Gosh, I love books. I really struggle to think of a better return on investment. For around $30, you can get years’ worth of someone’s in-depth knowledge on a particular topic or if fiction is more your thing, you can get four to five hours of pure joy/escapism, which works out at around $6 per hour. Seriously, what a bargain, writes Dr. Amantha Imber.
My reading habits changed a lot during 2021. Normally, my non-fiction reading list far outweighs my fiction one. But during the pandemic, I’ve leant heavily into fiction. Most nights in Melbourne’s lockdown were spent on the couch with a book.
Here are my top ten books from 2021 that either changed and improved my thinking the most or brought me tonnes of joy – and sometimes, a combination of the two.
My top 10 reads of 2021
The world really needed this book. In a time when everything feels so polarised and people seem more set in their views than ever before, Adam Grant produced a brilliant, research-backed guide to help us question what we know.
Written by Naomi Bagdonas and Jennifer Aaker who teach humour to MBA students at Stanford (yes, that’s a thing), this book taught me how to be funnier (and why it matters so much). It also happens to be the funniest business book I have ever read.
My goodness I was excited to read Cal’s latest book. As with all his books, it challenged the way I worked and lead me to create far better workflows and processes for myself, and also for clients. So good.
I loved Greg’s first book Essentialism and I could not wait to read this one. Just like Essentialism, it became an automatic business book classic in my mind. I learnt so much from Effortless that I now apply to my work life literally every day to make work better and easier.
Having spent 2021 post-divorce and dating a variety of different men, I read and now refer to this book as my dating bible. It helped me make sense of my own behaviour and that of the men I dated. Essential reading for anyone who is single or is struggling in their relationship.
If you really hate networking but know that it’s important, read this book. Marissa gives some really practical advice on how we can get better at forming – and keeping – connections in our life.
I am not a big memoir reader, nor had I really thought much about Christian O’Connell before a pre-release copy of this book was sent to me. Over dinner one night, I started reading the first few pages. By the end of my meal, I was hooked. Not only is the book gripping, hilarious, and moving, it also introduced me to the radio genius that is Christian O’Connell.
It’s always exciting when one of your favourite fiction writers releases a new book. I was lucky enough to get a preview copy of this one and devoured it within a few days. It was So Good. Just what I needed during lockdown number six. The only downside was that I had a bad case of post-good-book depression when I finished it (that horrible feeling you get when you finish a great book and don’t know what will take its place).
This was the debut novel by Katie McMahon. I saw it in my local bookshop and liked the cover. It was so funny! And moving! And surprising! I can’t wait for Katie to write her next book.
Written by Jean Hanff Korelitz (who wrote the book behind the HBO Series The Undoing), The Plot kept me so gripped from start to finish. Such great characters and such a great plot (which one would expect, given the title).
What was your favourite book from 2021? I’d love to know!
Now read this