The only goal I have set for 2018 is to read 100 books. Yes, you read that right ONE HUNDRED books. I aim to log them here and provide a brief review of each – good and bad. The list will include paperback and hardbacks as well as ebooks and audiobooks.

As of 26th January 2018 - 5 down, 95 to go

So here goes [click on the title below to jump to that review]:

  1. Dr Rangan Chatterjee – The 4 Pillar Plan
  2. Steven Pressfield – The War of Art
  3. Karren Brady – Playing to Win
  4. Bernadette Jiwa – Marketing: A Love Story
  5. Kim Wymer – Out of the Shadows

1/100 – The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee [paperback]

What the book blurb says: “Prepare to change your lifestyle for the better with Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s four-step plan to help you have a happy body and mind and achieve optimal health.

A healthy life doesn’t have to be complicated and with Dr Chatterjee’s small but life-changing interventions – which will change your approach to food, rest, sleep and exercise – you will take charge of your health and transform your life for the better.”

What I say: I found nothing new in Dr Chatterjee’s book but that’s not to say that I wouldn’t recommend it. It was great to have the information I already know and preach not only reiterated by a qualified professional but also validated. I like scientific facts and figures and this book contains just that but provided in such an easy to understand way.

Best bits:

  • 3-4-5 breathing technique (p50)
  • Kitchen exercises (p166)
  • Damage limitation advice (p139)

Link to buy:

2/100 – The War of Art by Steven Pressfield [paperback]

What the book blurb says: In this powerful, straight-from-the-hip examination of the internal obstacles to success, bestselling author Steven Pressfield shows readers how to identify, defeat, and unlock the inner barriers to creativity. THE WAR OF ART is an inspirational, funny, well-aimed kick in the pants guaranteed to galvanise every would-be artist, visionary, or entrepreneur.

What I say: Brilliant book. I loved the way it clearly presented how resistance can show up, how it can be combated and how to keep going. The differentiation of the professional and the amateur was also eye-opening. Because of the way it is written it is a great book to be able to pick up and open at any page to get inspiration to overcome procrastination.

Best Bits:

  • The Unlived Life (intro)
  • Resistance and Victimhood (p27)
  • “A Professional Seeks Order” (p77)
  • Life and Death (p132)

Link to buy:

3/100 – Playing to Win – Karren Brady [paperback]

What the book blurb says: Everyone has dreams. And they usually stay that way. We lack the belief to make them reality, or fear the risks. This can be especially true of ambitious and aspiring women. But now more than ever, anything is possible. The world has moved on. Women everywhere are achieving extraordinary things.

SO what’s holding you back?

Playing to win is a handbook for success in any situation. It gives you a unique insight into the world of high achievement and lifestyle fulfilment. It shows you exactly what you need to do to get where you want to be.

What I say: Hmmm. I so wanted to like this book because I started her autobiography last year and that WAS good. But this was hard to read. I don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t feeling 100% but it just felt disjointed and didn’t really flow.

I liked the actual ten steps. The eponynmous 10 steps are consolidated in just one chapter and then the rest of the book is examples and quotes from female business owners, with a bit of Birmingham CIty manager-juggling anecdotes thrown in, which in my opinion didn’t add to the narrative.

I’m not sure what point Ms Brady was trying to make. Can we have it all? Can’t we have it all? Can we only have it all if we admit something will suffer?

Maybe I was missing something but either way I had to force myself to finish it. Or maybe I just wasn’t earning anything new – I like my books to have “a-ha moments” – and this just didn’t give me them.

However, if you are just thinking about starting or new to business then you may find this useful.

Best bits

  • The synopses at the end of each chapter (easier to read and digest than the chapter itself)
  • The first three chapters – after that not worth the effort

Link to buy:

4/100 – Marketing: A Love Story – Bernadette Jiwa

What the book blurb says:

One of the biggest challenges we face as entrepreneurs and innovators is understanding how to make our ideas resonate. We tend to have no shortage of ideas, but we struggle to tell the story of how they are going to be useful in the world and why they will matter to people. Marketing is the way we communicate how our ideas translate to value for people in a marketplace.

Marketing has become a necessary evil for every business, but what if we adopted a different view of it?

What if marketing was less about promotion or coercion and more about reaching out to people and helping them to solve problems?

What if marketing was how we found more ways to do better work and to matter to our customers?

What if marketing was where we began our journey towards understanding what people need and want?

What if it was our vantage point for seeing the world through the eyes of our customers?

How different would marketing be then?

What I say: A must read for anyone in business. Teaches you how to do marketing with heart. So if you’re finding marketing and selling “icky” this is the book for you!

You will learn how to understand that it’s not about manipulating customers to buy from you but more about providing a service/product that your customers WANT to buy!

Best bits

  • The easy to read style.
  • It covers the principles of marketing, which seem to have been forgotten in this era of technology – PEOPLE MATTER!

Link to buy: 

5/100 – Out of the Shadows – Kim Wymer [Kindle]

What the book blurb says:

Stuck in a mundane marriage, a job she hated and feeling lower then ever, Kim Wymer, knew it’d take a miracle for her to turn her life around, though she never knew that miracles could come in the post.

In this story of strength and transformation, Kim takes you through the extreme highs and lows of her life, to tell you how she overcame everything that life could throw at her, and how she stepped out of her shadows and into the light.

What I say: I hate to admit it but I’m a bit of a voyeur and any chance I get to take a peak into someone else’s life and I jump at it. This book did not disappoint in that area. It was a very easy to read book detailing Kim’s early teenage life and subsequent marriage.

I think a lot of women will identify with the “just going along with it so as not to upset anybody” attitude that Kim had adopted early on as a quasi-defence mechanism. And similarly, I believe readers will champion her on for becoming who she really was along and having the strength to do what she wanted, and ultimately what she needed to do, for her own happiness.

Worth a read.

Best bits

  • Reading about Kim’s journey.
  • Easy to read.

Link to buy: