My Year in Books

As the (in many ways terrific) year of 2016 has come to an end, it is only appropriate I take the time to look back at all the knowledge, positivity and different worlds I have picked up throughout it, giving you a glimpse of each along the way. Sit back, and enjoy the ride.

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According to YES – Dawn French
Rating: 5/10

You might already know my opinion on this book if you follow me on Instagram, but to say the least, to me, it was a book with too many unanswered questions. The main story line includes a primary teacher, Rosie Kitto who has just moved to New York for business and decides to start living her life ‘according to yes’ i.e. saying yes to more opportunities which come along her way. There is no sequel to this book and although the narrative is very descriptive and witty, it hasn’t fulfilled my needs of a great story line which (actually) leads to something!

This Book Will… Make You Happy – Dr Jessamy Hibberd & Jo Usmar
Rating: 7/10

There is a lot of stigma around showing vulnerability in the perfect world of colourful social media squares, which almost makes reaching out for help a major sign of weakness and in fact discourages a lot of us to seek it. The truth is, if we won’t reach out for help when we feel the negative consequences of certain thought processes and quite frankly feel unhappy, then how are we ever going to feel truly confident with how we deal with our problems? I reached out for this easy-to-read handbag number during the fall of 2016, when there wasn’t much in my life that I could really complain about. Yet, I still felt my mind wandering into negativity which in turn made me feel down and powerless. It wasn’t necessarily anything specific, but this short book provides you with a lot of examples of situations (and negative thought processes associated with them) which examine the situation, how and WHY we often react to it in a negative way along with some exercises that can help you shift your mind gradually. I think it is really comforting and as it mainly focuses on the negative thinking, anxiety and taking charge of your life, it is an extremely handy book to start off your journey of self-growth.

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Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – John Gray
Rating: 7/10

This book has been recommended to me by one of my friends, in a time where I have asked for relationship advice. To be honest this book (or maybe only my particular copy) is poorly written and has a lot of grammatical and writing errors, but it has been really helpful in understanding how different individuals (in this book, stereo-typical men and stereo-typical women) deal with different situations. It has affected my perspective and gave me an insight into how I can be more understanding and loving in relationships as ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ focuses on the (yet again, very stereotypical) differences between men and women I have never been ‘taught’ or even given an idea of in my life.

Ego is the Enemy – Ryan Holiday
Rating: 8/10

The title of this book immediately caught my eye because of the fact I (unfortunately) consider myself an individual whose ego used to control a lot of actions in the past (currently in progress). The book focuses on the ego however it is described through case studies of other public figures and relates to historical events rather than gives you clear guidelines on how to tame your ego through everyday exercises etc. I enjoyed it nonetheless however I was expecting something just a little bit different and more practical.

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Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Rating:
9/10

My favourite novel of 2016, Me Before You (if you haven’t heard of it already) tells a complicated love story of Will and Louisa. Will, being a victim of a motorcycle accident, becomes paralyzed and doesn’t enjoy his life (understandably) as it doesn’t in fraction compare to the life he had before the accident. Louisa is hired as his carer in order to bring a little sunshine to his day – and she does, but there is a very sudden turn of events and the story ends in the most unexpected way imaginable (no spoilers!). I have cried reading the book and I have sobbed my way through the movie – totally worth a read!

After You – Jojo Moyes
Rating:
8/10

After you, as the title might suggest, is a sequel to ‘Me Before You’ and is a continuation of Louisa’s life. Without giving you a huge spoiler, it is a life where Will is no longer a part of it. A really great story line and a really great concept, with yet again, a great shocker halfway through the story. These two books create a beautiful story and I would recommend them to all hopeful romantics and the ones not sued to romances – you might change your mind about them!

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The Bingo Theory – Mimi Ikonn
Rating:
8/10

One of the books I have been waiting for for so long! Written by Mimi Ikonn, my absolute goddess and role model, this book focuses on the feminine and masculine energies within each and every one of us and has a purpose of advising you how to balance those to become a Bingo. Very easy and quick to read, however I found it really useful and had many ‘aha!’ moments when reading it. You can check out my full review of The Bingo Theory here.

The Tipping Point: How Little things can Make a Big Difference – Malcolm Gladwell
Rating: 7/10

Yet another recommendation, The Tipping Point is a book I have heard about from many people – somehow, in my mind however I have imagined it to be a book which will help the reader create habits, but the purpose of the book is completely different. It is compiled of many stories and case studies of how epidemics affect every day life, along with insights into how those epidemics arise. It focuses on the law of the few (mavens, connectors and salespeople, which, if you don’t read the book it won’t mean much to you), the sticky-ness factor and the power of context. I thought this book was interesting however personally not life changing therefore this has been reflected in my rating.

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The Truth: An uncomfortable book about relationships – Neil Strauss
Rating: 6/10

Very unpredictable and at times yes, uncomfortable book about polyamory and the issue of modern commitment problems. If you have ever had an interest in how a polyamorous relationship works, this is a read for you. Unfortunately it wasn’t what I expected but nonetheless it was a good read which clues you into a story of wanting to have a cake and eat it too.

Sunshine on a Rainy Day – Bryony Fraser
Rating: 5/10

I had to think hard to remember the main story line of Sunshine on a Rainy Day! Aha! This book is a story of a very happy couple who have finally taken the plunge and tied the knot. The story focuses on the difficulties and obstacles they face as their relationship transforms (negatively) into a chore. It is a funny read and something a lot of people might relate to however definitely not something you need to read, ever! Hint: the book advises you not to get married.

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The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
Rating:
9/10

I am not going to lie, The power of Now hasn’t been an easy read for me and it took me a while to finish it. This book brings your attention to you as a ‘being’ and at times, gets very difficult to understand (at least in my case). It is a book that has a purpose of bringing your attention to the present moment through the use of senses and mindfulness, which in my case is really hard to master. I think this is the type of book everyone should read as it is really deep and shifts your perspective of life completely, if you take the time to read over it a few times! 

Mindfulness, Plain & Simple – Oli Doyle
Rating: 7/10

I picked up this book when I was feeling down and was experiencing many worries and anxiety about my life, in hopes of it helping me to ground myself and feel more hopeful about the future also through focusing on the present moment. A much easier read than the Power of Now, this book focuses on many aspects of happiness and practical ways in which human population can help and heal themselves day by day. I have also written a full review of the Mindfulness, Plain & Simple and you can check it out here.

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Eat Smart – Niomi Smart
Rating:
9/10

Technically, you could consider ‘Eat Smart’ something you wouldn’t necessarily read, but this book has also been the one I was waiting for forever. Niomi Smart, a plant based YouTuber, has written a cookbook and it is BOMB. You will be happy to hear, that I have also written a full review of it on my blog earlier this year and you can check it out here

Front ROE – Louise Roe
Rating: 7/10

Do you remember watching ‘Plain Jane’ on MTV years ago? I do! I remember Louise as I watched her transforming shy, insecure girls into more confident, powerful women in each episode. Quite frankly, Louise isn’t keeping her knowledge to herself and shares all of her fashion, confidence and life tips in her book – Front Roe. I love the photography and feel of this book, and it is great if you are just getting into your fashion. I have loved it due to the fact it is an easy guide and Louise does a really great job at inspiring women to be the most beautiful self, however I would love if there could be a little more focus on the confidence from within rather than most of it focusing on the superficial aspect of it.


I have not set a target for the fresh year of 2017 as in my case, the quality of what I read will always be more important over quantity. How about you? What books do you prefer and why? I have not chosen any specific resolutions this year however I always wanted to get into reading criminals. Who’s with me?

Much love,

Karolina ♥

As always, all views are my own.

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