7 Books I Loved Reading in 2016


“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”

Tony Robbins is a motivational speaker and inspirer of peak performance. This is a great book for anyone looking for a seismic shift in their thinking, productivity and way of looking at the world.

If there’s one thing I take away from Awaken it is the phrase “In order to succeed on must take massive, determined action”. A simple, and almost obvious phrase, Robbins has a talent for telling us that which we may have forgotten.

A powerful and dynamic writer, Robbin’s book inspired me to begin writing (leading to my book ‘You Can Create! 24 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Potential’ in August 2016), increase my productivity and to look at other career options.

Awaken the Giant Within at Amazon: http://a.co/annlNqL


“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. … The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”

Seneca the Younger (c.4BC-AD65) was a Roman Stoic Philosopher who offered powerful insights into the art of living through elegant writing and timeless wisdom.

Seneca speaks to the reader of living and using life to its full impact. The book shows that stoicism lasts well through the years and tells us why we must not waste time on that in life that adds little value.

Relevant and applicable today.

On the Shortness of Life at Amazon: http://a.co/5b6HcfZ

3) STEVE JOBS by Walter Isaacson

On the day he unveiled the Macintosh, a reporter from Popular Science asked Jobs what type of market research he had done. Jobs responded by scoffing, “Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?

Steve Jobs is a detailed and intimate look at a man and his startup that changed the world.

One of the world’s most iconic figures, it struck me, having known little of his personal and working life, how harsh, overbearing and outright cruel a man Jobs was.

However, reading this will unlikely leave you inspired by Jobs’ commitment, work-ethic and vision.

Jobs was a visionary with many flaws, but there are many lessons to be learned in this book, whether you run a large business or are working on a small personal project.

Steve Jobs on Amazon: http://a.co/amKuzJD

4) THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”

I put off reading this book for many years, believing it to be one of those books that is all hype with little substance.

A book about following your dreams, the book is short, simple in its philosophy, and doesn’t state anything that hasn’t been said before. But, it is uplifting and inspiring nonetheless.

If you’re looking for another Coelho, I recommend The Valkyries or By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.

The Alchemist on Amazon: http://a.co/aANdwk7

5) THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield

“Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.

Through anecdotes of his own struggles and problems, Steven Pressfield points out the problem of what he calls Resistance, which is manifested in procrastination, fear, depression, etc. that we experience when we want to take something on that challenges us (such as diets, starting a business, creative work, etc.).

Pressfield highlights that we often find ways to avoid committing, continuing and beginning a task, not through lack of money or time, but simply through a lack of motivation.

With analogies and mentions of Greek mythology, the Muses and God, this book won’t be for everyone, but it is written in such a way that the reader can digest it in small chunks, dipping into it now and again for inspiration.

The War of Art on Amazon: http://a.co/iTYEYXH

6) ELON MUSK by Ashlee Vance

“He points out that one of the really tough things is figuring out what questions to ask,” Musk said. “Once you figure out the question, then the answer is relatively easy. I came to the conclusion that really we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask.” The teenage Musk then arrived at his ultralogical mission statement. “The only thing that makes sense to do is strive for greater collective enlightenment,”

Aslee Vance’s biography on Elon Musk, the South African-born, billionaire founder CEO of SpaceX and co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, presents a man on a mission to change the world and to save the future of the human race.

From being brutally bullied at school, his first dotcom successes (including PayPal), to investing his fortune in electric cars and space rockets, Vance paints a picture of a driven, yet difficult, single-minded and complex man who has created a sea-change in the industries he’s touched.

It’s difficult not to be inspired by Musk’s ruthless goals and ambition.

Elon Musk at Amazon: http://a.co/cneYOrE

7) THE IDEA IN YOU by Martin Amor and Alex Pellew

“Find something you’re excited about to develop, that has meaning for you, and do it well.”

If you have an idea in you or even if you think you don’t, then this is the book you need.

This is a book about finding the right idea and turning it into a success with exercises along the way to help you develop your idea.

Everything you need to know about getting an idea off the ground is in this book. It also contains a wealth of resources and useful websites in order to help you further your knowledge, skills, reach, etc.

The Idea in You at Amazon: http://a.co/bh5g4eF

About the Author:

Richard P John is a composer, pianist and writer from South Wales, UK. He is the author of You Can Create! 24 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Potential, available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition.

Follow at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Pinterest. His music can be streamed on Spotify.