Book suggestions: A reading list to keep you sane for 6 months

Books, glorious books! One of the best things about adventure is the gift of time. Hours spent turning pedals on deserted trails means hours dedicated to listening to audiobooks, and long evenings in the tent means time to curl up with my Kindle.

I’m always looking for inspiration on what to read or what to listen to next – so I thought I’d share my reading list from the last six months with you all.

If you’ve read any of these titles and want to add your thoughts, or have a questions about a specific book – go buck wild and leave a comment at the bottom. Enjoy!

THE TEN BOOKS I ENJOYED THE MOST

1. The War of Art: break through your blocks and win your inner creative battles – by Steven Pressfield

Pressfield is an absolute genius, with a fascinating personal story about his own journey to success. If you’re a creative soul – this book explains why sitting down to do your work is a real struggle, and offers tips on how to get your muse to ‘show up’ every day. Expect a gigantic kick up the bum.

The-War-of-Art_straight_1024x1024

2. Revolutionary Ride: on the road in search of the real Iran – by Lois Pryce

I know Lois to be a talented storyteller, and so I was expecting a great adventure book – it delivered on that. What I wasn’t expecting was to be right by Lois’ side as she took on the role of a detective gone rogue, unpicking and unearthing the history of a country we (in the UK) know so little about. This book became less about the motorcycle journey, and more about learning what life is really like in Iran – through the eyes of the people. LOVED IT.

revolutionary ride

3. Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking – by Susan Cain

I read this book at just the right point in my life. In reading this I realised that I am not (as many would expect) an extrovert, but am in fact an ‘ambivert’. That is, I am half extrovert, half introvert. If you’re an extrovert – this book probably isn’t for you. But if you’re an introvert – it will rock your world. 

quiet

4. The Successful Author Mindset: a handbook for surviving the writers journey by Joanna Penn

If you are a creative soul, this honest account of the self-doubt, disappointment and ambition that goes along with the creation of ‘art’ will make you (and your brain) breathe a huge sigh of relief. You are not alone. What a wonderful thing to know as you drag yourself back off to the writing dungeon.

sucessful author mindset

5. Dare to Do: taking on the planet by bike and boat by Sarah Outen

I thought I was in awe when I read Sarah’s first book ‘A Dip in The Ocean’, but this story about her 4 year journey around the world is just next level superb. Extra special mention goes to the chapters during which she kayaked along the Aleutian islands in Alaska. The description of the scenery and the sheer scale of the challenge made me pee my pants with glee and wet them in fear all at once.

dare to do

6. Free country: A penniless adventure the length of Britainby George Manhood

A hilarious romp through the back roads and back rooms of England by two lads who set off from Lands End with nothing but a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts. A light-hearted easy read. I snorted several times a minute.

free country

7. Turning Pro: tap your inner power and create your life’s work by Steven Pressfield

A follow up to ‘The War of Art’. It runs through every possible excuse you’ve ever given yourself for not fulfilling your creative potential, and makes you see those excuses for what they are. A down to earth guide that I’ll be re-reading over the coming years to keep me on track. The perfect antidote to believing your own bullshit.

turning pro

8. Run! 26.2 stories of blisters and blissby Dean Karnazses

I ADORED this book! Dean is the most infectiously (is that even a word?) positive person, and you can’t help but smile at his sheer love for running and appetite for pain. Definitely a must read for people who love to run. I’m off to read all his other books now…

run dean K

9. Adventureman: anyone can be a Superhero – by Jamie McDonald

Okay, so I’m a bit biased considering I smooch the author on a regular basis (being his girlfriend n’ all), but genuinely – it’s fabulous. Jamie has a rough n’ ready style of storytelling in which he just… says it like it is. It’s 100% raw honesty, with one liner’s that could come straight from an Only Fools And Horses Script.  Above all, the stories in this book will restore your faith in mankind.

adventureman

10. The Way of the Runner: a journey into the fabled world of Japanese running by Adharanand Finn

Adharanananananananaddd (I can’t spell his name, still), takes his family to Japan for 6 months to learn more about Japan’s long distance ‘Ekiden’ phenomenon. A really insightful read – covering the runner’s angle, but also revealing a lot about Japanese culture as a whole. I’m a huge fan.

way of runner

11. Myths of PR: all publicity is good publicity and other popular misconceptions – by Rich Leigh

Okay I know I said my ‘top 10’, but I just read this book, and I can’t leave it off the list. A genuinely fascinating insight into the bonkers world of communication. The social media chapter especially is priceless for small businesses owners or those looking to build a brand of any kind, including personal brands. Strong opinions, no BS language and cultural references (including Anchorman) that left me snorting out my Diet Coke.

myths PR

OTHER BOOKS ON… 

And here’s a list of other books I read across the topics of running, storytelling, writing, speaking and philosophy. Plus a dabble in fiction – something I haven’t done for a very long time!

RUNNING

PHILOSOPHY 

AUTOBIOGRAPHIES

FICTION

BOOKS ON SPEAKING AND STORYTELLING

BOOKS ON HOW TO WRITE AND SELL BOOKS

BOOKS I STARTED BUT DIDN’T FINISH

Largely because (after about 50 pages of trying) these books just didn’t float my boat, or in the case of the book launch title – I felt like I was being shouted at on every page. Help.

AND…

That’s your lot! I hope there’s a few titles in there that get you scurrying to Amazon in a frenzy. And if you’ve got any suggested titles for me to help keep me sane through the next 6 months… I’m all ears.

Stack-of-books-great-education

9 thoughts on “Book suggestions: A reading list to keep you sane for 6 months

  1. andy Brown says:

    Anna

    As ever, I love receiving your various musings. Thanks for the guilt trip! I must read more!

    Your little confusion of fiction Vs non-fiction tickled me. Deliberate?

    Andy Brown

    Like

    • Anna McNuff says:

      Haha! Oh my gosh NO! That is what happens to your brain at the end of a long day!! Thank you, what a brilliant mistake! Then again, I do get my lefts and rights confused from time to time (I’m serious!). Thanks Andy – you’re an editing star!

      Like

  2. Caitlin Wallis says:

    Thanks for the list!
    I ended up loving natural born heroes but there was definitely a lot of switching between key topics/historical periods.

    I have been on a reading binge about North Korea recently – find it fascinating. ‘In Order to Live’ was excellent.

    Like

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