At the beginning of the year I was pondering on whether or not to do a speed reading course.  You see I love books and I love reading, but I’m a slow reader.  However it didn’t feel quite right, to rush through beautiful books.  And then in February I started my certified coaching course and as part of that we had to set ourselves a task to do every day over a month to see how to change habits (they can take a while).  I chose to read for 20 minutes a day, and do you know what?  I got through all those books I wanted to get through, turns out I didn’t need a speed reading course, I just needed to sit down and read!  Sometimes that’s the thing about changing habits, you just need to start.

I’ve read some amazing books this year and so I wanted to share them with you.

Morning by Allan Jenkins

I’m going to start with my favourite book of 2018, Morning by Allan Jenkins.  This book was pure beauty.  It inspired me in a whole different way, by it’s beautiful prose and Allan’s insight into our beautiful mornings.  A manifesto in how to make time, it made me think differently about my mornings.

“My mornings create space to let my mood materialise, listen to myself without distraction.  Like a flower adjusting to the sun, knowing which way I want to face.”


Braving the wilderness by Brené Brown

I had a bit of Brené binge part way through the year, but Braving the Wilderness was by far my favourite.  I love Brené’s no nonsense approach.  It spoke to me, that feeling of never quite fitting in and wanting to grab who I am with both hands, and finally show up just as me.  This book was the start of something for me and I continued the work with my coach.  And I leave 2018 a different person because of it.

“Belonging so fully to yourself that you’re willing to stand alone is a wilderness – an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching….But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.“


Reconciliation – healing your inner child by Thich Nhat Hanh

I received this book as a gift a couple of years ago and resisted it so strongly.  I didn’t even realise I still had it.  Then one week I was doing some work on my inner child.  On the Saturday I got up and had this urge to tidy up the book shelf.  My husband actually asked me “Why are you doing that now?” I said I didn’t know but I just had this urge and this book literally fell in to my lap.  A book I didn’t realise I still even owned.  I read it very quickly over a few days, absorbing all it’s wisdom.  It fundamentally changed how I saw my parents, and helped me let go of some childhood experiences that somehow I couldn’t seem to let go of, until now.

“The Buddha said that if we haven’t suffered, there’s no way we can learn.”


The book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalia Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams

I started the year with this book and it is as it promises, a book of joy.  I love the wisdom of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu; for me it’s all about what they’ve been through and how they choose their outlook on life which is so uplifting.  Looking back through the book, I’ve got so many notes written all over it (I used to keep my books pristine, but now as I read them I respond, I write in my books, draw hearts and stars at things I love and find interesting – I have a conversation with the book).  Another book full of wisdom.

“A healthy perspective really is the foundation of joy and happiness, because the way we see the world is the way we experience the world.  Changing the way we see the world in turn changes the way we feel and the way we act, which changes the world itself.”


Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I read this book when it first came out and this year I picked it up off my bookshelf and read parts of it again, this wonderful inspiring and uplifting book, as I went to see Elizabeth in London this year for her workshop.  The day of the Royal Wedding and it was the highlight of my year.  Elizabeth Glibert is an inspiration and this book doesn’t disappoint, we are all creative, whether you consider yourself creative or not, and thanks to this book this is the realisation I’ve taken away.  I am indeed creative and that part of me is not only fundamental to who I am, but to my health and wellbeing too.

I love how Liz talks about magic, divinity and enchantment, all these beautiful things.

“I also want to live the most vividly decorated temporary life that I can. I don’t just mean physically; I mean emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. I don’t want to be afraid of bright colours, or new sounds, or big love, or risky decisions, or strange experiences, or weird endeavours, or sudden changes, or even failure.”

Oh yes, me too.  And I’ll be honest, fear has got the better of me lately, but in 2019 I intend to change that.

Ayurveda by Geeta Vara

As a registered nutritional therapist I know a lot about food and how the body works but I also believe there’s more to it than just the science.  I’m fascinated by the energetics of food and by Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine.  This book gave me a wonderful insight into Ayurveda and really peaked my interest.  It also cemented a lot of my beliefs around health and wellness; like how important meditation is and finding time for yourself.  And it gave me a few additional practices that I’ve incorporated into my wellbeing regime, like oil pulling (better than it sounds!) and tongue scraping!

“A great way to connect with your senses is through silence.  Meditation can help you connect with your inner wisdom and give your sensory organs the much-needed conscious rest and rejuvenation they need.”


I also got curious this year with books like Lunar Abundance by Ezzie Spencer (I love that Ezzie has a scientific mind and talks so eloquently about the moon) and Crystal Muse by Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro which really landed home the importance of rituals for me.

These are just a few of the books I’ve read in 2018, and towards the end of this year my reading has definitely slowed down – my buying of books hasn’t however!  I’ve just started Becoming Supernatural by Dr Joe Dispenza which is really challenging by thinking and I’ve got a shelf full of other books I’m looking forward to getting in to this year.  

Some books challenge me, others I resonate with so easily but I’ve learnt with my reading to keep an open mind, there’s usually a reason why I’m reading what I’m reading.

I’d love to know what your favourite books are – let me know in the comments.

Nicky Duffell
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Nicky Duffell

Nutritional Therapist

‘Look after yourself first and then you’ll have the energy for everything else’

Nicky is a registered nutritional therapist who takes an integrative approach that works on both the body and the mind. She’s passionate about teaching women (and Mums) to look after themselves first, so that they can be there for their children and have the energy for whatever life has in store.

Nicky qualified from The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in 2009 and is registered with The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT), and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).

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