My favourite books

Favourite Books.jpg

What do you do to relax ?

What does peaceful and calm look like to you.?

I can guarantee I never look peaceful and calm.  I know insomnia is my best inspiration.  I do enjoy reading and so do my friends. I love to hear what other people enjoy reading.

I am going to regularly update this post with books that have left a memorable impression on me this year with the most memorable being the first five in my list and the others, books I enjoyed.

I would love to know what you enjoy reading.

Books that had impact in 2020

I did a lot of reading in 2020

In no particular order – 13 books I enjoyed

  1. Anxious People – Fredrik Backman. For me this book was an insight into the domino effect of suicide and how kindness and compassion  are integral to surviving each day
  2. Sorrow and Bliss – Meg Mason. A powerful and at times very funny book about the impact of chronic depression on the protagonist on the people around her. Its a book about hurt and loss and forgiveness and self compassion. First seek to understand how hard it is to love some-one with chronic depression
  3. The Thursday Murder Club- Richard Osman. This book is a delight
  4. The Survivors – Jane Harper. Her best yet
  5. Lucky’s – Andrew Pippos. An interesting read
  6. Trust – Chris Hammer
  7. All the Devils are Here – Louise Penny. Not her best an a bit far fetched
  8. A Song for Dark Times – Ian Rankin. Another excellent Rebus book
  9. The Order – Daniel Silva. Always enjoy Daniel Silva
  10. When She Was Very Good – Michael Robotham. Not his best
  11. Too Much and Never Enough – Mary Trump
  12. A Life Repurposed – Ronni Kahn. Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant. Want to learn more about this extraordinary woman Highly recommend the documentary Food Fighter
  13. Cathy Goes to Canberra – Cathy McGowan. Wonderful insights on how communities can determine their own future

I also spent a lot of time updating my knowledge on the latest thinking on leadership. It was a great reminder there is not enough people putting leadership thinking into action with Cathy McGowan and Ronni Kahn notables who are walking the talk in spades.


Topping the list for 2019

  1. Difficult Conversations – How to discuss what matters most . In moving this book to the top of the list I want to make mention of the equally revolutionary Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition and Never Split the Difference  as well as Zoe Routh’s “Real Talk – Connection is Currency workshop” I participated in May 2019 and my friends who are good listeners. The reason this book sits at the top of my list is this quote
Give yourself some empathy. We’ve all made sense of our experiences as best we could – often with very little guidance – and made choices that did and did not work out.
Life is not easy. What we need is a little empathy for ourselves – our mistakes, our failures, and our shortcomings, our moments of weakness, selfishness and stupidity – and forgiving ourselves these, are essential steps towards finding balance now and growth in the future.
For some, this feeling of deep caring towards oneself comes in a flash of insight; for most of us, it’s a lifelong project of small adjustments and daily reminders. It’s not about making excuses or shifting responsibility towards others. It’s the simple intention to accept and care for what is.
If we are not satisfied, we can apologise and grieve, and we can try for better, starting right now”

2. Leaders Who Ask by Corrinne Armour –  I am a strong believer in the Growth mindset  which is the belief that talents and abilities can be developed over time; that there is a potential to foster new skills in yourself and others. This book has done wonders for my soul and helped me say piss off to my inner critic who previously sucked far too much of my oxygen. This book has increased my drive to surround myself with people who can help me grow and pay it forward

3. Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee  totally agree with this review ‘Brutal, brave and utterly compelling . . . I can’t remember a book I devoured with such intensity, nor one that moved me so profoundly’ Rebecca Starford. I  strongly recommend that John Howard and Tony Abbott read it

4.  The Rosie Result  –  by ​Graeme Simsion This review sums up the book perfectly for me ‘The Rosie Result is a handbook for those who believe the world can be organised by rationality. It is, above all, sensible. Simsion indexes many of the fads currently piercing the stately fabric woven by Team Enlightenment. Homeopathy, non-vaccinaters, mouthy sports parents, 25-year-olds with psychology degrees let loose on the public, junk food, veganism, teachers and others who unthinkingly label, education in general, all get a run. And men.’

5. Tin Man by Sarah Winman. I learnt alot about myself reading this book.

6. Rusted Off by Gabrielle Chan. This book gave the whole concept of a rural/urban divide genuine perspective for me and how out of touch so many of our career politicians are


Ideas for Careers Media Wall


7. The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan – I like this genre and I loved Dervla’s debut novel  The Ruin which I read last year. Dervla McTiernan is a lawyer from Galway, who moved  Western Australia following the global financial crisis of 2008.

8.  Bruny – storyline covered very well here ‘The novel is amusing but beneath the laughs serious questions are teased out about Tasmania and Australia’s long-term strategy for agricultural and economic security. At “the end of the world” the local and the global, political and personal intersect. The story is set a few years in the future – about 2022, the time of Tasmania’s next state election – when the US has withdrawn from the UN; Daesh has expanded its reach and China has developed strong ties with Australia, and a particularly strong interest in Bruny Island. How far, the novel asks, will a person go to realise their own political ideology and when does a passion turn extreme?

9.  When the Crawdads Sing .  Dymocks Book of the Year. I am looking forward to the movie

10..  The Dutch House –  for me a book about letting go

11. Beartown –  I loved this book. For me its a book  about understanding we may have difficulty figuring out right vs. wrong but there is a clear distinction between Good and Evil. Its a book about “fear vs. courage and the importance and limits of friendship and loyalty.” The sequel Us against You is also a good read though not quite as powerful

Other good reads

Lanny by Max Porter – quirky

The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes – delightful

The Wife and the Widow by Christian White – how love of family can blur the lines between right and wrong



Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

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