Advance Performance | Inspirational Holiday Reading
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Inspirational Holiday Reading

Inspirational Holiday Reading

Many of us pack a book or two to read whilst on holiday to relax or to take time to read when we are too busy in our everyday working lives. Here we have some suggestions of inspirational books to motivate and build those dendrites whilst soaking up the sun or travelling.


This Mum Runs by Jo Pavey

Jo Pavey was forty years old when she won the 10,000m at the European Championships. It was the first gold medal of her career and, astonishingly, it came within months of having her second child. The media dubbed her ‘Supermum’, but Jo’s story is in many ways the same as every mother juggling the demands of working life with a family – the sleepless nights, the endless nappy changing, the fun, the laughter and the school-run chaos. The only difference is that Jo is a full-time athlete pushing a buggy on her training runs, clocking up miles on the treadmill in a cupboard while her daughter has her lunchtime nap, and hitting the track while her children picnic on the grass. Heartwarming and uplifting, This Mum Runs follows Jo’s roundabout journey to the top and all the lessons she’s learnt along the way. It is the inspiring yet everyday story of a mum that runs and a runner that mums.

The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time.‘ In his twenties, Tom Michell was single, free-spirited and seeking adventure in South America where he gained a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school. Set against Argentina’s turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Peronist regime, this is the heart-warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refused to leave Tom’s side, the young teacher had no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school. Whether as the rugby team’s mascot, the housekeeper’s confidant, the host at Tom’s parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transformed the lives of all he meets – in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovered in Juan Salvador a companion like no other.The Penguin Lessons is a unique and moving true story which has captured imaginations around the globe – for all those who dreamed as a child they might one day talk to the animals.
99 Things That Bring Me Joy (A Record Book) by Abrams Noterie and Hiroko Yoshimoto

If you have thought of keeping a Gratitude Journal but need a starting point, this is a great book to spark ideas, and also a positive trigger to carry round with you to inspire and motivate you during your day or when you face life’s challenges. A favourite scent, a sentimental possession, a fantastic vacation, a loyal friend – these are some of the 99 prompts in this journal that guide you to consider everything that makes you happy. With charming illustrations throughout, the journal is a lovely gift and a wonderful pick-me-up.

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

The Reader on the 6.27 is ready to take you on a journey: Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, he has but one pleasure in life. Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain recites aloud from pages he has saved from the jaws of his monstrous pulping machine. But it is when he discovers the diary of a lonely young woman, Julie – a woman who feels as lost in the world as he does – that his journey will truly begin. The Reader on the 6.27 is a tale bursting with larger – than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain’s life for the better. For fans of the movie Amelie and the novel Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, this captivating novel is a warm, funny fable about literature’s power to uplift even the most downtrodden of lives.

We are always looking for book suggestions to add to our Suggested Reading and our Course Reading Lists. If you have read a book which has inspired and motivated you or is particularly informative in psychology or the neuroscience, please do email us and let us know.