The Books That Inspired Me in 2011 - The Best Stories I Read

I read a lot of books. How I read so much is a mystery to me, when I consider the schedule I keep.
Books are my life, and my work and I try to read for at least an hour or two every day - often it is more. I review books, I read books for my academic work, I read for personal improvement and I read for pleasure.
My friend Stephanie Dowrick recently asked me to put together a list of books that have most inspired me this year. It helps that I keep a notebook in which I record all the books I read, the date finished, and a brief note about what I thought of them. So here goes:



1. E.M. Forster: A New Life by Wendy Moffat - As well as being sexy, pacy and beautifully written, Moffat's controversial new life of Forster inspired me. It reminded me that we can lead full and productive lives almost to the point of death. And the well-read person really needs to be familiar with Forster's extraordinary life.




2. You Can Create An Exceptional Life by Louise Hay & Cheryl Richardson - This little book far exceeded any expectations I had of it. A collection of conversations between Louise Hay, the grande dame of American self-help and Cheryl Richardson, the great populariser of the concept of life coaching. Simple, beautifully constructed and quite life-changing, this is wisdom and advice squeezed down to its very essence. It also provides lots of interesting autobiographical information about the incredible Louise Hay, who is now 85.



3. From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur by Stephanie Chandler - Quite simply, this book is essential for any writer, content producer, artist or creative. It sets out how to make money from your knowledge, and the exciting world of possibilities for knowledge-based entrepreneurs. Probably the most useful and life-changing book I've read this year. Several incredible ideas on every page.



4. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield - It took me a long time to get around to this book, but once I did, it blew my mind. This is Pressfield's manifesto for living life as a writer or artist. There is no such thing as writer's block. Do the work, every day - or else your life is a lie. Tough love from a genius.



5. Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin - Maupin's elegant, wonderfully-crafted and involving novels are really modern-day masterpieces masquerading as popular gay novels. Maupin riffs elegantly on ageing, coping with being sick and the changing definitions of queer. And this book is almost impossible to stop reading once you have begun.

2 comments:

Stephanie Chandler said...

What a wonderful list! Thanks so much for including Infopreneur. I am especially honored to be on a list with one of my favorites: Louise Hay. Best wishes to you, Walter!

Walter said...

Stephanie - thank you for writing such a wonderful, helpful and inspiring book!

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