8. Launch - Jeff Walker
I'd come across Jeff Walker through my mentor and he's well known for his online launches which has made him a millionaire.
Despite his wealth and now fame, this book is grounded as I think he would still be. So it's not showy or flash in any way. He literally talks you through an online launch step by step.
If you have an online business and you sell anything, this is definitely worth a read.
9. A New Earth - Eckhart Toll
I've read one of Eckhart Tolles books before and they are really philosophical. His writing always makes me feel calm.
If you feel like you need a shake up and a wake up in life, then this is a good book to do just that.
10. The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris
This was a really hard read about WWII and the experiences of a man that was in Auschwitz. I had previously read Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl and his focus on having hope no matter what was happening externally kept him alive.
This is of a similar vein and I felt compelled to read it during our own version of lockdown during the pandemic. A tough read but historically important.
11. Crushing It - Gary Vee
Gary Veynerchuk is like marmite, you either love him or you hate him! Despite him at first appearing very masculine and showy, I've got to really enjoy his videos and quotes.
Despite him doing the opposite of most of the things I stand for such as suggesting you work 20 hour days I really enjoyed this book and 90% of what he says.
He gives most of his things away for free, he fails fast and he's teaching our next generation to go out there and get what they want out of life. I can't diss him for that. A good read for masculine energies amongst us that want to hustle.
12. Quantum Healing - Deepak Chopra
This one took me almost 6 weeks to read!! It is SUPER technical and takes some brain power. BUT I feel that the quantum field is very physics and scientific so it was needed.
Read this one if you're already advanced in the energy space.
13. Dotcom Secrets - Russell Brunson
This was my second read of this book since Russell Brunson did an update. He's the owner of Clickfunnels which is now a billion dollar company he built from scratch.
He talks about marketing, ideal clients, the results you want your clients to have, online sales, psychology and scaling your business.
If you have any online business presence AT ALL, this is a MUST READ.
14. You Are A Badass - Jen Sincero
So many people told me to read this and I'm glad I did! Jen has the ability to write with a style that is lighthearted and makes you laugh out loud while you're reading.
Because of my many years in the personal development field I didn't learn anything new from her book, but if you are a beginner then this would be a great book to start you off.
15. Perfect Health - Deepak Chopra ***
My 2nd Deepak Chopra book of the year and WOW!!
It's truly unbelievable that he wrote this over 20 years ago and the things he talks about are still so cutting edge. He talks about how we can eat our way to health, the movements we can do and how we can live a totally different life to how we are currently in the West.
I still see this guy going live on Facebook most days and he is prolific in releasing new content and books. His energy levels show that he really must have perfect health.
Despite its age, this book is an absolute MUST READ.
16. The Go Giver - Bob Burg & David Mann
This was so close to making my Top 15! Instead of us being obsessed with "getting" things, relationships, money, success and the like. The authors talk about us giving instead.
When we give to others, either our knowledge or the things we have, our lives can totally turn around. I posted this picture on Facebook and the author commented on the thread! He really is leading by example and giving so much to others.
A great read.
17. This is Marketing - Seth Godin
I'd heard AMAZING things about both this book and the author but by half way through I was super bored! I'm not sure if it's because I absolutely love Russell Brunson's marketing books (see above) that I didn't like Seth's approach or not?
But I didn't like it and didn't feel I gained much from it.
18. The Law of Attraction - Esther & Jerry Hicks ***
I considered myself a novice manifestor and my law of attraction knowledge was minimal.
I'd previously read and loved a Gabby Bernstein book which gave me an introduction to this world, but I was interested in finding out more about the subject. So I went to a book that was recommended to me time and time again.
I was honestly BLOWN AWAY by this book! It gave me my first real understanding of the world of energy, attraction and manifestation. The idea that thoughts become things was something that I was aware of.
I'd had 5 years of what I considered "bad luck" with a whole host of things within my life, but I realised reading this book that I'd inadvertently manifested all of it. One negative thought led to one negative action which then led to another negative thought and before I knew it I was spiralling downwards faster than I was able to get out of.
Reading this book has helped me to get out of that spiral, get control back over my thoughts and begin to manifest my dream life. LOVED IT!!
19. 108 Proven Split Test Winners - Russell Brunson
This was an E-Book which took me ages to get my hands on. Another absolute belter by Russell Brunson (see above for Dotcom Secrets).
This book teaches the nitty gritty of setting up sales pages for your online business. What works, what doesn't and how just changing one word or colour on a page can completely change the outcome of your sales.
If you understand what a funnel is or have an online business then this is a great read.
20. Double Your Profits in 6 Months or Less - Bob Fifer
I spent almost 20 years doing exactly this for big corporate businesses. I would go in, assess what they were doing well and what they weren't. Then I would get down to making changes in their organisations. These changes usually focused on making changes to processes that either wasted time (it's how we've always done it) to streamlining and automating.
If you're interested in doing the same for your business this is a great read to get you started.
21. The Power of Intention - Dr Wayne Dyer
Even though I'd heard of Dr Wayne Dyers work for YEARS, this was actually my very first read of his work. This book focuses on affirmations and having intentions.
This book actually switched out my thinking from having "goals" to having "intentions" which was very powerful for me. It's now about setting beautiful intentions and enjoying the whole journey rather than just setting a goal and doing everything possible to get to the end as quickly as possible.
This was a great read, I absolutely loved it!
22. Live Big - Ahoy Nawalkha
If you've heard of Mindvalley then this author is one of the creators of that.
An absolutely great introduction book into thinking bigger than you currently are (probably).
If you're new to the world of changing your life, read this one.
23. Girl Wash Your Face - Rachel Hollis
Rachel is HUGE in the personal development space and as someone who works with women I love to see women doing well.
This book feels like she's talking directly to you, it feels really like your best friend is talking to you when she gives you both a hug and a slap around the face.
A really good one if you're feeling lost, lonely or not sure where to head next.
24. Time Warrior - Steve Chandler
Steve Chandler is a well known coach and I'd read and loved two of his other books (The Prosperous Coach and When Boats Rise) so I was excited to read this.
This one didn't really float my boat, I didn't learn much and I found it a bit "meh". His other two books I'd read before were much better and I'd recommend them if you're in the coaching, training or mentoring world.
25. E2 - Pam Grout
This book centres around energy and actually doing experiments to test it rather than just talking about it.
As part of one of the experiments, I'd asked for something unexpected with in 48 hours and I ended up receiving the most beautiful card and plant from an old school friend!
A great lighthearted read to test the energy field and the way you manifest.
26. The 4 Hour Work Week - Tim Ferris ***
As the queen of automating and streamlining businesses this was right up my street.
Reading Tim Ferris' work has literally changed my life! When everyone else seemed to talk about hustle and the 5am club, Tim comes up with this.
Going through my own burnout made me reassess how, when and why I work on the things I do and Tim's work is so refreshing in the 20th century that seems obsessed with being busy.
Tim's since said he doesn't work 4 hours a week (but you can) and he's ended up building a $100 million dollar empire from this book. So he's onto something.
He seems super normal, really fun and this read will absolutely change the way you do things. READ IT!
27. The Magic of Thinking Big - Dr Emmet Fox
I'd heard a lot about this book and is another great introduction into the world of self-development. I didn't learn anything new here apart from some ideas that I'd come across before.
A good starter book into personal development.
28. You Can Heal Your Life - Louise Hay ***
My 2nd Louise Hay book of the year and just like Mirror Work (the first I read), this was an absolute game changer for life, despite this being written in 1984!
Louise had such an understanding of limiting belief's, dealing with trauma, healing and living a life of purpose.
I absolutely loved it and is another one I wish I'd come across years back. But I do believe that these books and teachers come along at exactly the right time.
29. Untamed - Glennon Doyle ***
This one is super popular and rightly so! A woman who broke free of the chains of an unhappy marriage and has now created and is living the life of her dreams.
It's about feminism, motivation, living a life of meaning and finally putting yourself first.
I really really loved this! GET IT!
30. So Lucky - Dawn O Porter
This was by accident my only fiction read of the year. I love Dawn O'Porter and I think she's a great TV presenter and love her other stuff.
But considering this was my only fiction read and I wanted it to be amazing, it really wasn't.
So lucky to have read it? Not this time.
31. The 7 Day Mental Diet - Dr Emmet Fox
At just 22 pages long, I've read Tinder profiles longer than this! But this was a cutting edge philosophy written in the 1940's about being aware of your thoughts and turning your negative thoughts into positive ones. He suggests doing this for 7 days.
As a Positive Psychologist, I am super aware of negative thought leading to health issues both mentally and physically so this book was a really early concept of positive thinking and the benefits of it.
32. How Not To Die - Michael Greger ***
Health and wellbeing is something that I knew I needed to focus more on this year so I was drawn to this book. It is a HUGE book but don't let that put you off.
This (as well as Deepak Chopra Perfect Health) has honestly changed the way I see food and nutition.
I spent years travelling with work, eating ready meals every night and packet noodles during the day. Anything beige and that you could ping was my diet for many years.
This book has so much science behind it but it's not an overwhelming read. He lists the things that you should try and eat daily with some of them being an easy introduction (chia seeds).
This book has and continues to change my life. A MUST READ.
33. Tools of Titans - Tim Ferris ***
This might be one of the BEST books I've ever read!!!!! My journey with Tim Ferris began with the 4 Hour Work Week (see above). He's a boy done good, seems super normal and now has a net worth of over $100 million.
In this book he's interviewed some of the brightest, most successful people on the planet. He's asked them the questions we would all be asking if we met them at a dinner party.
AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ whether you're in business or not.
34. Stone Soup - Marcia Brown
A Tim Ferris recommendation which is a kids book but has a great message behind it.
If you're wanting to get your kids into a growth mindset then get them this (and read it yourself).
35. Real Magic - Dr Wayne Dyer ***
Strangely I never remembered ordering this....It just popped through my letter box one day and I immediately began reading it.
This was my second Dr Wayne Dyer book of the year and I found it life changing!
If you're interested in energy, manifesting or miracles at ANY level then GET THIS IMMEDIATELY.
36. Chillpreneur - Denise Duffield Thomas ***
A client of mine told me AGES ago to read this and then a friend ended up randomly lending it me so I knew I should read it.
This girl is SO on my vibe. After my burnout 5 years ago left me bed bound I no longer work in the space of hustle, masculine energy or crushing it vibe. Neither does Denise Duffield-Thomas and it just so happens she's a super successful business owner, married, has kids and is living a chilled abundant flowing life.
This is a really great read, especially for the "human doers" amongst us who want to transition to a "human being".
"We are such stuff as our grandmothers dreams were made of". Chills.
37. Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman - Richard Feynman
Another Tim Ferris recommendation. I read a quarter of this then flipped through the rest.
The authors fun and has a Nobel prize BUT if you're not into physics or maths then don't bother. If you are, then you'll like it.
38. Creating Affluence - Deepak Chopra
A really great short intro book if you've not read any of Deepak's work before.
If you want anything more in depth, I'd definitely recommend Perfect Health instead (see above) which is an absolute stonker of a book.
39. Adventures of a Psychic - Sylvia Browne
This was the first time I've ever read anything remotely like this. But all the reading around energy, manifestations and miracles led me naturally I suppose onto mediumship and the spiritual world.
I lived with a real life witch for a short time this year and had some spooky goings on happening, including a visit from my long passed grandma!
This has in all honesty ignited my spiritual side even more and my has helped tune in my ever present instinct which I've had since childhood.
40. Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus - John Grey ***
If you can get past the fact he calls men “Martians” and women “Venusians” which is a little strange, this book has some golden nuggets for both men and women.
Who knew men give love like rubber bands? They need time in their “caves” then they spring back.
And women appreciate gifts evenly so if you give her a bunch of flowers or a car she’ll appreciate them equally! In other words go do lots of little things for her, she’ll love it.
I swear if I’d have read this 20 years ago, I’d be happily married with my very own version of a Kardashian Klan by now. Definitely worth a read!
41. The Audacity to be Queen - Gina Devee***
Holy moly, this book is EPIC!!! It’s packed full of absolute gems .
This book is about communications, leadership, feminine energy and showing up as a woman without trying to be a man which is the mistake I made for years.
The Dali Lama said “The world will be saved by the Western Woman”.
This is the year I went from a naive princess to a queen. Us girls need to step up. BUY THIS BOOK!!
42. Zero to One - Peter Thiel
This was like reading a PowerPoint presentation.....eek sorry!
But I'd suggest only reading this if you are building a start up that is a brand new service such as Uber, Amazon, PayPal, Tesla.
43. Love Letters of the Great War - Edited by Mandy Kirkby
I LOVE getting love letters so this book is just perfect and beautiful. I very often think I was born in the wrong era.
It’s full of love, kindness, beauty, separation, longing and at times loss.
44. Awareness - Anthony de Mello
This year has been all about awareness for me so this book came along for me at the perfect time.
The feeling that you get when you're doing something you love (he calls them Soul Feelings) compared to the feeling you get when you win (say an argument) he calls these Worldly Feelings. This book is about feeding ourselves with Soul Feelings to become more awakened.
I feel that this past year I have become awakened. This is a great book for looking into your own awakening.
45. Power vs Force - David Hawkins ***
This book blew my mind . This book should be called “Consciousness” as it revolves around this.
It suggests that everything in the universe has a level of consciousness that it’s calibrated to
Including us. The emotions such as joy and love calibrate much higher than guilt or shame. The human journey collectively is therefore to focus on becoming more conscious.
Believe it or not it only takes 1 person calibrating at a higher level to counterbalance 400,000 other people.
This is an at times a technical read but pure magic and enlightening.
46. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelo ***
I was given this book when I was 21 and it’s now my most read and gifted book. Every single time I read it, I read something different and this year I was drawn to read it.
It a fable of a shepherd who decides to follow his dreams and the setbacks and challenges he faces along the way.
I’d go as far to say this is my favourite book I’ve ever read.
47. How to Fail at Almost Anything and Still Win Big - Scott Adams ***
I didn’t expect to like this but It was REALLY good! I’ve never read a Dilbert comic strip in my life (Scott created Dilbert) but I’d got here through a Tim Ferris recommendation.
It’s a beautiful blend of humour, psychology, positive thinking, systems and not being scared of failure.
“Always remember that failure is your friend. It is the raw material of success. Invite it in. Learn from it. And don’t let it leave until you pick it’s pocket”
Buy this book.
48. Wishes Fulfilled - Dr Wayne Dyer
This is my third of Dr Wayne Dyers this year after never reading any of his books before.
I got this as I was doing an "I am" meditation of his on You Tube. This is a great book on manifesting and creating the life that you desire.
In the year of my biggest transformation of my life, I've really enjoyed his books.
49. The 7 Secrets of Happiness - Gyles Brandreth
This was given to me as a gift and as I have a postgrad in the science of happiness it wasn't something that I would naturally have picked up. But it was thin and I was running out of time to get my book count up!
This turned out to be a sweet 100 page read and a really good introduction for anyone who wants to find out more about being happy.
50. Mindset - Carol Dweck
I loved half of this book....But the other half made me feel like I was reading a postgraduate paper, it was SO full of examples which I found myself wanting to skim through.
The concept Dweck introduces of a growth mindset (believing people can develop their abilities) compared to a fixed mindset (that you're born with innate abilities that can't be changed) is SO important.
In my life now I focus more now on effort and the journey than the end result and it is this growth mindset mentality has honestly changed my life. Worth getting your head around the concepts.
51. A Course in Miracles ***
This book has been by my bed since the middle of me taking on this challenge. It's a book I'd seen referenced SO much I couldn't ignore it.
It's like a mini version of a bible or a spiritual text. The idea is that you read a section per day. I can't yet say how it's changed me, but I can for sure say that it's influenced so many other authors (Gabby Berstein) and ideas.
A MUST read for anyone interested in manifesting or miracles in the slightest.
51.5. The Artist Way - Julia Cameron
I'd heard about this through Tim Ferris and it's about being more creative. I've always caught myself saying things like "I'm not very creative" linking creativity purely with Art but I create things every single day. I write, I create content, I've created my website and everything associated with my online business.
This is a 12 week step by step program to help you to become more creative. I got onto Week 1 which suggests that you write 3 pages of journalling every day which I have been doing and loved.
A good one for (re)discovering the creative side of you that was probably there when you were younger!
So there you have it, my 51.5 books that I read over the year.
This ended up being the year that everything changed for me, and I think most of that was because of what I read.
It forced me to listen to things I didn't even know existed.
I got help from every single author and it reminded me to go get help when I need it (or wanted it).
There are people out there who you can learn from who have made their topics their life's work. And you can learn their lives work in less than a week!
I salute the authors for giving us this beautiful insight into their lives and working hard on their craft for us the reader to benefit.
Would I recommend reading a book a week? Most definitely!
This year I am now reading without keeping track of the number. I am more leisurely with my reading.
But the thing that it has made me do is become so much more aware of paying attention to what message the author is trying to leave us with.
I'm also much more aware of taking the lessons on for myself and improving my own life rather than just learning the concepts.
Next stop for me is writing one of these.
I hope you've taken something from this which then in turn changes your life.