Need a dose of inspiration? These three books that will help you get into the right mindset for 2021

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The greatest secret by Rhonda Byrne (Photo: Thorsons), How I built this by Guy Raz (Photo: Macmillan) and the happiest man on earth by Eddie Jaku (Photo: Macmillan)
The greatest secret by Rhonda Byrne (Photo: Thorsons), How I built this by Guy Raz (Photo: Macmillan) and the happiest man on earth by Eddie Jaku (Photo: Macmillan)

THE GREATEST SECRET

By Rhonda Byrne

Thorsons

The greatest secret by Rhonda Byrne (Photo: Thorso
The greatest secret by Rhonda Byrne (Photo: Thorsons

Rhonda Byrne's book The Secret, which showed people how to use the laws of attraction to improve their lives, was a smash-hit phenomenon when it hit the shelves in 2007, going on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide. Now the Australian self-help author is back with a sequel, The Greatest Secret, which lays out the next step in a journey.

"The Secret showed you how to create anything you want to be, do, or have. Nothing has changed – it’s as true today as it ever was," she writes. "This book reveals the greatest discovery a human being can ever make, and shows you the way out of negativity, problems, and what you don’t want, to a life of permanent happiness and bliss.”

HOW I BUILT THIS

By Guy Raz

Macmillan

How I built this by Guy Raz (Photo: Macmillan)
How I built this by Guy Raz (Photo: Macmillan)

It’s all very well to fantasise about starting your own business but how do you actually take the plunge and step out of your comfort zone? This book will show you how to stop dreaming and start doing.

From a woman who turned a chicken-salad making venture operating out of her kitchen into a $100 million business (Chicken Salad Chick) to a former Buddhist monk who launched a meditation app (Headspace), there are scores of success stories that will inspire.

But it’s not just about leaping into the unknown – there are steps you can take to make it a lot less risky. Interweaved with the inspiring tales is surefire advice about a range of subjects including doing your research, finding a trustworthy co-founder and how to fund your fledgling business, that you can follow to improve your chances of surviving and thriving in these uncertain times.

THE HAPPIEST MAN ON EARTH

By Eddie Jaku

Macmillan

The happiest man on earth by Eddie Jaku (Photo: Ma
The happiest man on earth by Eddie Jaku (Photo: Macmillan)

In 1938 18-year-old Eddie Jaku was alone at his parents’ home in Leipzig, Germany, when 10 Nazis kicked down the door. He was one of many Jews rounded up during what was known as the Night of Broken Glass.

For the next seven years Eddie faced unimaginable horror in German concentration camps. When he finally walked free he was so grateful to be alive that he made himself a promise: he swore that he’d live every day with a smile on his face. Now at age 100, he considers himself to be “the happiest man on earth” and is sharing his wisdom in this inspirational memoir and a TED talk that’s been watched by thousands. Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful, he insists. The choice is yours.

REVIEWS

The Thursday murder club by Richard Osman (Photo:
The Thursday murder club by Richard Osman (Photo: Viking)

The Thursday murder club

By Richard Osman

Viking

This cosy crime caper by debut novelist Richard Osman, the hugely likeable British TV personality behind quiz shows such as Pointless, emerged as something of a literary lockdown sensation in the UK, becoming the fastest-selling crime debut novel since records began.

The story is set in a wealthy retirement village which has been built by a brash developer, Ian Ventham, with links to some dangerous criminals. Every Thursday four septuagenarian amateur sleuths, Elizabeth, Joy, Ibrahim and Ron, gather to solve cold cases from the files of Elizabeth’s friend Penny, a former police officer who now lies in a coma in the village.

When Ventham is murdered on their doorstep the team is in their element as they tackle their first live case.

Fiendishly plotted and delightfully witty, this is a crime novel with a big heart and the first in a promising series. Fans of Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing and the TV show Midsomer Murders will be in their element here. – Sandy Cook          

Deadly Cross by James Patterson (Photo: Century)
Deadly Cross by James Patterson (Photo: Century)

Deadly Cross

By James Patterson

Century

When Kay Willingham is found half naked in her idling powder blue Bentley convertible behind a private school in Washington DC, it creates a stir. For with the ex-wife of the vice-president is the principal of the school and he’s also in a very compromising position.

Both have been shot dead. Why on earth were they killed? Alex Cross and FBI Special Agent Ned Mahoney investigate the shocking double homicide and discover that gorgeous socialite Kay had lots of enemies. Meanwhile Alex’s wife, Bree Stone, is investigating a series of kidnappings of young women. Could there be a connection between the two cases?

I’ve always maintained that Patterson delivers some of his best work when writing solo, as is the case with the Cross books. Deadly Cross is number 28 in the series and is as good if not better than previous instalments. – André J Brink

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