Poor-people-have-big-TVsI love reading and put aside time every day to invest in my personal development.  I take my kindle everywhere I go and make my way through about 25 books every year.

This year has been no different and I have benefited significantly from the wisdom of others.  Of course, not every book I read is for my development, some are purely for my entertainment, but I have enjoyed most of the books that I have read this year.

Here are my favourite books from 2015:

10. The Good, the Bad and the Unlikely: Australia’s Prime Ministers, Mungo MacCallum.  I’ve always been interested in Australian politics, but have been fairly ignorant of Australia’s Prime Ministers before the 1980’s, so when I found this book, I was rapt.  With a chapter on every Prime Minister since federation, this was a great book, even if we’ve already added one more PM for him to write about since this came out.  I know that a book on Australian politics sounds boring, but with MacCallum’s entertaining writing style and attention to detail, I highly recommend it.

9. The Shack, William P. Young.  This is one of those books that has been recommended to me through Amazon for years, and I finally relented to buying it for my reading over the Christmas/New Year period at the start of the year.  As a dad of a young daughter, parts of this book were hard to read, but I’m glad that I pushed through it as Young’s description of the character of God was wonderfully crafted.  A beautiful book that left a mark.

8. Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most, Craig Groeschel.  When I first got my kindle 5 years ago, one of the first books that I bought was Groeschel’s “Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working” and loved it.  I really enjoyed this book, which is targeted at Christian men, and found his teaching practical and challenging.

7. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars, Mark Batterson.  Based on an obscure passage of scripture, Batterson inspires his readers to live their best life, take risks and chase after meaningful goals.  As you can imagine, this was right up my alley.

6. Torn Trousers: A True Story of Courage and Adventure: How A Couple Sacrificed Everything To Escape to Paradise, Andrew St. Pierre and Gwynn White.  This tale of a husband and wife team managing a game lodge on the Okavango Delta in Botswana was a very enjoyable tale.  With both Andrew and Gwynn taking turns to tell their side of the story, it’s a great description of life in Africa and I can’t wait to see it for myself one day.

5. The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? Seth Godin.  I’ve been a long-term reader of Seth’s blog for many years and have read quite a few of his books, so I knew what I was getting here.  The premise is that we have been lulled into not flying too high, so instead we fly too low, living an ordinary life and doing ordinary work.  Seth encourages us all to reach higher, creating art through our work that changes the world, using his bite sized, punchy writing style to get his message across in an inspiring and compelling way.

4. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, Bill Bryson.  I remember reading Notes from a Small Island when Karen and I travelled to the UK 10 years ago, so I knew was going to enjoy this and I wasn’t disappointed.  Forget about the movie with Robert Redford, read the book!  Just don’t read it on a crowded train, your chortles of laughter will attract attention.

3.  Pushing the Limits: Life, Marathons & Kokoda, Kurt Fearnley.  Elite athlete?  Check.  Overcoming extraordinary adversity?  Check.  Great story teller?  Check.  This autobiography of paralympian athlete Kurt Fearnley will have you wondering what’s holding you back from greatness.

2. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, by Ken Robinson.  This year, I became a Director at my kids’ school, so I wanted to read a book about education and with this book, I got more than I bargained for.  Robinson calls for an education revolution that helps young people to find what they are passionate about and create a career out of it.  He used some great examples throughout and my (digital) highlighter worked overtime on this one.

1. Rising Strong, by Brene Brown.  I’ve always been a fan of Brene’s story-telling ability and research into human behaviour.  In her latest book, she shares a method of engaging with the pain and failures in our lives to help us to live more whole-heartedly.  I’ve recommended this book to a lot of people this year and if you only read one book in 2016, go with this one.

So there you have it, my top 10 favourite books from 2015.  I felt a bit bad as there were 3-4 more books that could easily have made this list, but these are the 10 that impacted, entertained and challenged me the most.

What have been the best books that you have read this year?

Previous post – If You Try To Fly

Next post – Words Are Not Enough