The annual Spotify Wrapped came out recently. A breakdown of what was listened to on repeat, what podcasts were at the top of listens, and how many overall minutes of audio one has listened to. As tradition stands, I've released a book list the last two years of what I have read or listened to (as I do count audiobooks as listening) throughout the year and make recommendations as to what to I think provides value to those who may read it. Each years list includes what was read from December 1st of the previous year to December 1st of the current year, with a denotation of audiobook or print. This year will be no different, though the list may seem a bit lackluster.
Admittedly, this year saw a lot of change. Within the time frame of "book reviewing" I finished a Master's Degree in Teaching, became a head coach for a women's wrestling team, officially launched my business, moved out of my parent's basement, and started a new relationship. At the tail of the previous year I'd also gone through a fairly challenging breakup, and gone through several personal struggles with both my physical and mental health. This year's list, as a result of much of this, is quite short. I read or listened to just over half of what I normally would listen to, and some of these books I read or listened to multiple times.
Here is this year's list:
"Game changer" - Fergus Connolly (partially finished/still in progress)
"A Grief Observed" - CS Lewis*
"Man's Search For Meaning" - Viktor Frankl
"Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life" - Jordan B. Peterson*
"Think Again." -Adam Grant*
"Being Wrong" - Kathryn Schulz*
"Purple Cow"- Seth Godin*
"Insight"- Tasha Eurich*
"A Million Miles In A Thousand Years." - Donald Miller*
*Denotes Audiobook Version
Traditionally, my hard copy and audiobook list is usually 15-20 books long, and I'd recommend 3-5 of them for individuals to listen to. I also would recommend podcasts I'd listened to primarily. This year, I will keep it much more brief, and recommend the few I have selected and why I believe them to be valuable.
"A Grief Observed" by CS Lewis
While Lewis is known for his more popular works such as "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Mere Christianity," this lesser known book is one I highly recommend for those going through immense life change. This book was recommended to me by a friend who was watching me struggle with a six month span of tumultuous change and challenge. A breakup, the loss of a vehicle, the loneliness of starting up a new business, and the abrupt changes of how my personal operated. This book is a memoir or collection of writings from Lewis after the death of his wife, and some of the baseline themes I believe can be extrapolated out to the greater world of change and chaos. For those in the midst of seasons of change, I highly recommend it. It is also relatively short and an easy read or listen.
"Insight" - by Tasha Eurich
Eurich tackles self-awareness and how we can gain a deeper look into knowing ourselves, for the betterment of ourselves and our role in society. She breaks down the common self-beliefs and limiting behaviors we often have which can limit or enhance our effectiveness in our personal and workplace relationships. She breaks down means of developing self-awareness, and the positive benefit of doing such interpersonal work. I would suggest this for those who are in a certain audience, but I think this book has gems in it for anyone.
"Game Changer" - Fergus Connolly
I haven't actually finished this book, but will recommend it nonetheless. It's actually taken me close to two years to finish it, as it is more of a textbook with deep information and broad application to those in the sporting world. Connolly does a brilliant job of breaking down sports and sport preparation from a 30,000 foot view. From the roles of players, to coaches, to the art of physical preparation, Connolly has packed this book with information. I highly recommend it for anyone coaching in the sporting world. But be warned, as my admission of duration to complete it points out, the material is dense and it reads partly like a textbook. But it provides an immense amount of value.
I listened to a very short list of podcasts this year. In fact, my podcast listening was less than half of what it was last year. After doing a house renovation prior to moving out of my parent's basement, I did not listen to much of anything. Instead of recommending specific episodes, I'll touch on what podcasts I have found to be consistently valuable.
Power Athlete Radio
For those in the health and performance world, this is my go to these days. There's enough banter to showcase the personalities of the hosts and guests, while also being full of longer form conversations. For those who like longer form podcasts (60-90 minutes), this is one I put my stamp of approval on.
The Art of Coaching Podcast
Brett Bartholomew and the Art of Coaching staff bring a lot of value and precision to this podcast. Especially for a topic as niche as coaching, they bring on a large number of guests who provide backgrounds and experiences which can increase the skills you have in communication and coaching. While a "coaching" podcast, the guests they bring on can honestly bring a lot of value to those who are not in the coaching sphere. Whether it be in business, personal development, or even relationships, this podcast is a must listen.
And this concludes this year's list. It's much shorter, much more abbreviated, and much less robust than previous years, but it is what was done and what I recommend for those in the coming year.
For previous year's lists check them out below: