Top 8 books I read in 2018

By Annette Paterakis

As 2018 is coming to a close, I’m getting ready to wrap up the year. I’m just ticking through my final “to do” list, and looking forward to sitting by the fire with a good book over the holidays. If you are looking forward to doing the same and need some reading inspiration to get you ready and set up for success in the New Year, I’ve got you covered. Here are the top 8 books I read and enjoyed most this year.

1. Gold – by Nick Skelton

I started the year with this entertaining and inspiring story of Nick Skelton’s journey so far, openly sharing his remarkable highs and lows that convey incredible grit, determination and drive. I particularly loved the last part of the book in which Nick shares the road to and ways he prepared for his Olympic journey and ultimately, Gold.

2. Just Breathe – by Dan Brule

As you might know, breathing exercises can be a great tool to relax on the horse, improve focus or even to get more energy. In this book, Dan Brule explains how to use your breathing to your advantage. He offers many different breathing techniques for many different situations. Make sure to give his 21-day breathing experiment a go.

3. Rafa – by Rafael Nadal

I read a lot of autobiographies this year and this one is perhaps my favorite. What struck me the most was Rafa’s ability to control his mind and he describes how it is his most powerful weapon on court. Constantly bringing his mind back from distracting thoughts about the results, being in the present moment, and playing every single shot as best as he can.

4. 10-Min Toughness – by Jason Selk

A great read on how to train your brain in just 10 minutes each day. The more we read and learn about strengthening our mental toughness, the stronger we become.

5. Solve for Happy – by Mo Gawdat

I loved listening to this book (this one I got on Audible – a great way to ‘read’ more books when you are on the move)! It is a very personal story and yet Mo has managed to provide a very clear roadmap to happiness. One we can all apply to find that happiness from the inside instead of pursuing it on the outside (hint: those ribbons are great but are not what makes you happy in the long run!) In case you’d like to know how to apply his formula for success on the horse, read my blog: “5 ways to be a happier rider”.

6. No Limits – by Michael Phelps

Another autobiography I really enjoyed reading, mostly because of Michael’s amazing visualization skills. This book gives a great insight into the mind and life of one of the greatest athletes ever. Apply his dedication and discipline to crush your own mental limits.

7. Why We Sleepby Matthew Walker

Have you always wanted to learn more about how to improve your sleep? This is the book to read. Or, if you’re not a fan of non-fiction books, I have translated the most important information and ways to sleep better (within 21-days) in my blog: “How to get better sleeping habits in 21 days”.

8. Unstoppable – by Maria Sharapova

This story about Maria Sharapova was not only a great read, it also provided me with the inspiration behind the first blog series I created this year: “Riding to win vs. chasing perfection”.

Want to learn more but not really into reading books? Make sure to check out my new Master Your Mind Online Mental Training Program. I created this easy, step-by-step program tailored to equestrian riders with video tutorials, audio exercises and much more, so you can learn the fundamentals of mental toughness training and, importantly, how to put it all into practice! Visit: