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, with a wide range of genres covered and often about 5-6 books going at once.  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 2017:

10.  The Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway.  It feels like heresy to put Hemingway so low on my list, but that’s the way it goes.  This short, simple classic is one of those books that you should read before you die.

9.  Harry Potter (Books 5-6) – JK Rowling.  I’m slowly getting there, only one to go.  Some of the greatest characters and stories since Tolkien and Lewis.

8.  George Lucas: A Life – Brian Jay Jones.  As an unabashed Star Wars nerd, I loved this book about the creator of the movies that I grew up with.  This was a truly inspiring story, with the challenges that Lucas overcame to get his first Star Wars on our screens compelling reading.

7.  Breakfast With Bails: What A Dying Coach Taught Me About Life, Learning & Leadership – Paddy Steinfort.  Dean Bailey was a highly respected and much-loved AFL senior and assistant coach, so when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, one of his colleagues, Paddy Steinfort, set out to learn as much as he could from his mentor.  Full of great principles regarding leadership and relationships, this was a very well written, if very sad, book.

6.  Strange Days: Life in the Spirit in a Time of Upheaval – Mark Sayers.  I’m incredibly biased as Mark is an old friend of mine, but I just love the way he describes culture and faith.  Often poetic, always thought provoking, Mark is an insightful Christian writer and this is a helpful book for people who are confused or fearful about our current world situation.

5.  The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom.  One of those books that would love to be able to write, Albom’s classic masterpiece tells an important story about finding meaning and purpose in our lives.

4.  Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice – Matthew Syed.  A similar premise to number 2 on my list, I really enjoyed Syed’s personal touch and story-telling.  Highly recommended reading for anyone looking to become elite in their field.

3.  Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia –  David Hunt.  Loved, loved, loved this book.  Irreverent and no holds barred, just as a good history book should be.  If this was the book that schools used in Australian history classes, you would have a much more entertained and engaged group of kids.

2.  Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise – Anders Ericsson.  This is the book that I found myself quoting the most this year.  Full of great insights regarding elite performance in a wide range of fields, if your’re looking for a personal development book to read, this is the one for you.

1. Yellow and Black: A Season with Richmond – Konrad Marshall.  I loved everything about this book.  After an extraordinary season that culminated in my beloved Tigers winning their first AFL premiership in 37 years, to have an inside perspective from a diverse range of players, coaches and others from throughout the season was sensational.  This isn’t just a book about football, it’s a refreshing story of connection, vulnerability and the power of self-belief.  To relive this amazing year with such a wonderful writer made this my instant number one book of the year.

That’s my top 10.  There were a few unlucky to miss out, notably Judges for You, by Timothy Keller, and Birders by Mark Cocker, so it was a tough list to compile.

What was your favourite book that you read in 2017?