One of my annual goals is to read 25 books on my trusty kindle, and this year has been another year of learning and entertainment from some terrific writers.

I try to read a variety of genres and authors, ensuring that I don’t become too insular, whilst maintaining my knowledge in areas of life that are important and interesting to me.

So, of the 25 books that I read in 2019, here are my top 10:

10.  The Athlete: Greatness, Grace and the Unprecedented Life of Charlie Ward – Jon Finkel.  I remember Charlie Ward when he was playing for the New York Knicks and enjoyed learning about Charlie’s upbringing, faith and NBA career.

9.  The Art of Growing Up – John Marsden.  A book on raising children from one of Australia’s best known educators and writers, there was a lot to think about from this one.  I wish that I had this book when I was a Director of my kid’s school, but nevertheless, am glad that I have read it now.  I didn’t agree with everything that he wrote, but found it incredibly stimulating reading.

8.  Hero Maker: Five Essential Practices for Leaders to Multiply Leaders (Exponential Series) – Dave Ferguson et al.  Written in a Church context, this is a still an excellent leadership book, with the principle that leaders should be making others the heroes, not ourselves.  Or as they say, “My fruit grows on other people’s trees.”

7.  Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. – Brene Brown.  If it’s written by Brene, I’ll read it.  If you aspire to leadership, you should read it, too.

6.  When All Is Said & Done – Neale Daniher.  I have long admired Neale’s extraordinary courage and resilience since being diagnosed with MND, and will forever be grateful that he penned this heart-warming, inspirational memoir.  It says a lot about this list that there are still five books ahead of it.

5.  Once a Runner: A Novel – John L. Parker.  I took up running this year, so was looking for a book on the subject to keep me inspired and help me on my journey.  This one scratched that itch and them some.  Wonderful story-telling that had me hooked until the end.

4.  Man’s Search for Meaning – Victor Frankl.  I feel like a heretic putting this so low, as it is a classic.  I’ll never feel sorry for myself again after reading Frankl’s story of his time in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII.  A massive perspective changer and I’m grateful to a former colleague who recommended it.

3.  Made In Scotland: My Grand Adventures in a Wee Country – Billy Connolly.  One of the funniest men on the planet has penned this wonderful autobiography and it’s a hilarious memoir.  Billy was one of my late father-in-law’s favourites and he would have loved this book about Billy’s upbringing in Scotland.

2.  Stronger and Bolder – Konrad Marshall.  After 2017’s drought breaking AFL premiership win, my beloved Richmond Tigers did it again in 2019 and thankfully, Konrad was with the team during the finals again to document the details of one of the most remarkable team cultures in world sport.  Loved, loved, loved this book.

1. Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life – Michael Caine.  Part memoir, part self-help book, this was a great read and my number one book for the year.  Caine is a fantastic story-teller and I dare you to try to read it without hearing his accent in your head.

There it is, my top 10.  It was a tough list to compile this year as there were some terrific books that I was able to get my hands on this year.

I’m always looking for recommendations, so what was your favourite book that you read in 2019?