Islanda - Creating Environments In Which People Thrive

“A book is a gift you can open again and again."

Garrison Keillor

Books We Recommend

Books on Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman

Foundational book written by the founder of EQ. A great all rounder for a deep dive into EQ.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

Practical book including an EQ assessment to help monitor your personal growth. 


Daniel H. Pink

Useful guide to tap into intrinsic motivation. Wealth maximisation lacks the power to fully mobilise human energies.


Richard H Thaler & Cass R Sunstein

Tips and tricks for creating better habits and behaviours using insights from neuroscience.

The Compassionate Mind

Paul Gilbert

Develop compassion as a habit as the antidote to anxiety, disconnection and conflict.

Whole-Hearted Parenting

Joshua Freedman

Useful guide for parents to connect with, support and enjoy their children more effectively with EQ at the core.

Conversational Intelligence

Judith Glasser

Book with useful tools & models for having more productive and collaborative interactions based on trust.

Non violent communication

Living Nonviolent Communication

Marshall Rosenberg, PHD

Great book for parents, leaders and coaches for managing conflict. Work with anger more effectively & intentionally.

Permission to Feel Marc Brackett

Permission to Feel

Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

Borne from Marc’s personal experience. Includes a simple model for regulating emotions – suffer less, achieve more.

Books on Habits

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey

Great guide to establish habits that are modelled on the most successful people.  Lots of techniques & examples to bring the concepts to life.

Small Move Big Change

Caroline L. Arnold

Create habits for success. Focus on one habit at a time, decide on what you can commit to & take action consistently.

Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg

Practical book for understanding how habits work and how to break bad habits & create habits that lead to success.

Create Tiny Habits for Big Impact Results

Tiny Habits

BJ Fogg PhD

A must read. This book provides a simple model and easy to follow process to build good habits and unpick those unhelpful habits that are sabotaging your success. 

In Praise of Wasting Time

Alan Lightman

Interesting book promoting the benefits of doing nothing. Let go of the belief that being busy is productive and notice how your creativity and wellbeing improves when you switch off.

Atomic habits - a book for creating great habits and breaking bad habits

Atomic Habits

James Clear

Fabulous book providing great tips for creating habits that will serve you well for living your best life. Key takeaway – work on your identity – it impacts what you do.

Books on Self-Awareness

The Power of Now

Ekhart Tolle

An opportunity to shift how you think and experience life. We are not our thoughts, we can observe and control them rather than let them control us.

You are More than you Think

Andrew Jenkins

Interesting book for reconnecting with your authentic self.

Beyond the Self

Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer

Deep thinking book exploring how science is beginning to explain why Buddhist practises are so powerful.

The Shift

Wayne Dyer

Easy read about the shift from a life of achievement to a life of meaning based on real life stories 

Man's Search for Meaning

Viktor E Frankl

Holocaust survivor & psychiatrist inspires us to shift unhelpful states of mind through finding meaning in life.

Somebody Should Have Told Us​

Jack Pransky

Inspired by real life stories. Overcome unhelpful thinking patterns & experience life from inside out rather than outside in.

Awakened Empath

Aletheia Luna & Mateo Sol

Book for empaths who want to learn how to harness their gift and lessen the impact of other people’s energy on their own.

Good vibes, Good Life

Vex King

Easy read full of ideas to take control, be more positive and manage toxic energy. Enjoy the journey and be your best!

The Presence Process

Michael Brown

Self-help book for those that feel that past traumas are having an impact on their life. Includes a guided 10 week process to unblock suppressed emotions. 

The Surrender Experiment

Michael A Singer

An autobiographical account of letting go of ego to allow his life to unfold in a more natural way.  Progress beyond any self-imposed, and often unconscious, limitations.     

Eat Pray Love

Elizabeth Gilbert

An extremely moving autobiography of a woman’s personal journey from heartbreak to recovery.  Let go of judgement and live life in the present moment.  

Ryan Holiday Ego is the enemy

Ego Is The Enemy

Ryan Holiday

Hard-hitting book. Rise above yourself and connect with a higher purpose. Let go of the outcome and commit to be your best, true to your values and enjoy true success.

Robin Sharma

The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO

Robin Sharma

An easy read of how a near death accident lead to a full life transformation. The book provides a tale woven with thought provoking questions and powerful messages. 

Change how you experience life - let go of holding onto the outcome

End the Struggle and Dance with Life

Susan Jeffers

A simple message to let go of self-imposed success goals. Instead, appreciate all that is; practise gratitude and take stock of all you have. This is a ‘feel good’ book.

Books on Mindfulness

Mindfulness - a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world - cover page

Mindfulness - A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World

Mark Williams & Dr Danny Penman

Comprehensive and practical book for understanding and developing a practise of mindfulness

Altered Traits

Daniel Goleman & Richard Davidson

Powerful book detailing benefits of meditation in all its forms. A method to help our brains cope in today’s fast paced world.

Books on Emotions

The Power of Negative Emotions

Todd Kashdan & Robert Biswas-Diener

All emotions have a purpose providing wisdom and energy. Don’t let negative emotions control you. Use them to support your success and fulfilment.

Feel the fear and do it anyway Susan Jeffers

Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway

Susan Jeffers

Reframe fear & anxiety; overcome procrastination, paralysis and fear-based thinking patterns to enjoy the journey and achieve success.

How Emotions Are Made

Lisa Feldman Barrett

We are architects of our experience, not at mercy of emotions. Emotions provide meaning, prescribe action and regulate energy resources.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The nirvana of emotional states when the balance between challenge & skill engages attention and provides a sense of enjoyment.

Mindset: Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential

Dr Carol Dweck

Understand how your mindset could be impacting your success and development with tips for shifting from a fixed to growth mindset.

Emotional Agility

Susan David

Key tips for emotional agility; show up, unhook from unhelpful patterns and move forward being the person you want to be.

Reasons To Stay Alive

Matt Haig

Personal story to inspire those gripped by anxiety or depression; you are not alone and you can move forward.

Finely Tuned

Barrie Davenport

Lighter book to support people who have a highly sensitive or empath trait: use your gift and overcome its challenges.

Handbook for Highly sensitive people

The Handbook for Highly Sensitive People

Mel Collins

Practical tips & techniques for people with a HSP, or empath, trait to feel more empowered and less challenged.

The power of regret

The Power of Regret

Daniel H. Pink

Use regret as a source of insight. Tips on which type of regret has the most impact on us to inform better decisions that are less likely to end in feelings of regret.

Books on Behaviour

Games People Play

Eric Berne

Useful book for raising awareness of the roles we play in our relationships and how that impacts our outcomes. If you want a different outcome show up differently.

Books on Neuroscience

Neuroscience for Coaches

Amy Brann

Easy to understand book giving insights on how our brains work to support behavioural change and increase the power of coaching.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

Fascinating read explaining human behaviour and how why we make the decisions we do. It depends on which part of your brain is making the decision!

The Moral Molecule: How Trust Works

Paul J Zak

Learn how to harness oxytocin, the neurochemical that drives connection & trust. 

The Brain: The Story of You

David Eagleman

Easy to read whistle stop introduction to the human brain and how it works.

The Brain That Changes Itself

Norman Doidge

Neuroplasticity in action. A source of inspiration, hope and belief that with commitment and engagement anything is possible. Our brains are not fixed – they can be adapted and developed.   

Book on dopamine

The Molecule of More

Daniel Z Lieberman, MD and Michael E Long

In a ‘World of Plenty’ the existence of this ‘pleasure’ molecule could be destroying our ability to enjoy what we have. A balance between seeking better futures, and enjoying the present, is key.

make your brain work and live, work and play better

Make Your Brain Work

Amy Brann

Lots of relatable real life scenarios of how our brains respond to challenges. Understand the science of how our brains work and use them more intentionally to unlock your true potential.  

Habits of a Happy Brain

Habits Of A Happy Brain

Loretta Graziano Breuning, PHD

Easy read providing valuable insights into the neurochemicals that make us feel happy, or unhappy. Build habits to generate more happy ‘chemicals’ with no undesirable side effects. 

Neuroscience book - changing behaviour pattens

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

Dr Joe Dispenza

Introducing quantum theory and how it applies to our experience of life. Don’t allow life to happen TO you. Instead, master your mind and live the you desire.

Stop thinking start living recommended book

Stop Thinking Start Living

Richard Carlson

“Your thoughts aren’t real, they are images in your mind” When you get caught up ruminating about the past or worrying about what ‘might’ happen in the future YOU are creating your suffering – wow! 

How your mindset can transform your life

The Expectation Effect

David Robson

Check your beliefs and thinking patterns. Incredible research, evidence and stories demonstrating how your own mind impacts your outcomes. 

Books on Time Management

The 12 Week Year

Brian P. Moran & Michael Lennington

“Greatness is achieved when you choose to take the right actions”. This book adapts well-used business techniques to how we are all naturally motivated to perform.

Eat That Frog!

Brian Tracy

Short easy read to improve productivity and attend to those really important tasks. Inspiring techniques to overcome procrastination. Follow the rules & start eating your frogs!

Four Thousand Weeks Oliver Burkeman

Four Thousand Weeks

Oliver Burkeman

Challenge how you think. Instead of developing time-saving skills or buying gadgets to do more with less time, change your relationship with time and how you use it.

Books on Health & Wellbeing

Super Genes

Dr Deepak Chopra & Rudolph E. Tanzi

Fascinating book about how genes impact our health and wellbeing. Only 5% of disease is related to gene mutations leaving 95% open to change with the right actions.

Wood Becomes Water

Gail Reichstein

Introduction to chinese medicine and how to apply it to everyday experiences. Learn about how the five elements interact and how to restore balance.

Power of When

Dr. Michael Breus

Identify your ‘chronotype’ and live more in time with it for less stress and tiredness, more energy and better results.

Your Power to Heal

Henry Grayson

In depth book exploring the bodymind connection in relation to physical symptoms. Ease the symptom through eliminating its source, rather than managing it.

Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Debbie Shapiro

Comprehensive guide for exploring how physical symptoms in our bodies provide insights into our minds.

Heal your body

Heal Your Body

Louise Hay

A go to reference book for understanding and working with physical symptoms linked to an emotional source. What message could your body be providing in its physical symptoms?

Words That Touch

Nick Pole

 A book designed to support ‘body’ practitioners to use clean language to uncover what could be ‘driving’ physical symptoms so they can treat the root cause and promote self healing.

Cured Stories of Spontaneous Healing


Dr Jeff Rediger

Inspiring examples of people who, by working on themselves and choosing to live their best, most authentic and fulfilling lives, have experienced spontaneous healing. 

The Brain Grain Whole Life Plan

David Perlmutter MD

Evidence suggests that our brain health, being our mental wellbeing as well as the absence of neurological disorders, is linked to our gut health, and in turn, to what we eat. This is a way of life, not just a diet.  

Books on Business & Schools

Start With Why

Simon Sinek

A classic for anyone who wants to tap into the energy that will drive action in their personal or professional lives. Aligning activities with the ‘why’ enables people to connect at an emotional level – emotions drive behaviours. 

Talk Like Ted

Carmine Gallo

Develop skills in public speaking and presenting. Based on insights from neuroscience, engage your audience so they access your expertise. Learn how stories influence the impact you have.

The Prosperous Coach

Steve Chandler & Rich Litvin

For coaches struggling to build a sustainable coaching business and charge rates that reflect their true value. If you don’t value what you offer what message does that give your clients?

Trust Factor

Paul J. Zak

Optimise performance through harnessing trust in your organisation using insights from neuroscience.


Gino Wickman

A simple but powerful methodology to run a business using the entrepreneurs operating system.

Leadership Matters

Andy Buck

Practical book with lots of useful models to help leaders in schools make a difference. 

Running Lean

Ash Maurya

Guide for creating simple one page business plans based on the ‘Fail Fast’ strategies used by tech start up businesses. Business plans need to be dynamic.

A school built on love

Parklands A School Built on Love

Chris Dyson

Love is a cornerstone emotion for psychological safety, that enabled students in the most challenging circumstances to thrive. 

Jim Collins Good to Great

Good to Great

Jim Collins

First published in 2001, this book stands the test of time. Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and do the right things consistently.

Books on Sport Performance


Matthew Syed

Go to book for anyone working with sports teams. Great tips for mastering your mind for optimal performance.

The Greatest: What Sport Teaches Us About Achieving Success

Matthew Syed

Sequel to Bounce using insights from the greatest sportspeople to provide mental strategies to become the best we can be.


James Kerr

Easy read about the 15 lessons in leadership demonstrated by the All Blacks. Leadership, success and high performance are significantly influenced by character and culture. 

Books for Kids

Diary of a Brilliant Kid

Andy Cope & Gavin Oattes

Great tips for being your best. Written for kids but great for adults too.

Blame My Brain

Nicola Morgan

Great introduction to the teenage brain and its impact on behaviour. Good read for teenagers too.

Queen Bees & Wannabees

Rosalind Wiseman

Inspired by the movie “Mean Girls’. Insights to help parents navigate the world of adolescence & toxic friendships.

Teenage brain

Inventing Ourselves

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Working with, or parenting, teenagers can be confusing. The physical body appears adult-like and yet the brain is still a work in progress. Understand and support to optimise this period of opportunity.

Which Area Are You Interested In?

Scroll to Top