Summer reading list - July 2019

For your summer reading list…

I’m still only a few chapters into ‘The Silk Roads’ by Peter Frankopan and am feeling well behind the curve as he’s recently released a follow-up ‘The New Silk Roads – The Present and Future of The World’. Tackling this book is an attempt to undo some of the inadequacies of my limited education on world history (at my school the curriculum seemed fixated on British history, i.e. the Tudors and the Great Fire of London) and Frankopan’s first tome is truly perspective-altering. Our civilisations and technology may have evolved beyond all recognition but we humans are still every bit as driven by the acquisition of power and influence as at the start of the last millennium, just with different tools at our disposal. Having a better-informed view of the global geopolitical axis as it tilts away from the West is also timely given the UK’s changing status as we get closer to Brexit.

On my reading list for the summer break are:

The Ethical Capitalist’ by Julian Richer – powerful, timely, relevant ideas and an outstanding example of how to do business, better, by spreading ownership more broadly across the workforce.

Daring Greatly’ by Brene Brown – if you haven’t yet watched her revelatory TED talk about the power of vulnerability and what we can all learn from it, here’s the link:

‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men’ by Caroline Criado-Perez – office-dwellers who have fought and lost the battle over who gets to set the air-conditioning thermostat may be interested to know that there is gender bias afoot in the design of these wretched systems, amongst many other (and more consequential) facts of modern life.

‘Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes’ by Margaret Heffernan – those of us lucky enough to get to the GEO Conference in Amsterdam in April this year were treated to a masterful and fascinating keynote speech from Margaret Heffernan, and this book is just one of many from her pen that I could choose to read.

I recently finished ‘How To Be Right In A World Gone Wrong’ by James O’Brien. The title jars but the book itself is an impassioned, forensically-argued and occasionally bombastic take-down of many of fallacies and double standards on the topics that metropolitan, liberal-ish news addicts (like yours truly) tend to have strong opinions about, including fake news, feminism, political correctness, Brexit and the current state of British politics.

And finally…

‘The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (And Your Children Will Be Glad You Did)’ by Philippa Perry is a must-read regardless of whether you are a parent or not, or have any intention of becoming one. It’s a practical, common-sense, but nevertheless thoroughly enlightening guide to why we are the way we are as people, and understanding ourselves and our own parents better.