I love books. They pile up around my home – and don’t get me started on the office! My absolute favourite time of year to read is over the Christmas/New Year summer break. It’s basically a beach and book fest for me as I revive my body and soul and charge up the mind with fresh ideas, random thoughts, relatable wisdom and curious concepts that help set me up for another big year.
I’m a massive believer in continuous learning across all areas of life, so you’ll notice my book list is varied and spans decades – I am happy to go back in time for wisdom while simultaneously grabbing the latest thing to digest. So, this is what I have piled up ready to go:
Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing and profitable brands. This is on the top of my list because I am always fascinated by the story behind the story and any biographies or autobiographies that I can reverse-engineer and learn from always have my attention!
We’ve done quite a lot with Pixar over the past few years and in the ilk of Shoe Dog, I love anything autobiographical which talks about how a company came to be. If you’d already read this one, then I highly recommend Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping Our Future by Ashlee Vance, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and The Age of Amazon by Brad Stone, Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc or Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson, which I devoured!
Sounds dry I know, but you need a mix in your knowledge bank and right now, Collective Hub is growing rapidly with lots of business verticals and staff all over the world. So, we need to get smart about how we operate and how our staff not only perform, but also how we settle on agreed outcomes so everyone wins. I want to take this baby forward and on target in the most efficient, effective and rewarding way – from net profit margin to customer satisfaction to brand equity, Six Sigma and employee engagement. So, Bernard, I’m coming for you, iced coffee in hand.
Defiant: A Broken Body Is Not A Broken Person by Janine Shepard
This book has just been released and Janine kindly sent me a copy. But I’m not just reading it because she is a friend – she has a powerful story of resilience and overcoming adversity, having faced some of life’s biggest challenges head on. Janine was an elite ski racer whose bid to represent Australia in the Olympics was cut short by a tragic accident. She learnt to walk again, has become a pilot, gone through a divorce, even at one point suffering financial ruin which included losing her home. And yet here she is smiling and openly sharing her journey with the world. We need these kinds of stories in our lives to inspire and challenge us.
I can’t actually believe I haven’t yet read this novel yet, but I’m going to give it a stab over the summer. Among many other things, this book, released in 2003, was described by the Sunday Times as “a publishing phenomenon”. I can’t wait to digest its pages, based on the life of the author, Gregory David Roberts, who was sentenced to 19 years imprisonment in 1987 for a series of robberies he conducted while addicted to heroin, only to escape in broad daylight and cross continents to recreate a life in India. As they say, it can be read as a thriller or a meditation on the nature of good and evil. I’m going with both.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
I have read this before but am going to revisit it. I love the simplicity and profound impact of its approach. I’m fascinated by how we show and receive love – the words of affirmation, acts of service, affection, quality time (that’s me in a nutshell) and gifts (my least favourite, so don’t worry about the birthday presents… ha!).
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A Singer
I actually read this while on a recent meditation trip to India, but plan to read it again just a few months later. I have to. It’s one of the most simple, yet powerful spiritual books of my lifetime.
The Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life A Spiritual Adventure by Elizabeth Lesser
“When we slow down, quiet the mind, and allow ourselves to feel hungry for something that we do not understand, we are dipping into the abundant well of spiritual longing.” Absolutely, that’s the starting point for growth and my starting point for 2017.
What are you reading? List your comments below for the entire Collective Hub community and we’ll be sure to give them to our Ed, Lisa Messenger, for you too.