Heading into the holidays and the coming new year is always a good time to reflect on the past year and our plans for 2017. It’s also a good time to put our feet up with a few good books. So I thought I’d share my top 3 reads from 2016. It’s a bit of a mixed bag and should get you thinking about the things you plan to achieve in the coming year. Without further ado!

1. An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth – Chris Hadfield

For me, this was the top read of the year. It was a simply superb book. Most of you will know Chris Hadfield from his stint on the International Space Station when he started bringing his experiences to us every day via social media. One of these was a fantastic rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity which now has over 33 million views on YouTube. Check it out over here.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo[/embedyt]

Anyway, back to the review. Hadfield writes not only about his experiences as an astronaut but his path getting there. From growing up in Canada with a dream of being an astronaut to living in Russia and experiencing everyday life.

The book is a fantastic read and learning about Hadfield’s focus and determination is inspiring and massively motivating. The book is available on Amazon here.

2. What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers – Richard N. Bolles

I found this book particularly interesting and useful, not necessarily because it provides advice for job hunting but provides some really good insight into your career. In addition to this, the book has also given me some good insight into developing my skills as an interviewer.

The book starts off with the basics of job-hunting along with some top tips, but also discusses how the job landscape has changed over recent times and why traditional methods of finding a job don’t work anymore. Subsequent chapters cover salary negotiations, choosing a great place to work, overcoming your weaknesses, and finally how to change careers (not jobs!) and even how to start your own business.

A key component of the book is the section that takes the reader through performing a self-inventory. This value exercise is then reinforced with some excellent material in the appendices such as finding your mission in life and finding a career coach.

Even if you are not planning on changing jobs or careers, the book is a good read and will help you take stock of your current situation. What Color Is Your Parachute is available on Amazon here.

3. Will It Fly? – Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn rose to Internet fame from his blog and podcast (www.smartpassiveincome.com) and is a real success story in creating an Internet-based business and career. The blog and podcasts are well worth the time and Pat provides loads of free advice in the form of posts, podcasts, and ebooks. The book I am reviewing here is a recent publication and is a really helpful guide for entrepreneurs to evaluate business ideas and understand if they are viable or not. The biggest risk is wasting time on ideas that will not fly, and this book helps readers avoid this.

Pat Flynn describes himself as the crash-test dummy of online business. He writes from his experience of what has worked and what hasn’t worked. The book begins with ‘mission design’ and carries on the aeroplane analogy throughout the book. The author provides a number of tools and activities that will help you evaluate your business ideas.

As originators of our ideas, we often fall in love with this ideas and become blind to the realities of whether these ideas will work or not. Read this book to help avoid this! The book is also available on Amazon here.

Have fun reading!