Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body

Reading is a great way to expand the mind, relax and unwind and help broaden your outlook on life.

Holidays and travel can do the same but with a book you can escape anywhere from the comfort of your home or a chill out place of your choice.

It’s World Book Day so I’m going to post about the 5 books that have inspired me over the past 6 months:

  1. JOCK OF THE BUSHVELD by Sir Percy Fitzgerald.20190307_104745.jpg

This classic true story from Percy Fitzgerald ties my love of books, dogs and South Africa, so a winner before I began. It is a tale of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and it’s beautiful character told through a series of stories in the Bushveld during the 1880s. Jock is a highly intelligent dog who get into a series of adventures through his life with Fitzpatrick. As with all true stories, especially those about dogs, there is never going to be a fairy story ending. However what this book shows is that a dogs bond with an owner goes far beyond the need for food and protection. It also highlights the wonderful nature of the Staffie, which has finally started to shrug off it’s unfair reputation given by delinquent dog owners in the 80’s.

2. THE OUTCASTS OF TIME by Ian Mortimer.


A sad and brilliant story looking through a man’s journey with great historical detail. A journey through time with a man out of time trying to save his soul.

“The man who has no knowledge of the past has no wisdom”

This is a line used by the character John of Wrayment in the book, it really struck home with me that we as people are the sum of what came before. Without knowing where we came from will we ever go anywhere and are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes?

I found that reading this book I was really pulled into the story. The author is brilliant at creating a vision of the different periods of history and characters, so while this is fiction you will still take away a lot of information.

3. THE POWER OF ONE by Bryce Courtney.

From the start you will be drawn to love the main character Peekay, this is his story and one which will have you hooked. It is about a white English speaking South African boy, on his journey of self discovery, enlightenment and empowerment.

“First with the Head and then the Heart”

Advice given to young Peekay by his first mentor which is an excellent line to remember in business as well as competitive sport. Emotions are great but sometimes we need to focus on the facts. This story will take you on an epic journey through South Africa during the WW2 and Apartheid, as you can imagine it will deal with racism but also looks at class, religion, science, obsession, faith vs. reason, objectivism and homosocial intimacy. There is a second novel following this called Tandia which continues and concludes the story abruptly but satisfyingly.


What did you enjoy about them and what did you take away from them? Was there a message, a feeling or was it simply a pleasurable read? There are so many benefits to read outside pleasure so make sure you get some reading in to reap the rewards.

Benefits of reading include:

Mental stimulation, stress relief, a break from technology, better memory, improved sleep, increases empathy and improve concentration.

I generally read a few books at any time but try to keep day time reading to learning and development and a story read for the evening. My current reading list includes:

Hero Risen – Andy Livingston

Conscious Coaching – Brett Bartholomew

How to Argue with a Cat – Jay Heinrichs

I’ll let you know how I get on with them, in the meantime happy world book day.