KARINA LYBURN | Personal Branding Photographer

My 6 favourite books of 2020

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors; and the most patient of teachers.”– Charles W. Eliot

Every year I aim to read more than the previous year. I thought a global pandemic and less time behind the camera would mean more time diving into books but, alas, it wasn’t to be! Still, I squeezed in time to read wherever I could and this year’s list includes some absolute corkers!

So, I want to share with you my 5 favourite books I’ve read this year:

‘Life Will See You Now’, by Gavin Oattes. A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to meet Gavin Oattes, speaker, author, comedian, and Wham bar connoisseur (yes, really!), at an event; the UK’s first Festival of Happiness to be exact! Gavin was speaking there and we immediately connected over good music and mutual links with Ayrshire. Fast forward to February 2020 and he published a barnstorming good book called ‘Life Will See You Now’. A hilarious, moving and thought-provoking kick in the pants to make the most of the 4000 weeks you’ve got on this earth and live life better than you have to. It’s my favourite book of the year and I’m itching to re-read it already.

‘Eat, Pray, Love’, by Elizabeth Gilbert. After losing my beloved Lion Dog in the summer, we managed to get away for a few days to the Lakes. It was the perfect place to step back, process, rest and recharge. It was also the perfect place to dive into a book and I turned back to one of my all-time favourites, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. It’s Liz’s story of finding herself as she sojourns through three beautiful countries; the characters she meets, the experiences she has, and her journey of self-discovery and love, in all guises, along the way. We might not be able to travel very far just now, but we can always travel through books.

‘Is It Just Me?’, by Miranda Hart. Whenever I’m in need of a pick-me-up, I turn to Miranda. Her ‘Miran-ual’ (her pun, not mine!) on adulting is a must-read. For all life’s awkward moments, Miranda has an answer, well, maybe not an answer, but a tale to tell that will make you laugh out loud wherever you happen to be reading! I think we all need to be a bit more Miranda sometimes, look for the positives, make space for more fun during this one, precious life, and learn to laugh at ourselves more of the time.

‘Becoming’, by Michelle Obama. I make no secret of how much I admire Michelle Obama, she is GOALS. Reading ‘Becoming’ this year, was fascinating and perfect timing with everything that was going on in the world. Within those 400 pages, Michelle tackles issues of race, media culture, and American politics, head on. Fundamentally it’s a story of courage, hope and belief in doing better. At the risk of oversimplifying her inspirational story, I feel like the quote written on my bookmark sums up her attitude to life, “She believed she could, so she did.”

‘Sabotage’, by Emma Gannon. I remember my auntie affectionately describing me as running my business with one foot on the accelerator pedal and the other on the brake at the same time. In other words, I kept holding myself back, never trusting myself to just go for it. Why? Because I was scared. Scared of success and scared of failure, in equal measure! But being scared keeps us playing small. It sabotages our own possibilities for success. Sabotage is a sneaky bugger, and can show up in all sorts of ways: as self-doubt and feeling like a fraud; comparing our journey with others’; perfectionism; procrastination; and playing achievements down. Emma Gannon shares some top tips for managing and minimising self-sabotage in this tiny tome. It was one of my weekend reads this year (it’s only diddy!) and I loved it. It’s definitely a book I’ll keep coming back to whenever sneaky self-sabotage rears its ugly head.

‘The Law of Divine Compensation’, by Marianne Williamson. A gift from my amazing mentor, Wendy, this little book is a powerhouse of positivity. Sometimes it feels like our success is all on us, but actually, we can only control what we can control. Now that’s a comforting thought, if ever I heard one! This wise and inspiring book reminds us to live life as if everything is rigged in our favour and to witness the energetic shift that existing in that space brings. Energy has momentum, and this book has become my go-to whenever I feel momentum brewing in a negative direction. Stop. Reset. Be open to positive possibilities. Trust.

So there you have it!

What have you enjoyed reading this year? What should I be popping on my reading list for 2021? Drop me a message on social media and let me know, I’d love to hear from you!


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