BOOK HAUL: January

I’ve had a successful start to my year of reading! For the first time in a long time I took two and a half weeks of leave over the Christmas/New Year period. I think this is something I will plan to do every year as it was refreshing to properly switch off and recharge before a busy 2021. The weather wasn’t amazing in Sydney which was the PERFECT excuse to read all day. I’ve been around the world in January with a little bit of self-help thrown in there!

Here are my JANUARY reads:

Australia on Horseback – Cameron Forbes

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A well researched history covering the atrocities against Aboriginals, early settlement life, bushrangers and war. At times I found the book jumped around with stories from one decade then skipping back decades in the same chapter. I felt this made it difficult to follow in places and I found it hard to enjoy. I found the chapters about the dispossession of Aboriginal people enlightening and I think this is where the link to the role of horses was at its most obvious.

Saving Mona Lisa – Gerri Chanel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The incredible true story of the French heroes who risked their lives to evacuate most of the national treasures to chateaus and other locations around France. The logistics of hiding centuries old and sometimes large paintings was not easy and had to be planned from finding trucks large enough, creating the right conditions within the buildings and protecting from Nazi’s and fire hazards.

Hope In a Ballet Shoe – Michaela DePrince, Elaine DePrince

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Michaela DePrince witnessed horrors and experienced things no child should go through. Orphaned in Sierra Leone, her life changed dramatically for the better upon her adoption. Whilst this book stylistically was not a difficult read, I think the power of the story coupled with the coverage of a range of topics like war, racism and the harsh yet beautiful world of ballet challenge the reader. As a white person I will never understand what it is like to have my hard work and dedication crushed due to the colour of my skin. Michaela’s gift to the world is hope: hope that black girls all over the world may pursue their dreams.

Alice to Prague – Tanya Heaslip

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ok, this book made me cry at the end! From an early age Tanya has an adventurous spirit and dreams of European forests while growing up in the red dust of the Australian outback. When she is in her 20s working a ‘dream’ job in a law firm she takes the ultimate plunge – quits her job and moves to Czech Republic to teach English. The rest is history!

It was also the great thing about travel. You could take the views that you had grown up with and tip them upside down, looking at them in a different way, through a different prism.

Crushing It! – Gary Vaynerchuk

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I suppose I should give credit where it’s due – listening to Gary Vee inspired me to start this blog in the first place. This book was an inspiring compliation of Gary Vee advice and true stories of people who have crushed it using his methods. It was a good read however I sometimes felt there wasn’t enough practical advice…

If you’re earning what you need to live the life you want and loving every day of it, you’re crushing it.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book basically teaches you that life is pretty simple:
1. Decide what you do give a f*ck about vs what you don’t
2. Decide what it is you are willing to struggle for – happiness comes from solving problems
3. It’s about the climb itself, not just the glory of reaching the mountain top

Reading Challenge: 6 out of 32 books

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