My goal is to read at least 52 books per year, averaging one per week. I'm an avid reader and make reading a big part of my life. I also like to look back at the end of the year to see what I feel were the best five books I read during the year. Here is the post that lists my picks for 2016 and 2017. I'm primarily a non-fiction reader, which is why my top lists usually include all nonfiction books. I do read a few fiction books during the year, but they are sprinkled in between all the nonfiction and rarely become my favorite picks.
Here are my 2018 top book picks (in no particular order):
"Take Off Your Shoes, One Man's Journey from the Boardroom to Bali and Back," by Ben Feder is a great read! He is an executive who helps produce the popular game Grand Theft Auto. In this book he shares his family's experience of taking a one-year sabbatical overseas. I really enjoyed reading about their experience in taking a sabbatical, living abroad, and all the different things he tried as he moved out of his usual comfort zone of familiarity. I loved reading about what his family was doing during the sabbatical, how it was changing who they were, and how it was bringing their family closer together.
I absolutely loved "Shinrin Yoku, The Japanese Way of Forest Bathing." As an avid hiker and someone who loves nature and the forest I loved how this author spoke about the trees and spending time in and around them. This book is filled with excellent information about how important being in the forest is for our health and quality of life. It is a book that I wish everyone would read and take to heart. Our world would be much better off if everyone returned to their roots and make sure they spent quality time in nature at least monthly. Great information regarding the health benefits of being around trees, the essential oil from them, ways to bring nature into your home and office, and so much more.
I couldn't wait to read "North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail" by Scott Jurek (who is also a vegan, by the way) when it came out. This is his account of setting a running record on the Appalachian Trail. As a runner and avid hiker, I found his experience to be interesting and it kept me turning page after page. It was incredible what he went through to get that record and how humble he is about sharing the experience and of so many people helped him along the way. It's truly inspirational and a great example of what team effort and determination look like.
I've read numerous books by Natalie Goldberg and always enjoy them. She has a beautiful writing style. Her work always keeps me interested and looking forward to the next page and chapter. When I ordered "Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home," I had no idea what it was about. I just saw she had a new book out and new I liked her writing, so I added it to my cart. I only learned she had cancer when reading this book about her battle with it. I really enjoyed the book, her take on battling cancer, learning about her girlfriend, and of her explorations near home and abroad.
I've read more books by Thich Nhat Hanh by than any one particular author, and I always enjoy them and learn something. I meditate daily, so I thought "Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice" would be interesting to read. This is a very small book that is a quick read and well worth reading. It offers some great tips for creating a peaceful environment in your home.
I saw this book recently for a dollar in the thrift store. I was intrigued and bought it. I often write down or highlight quotes I like in a book. "Strength to Love" was filled with them, as Martin Luther King Jr. said so many great things. I especially loved the things he wrote about forgiveness. He said that "The hardhearted person never truly loves" and "He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love." That's just a portion of what he wrote about forgiveness, but if you only read that one chapter in the book it will be well worth your time. Lots of great messages throughout this book!