New Year reading we recommend
Written by Simon Grover
Looking for some thought-provoking reading for the new year? We asked our team to pick some stuff they’ve recently read and think you might like. Not just books – a magazine, some essays and an interview too.
Feminists don’t wear pink and other lies
A collection of essays on feminism, written by exceptional women and curated by Scarlett Curtis. It’s a perfect snapshot of the equality movement in the country today, showcasing everything from doubt in the cause, fear in its repercussions, determination against all odds and the underlying anger that fuels it all. Each essay is entirely different; some will inspire you, some will devastate you and some will make you laugh out loud. Altogether, the book will help you better understand feminism in the UK and your place within it.
A magazine that prides itself on being ‘the last to the news’. The writers wait three months before tackling a subject so they can properly reflect on what it means. In a world where knee-jerk opinions are plentiful, this refreshing approach results in insightful analysis. On top of this, they produce brilliant infographics covering everything from the ingredients of a prize-winning novel to how our view of the apocalypse has changed through history. Perfect for savouring.
The Power Of Moments
Chip and Dan Heath
This is a brilliant new book from Quietroom favourites Chip and Dan Heath. It looks into why some moments live longer in our memories than others and gives readers a simple formula to follow to create memorable moments of their own, whether that’s for clients, customers, employees or even kids.
Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms
This book by movement builders Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms looks at the way power is changing in the 21stCentury. Old power, it argues, works like a currency that’s held by a few. New power’s more like a current. It’s open, collaborative and owned by the crowd. There are loads of great case studies in the book, looking at political movements, business models, viral campaigns, brand strategies and even the missed opportunities behind Boaty McBoatface. What I liked most about this book was its candour. It’s not a sales pitch for new power, but instead an honest appraisal of its pros and cons. Here’s author Jeremy Heiman’s TED talk on New Power.
– my favourite speaker of 2018
In Dutch, there is a word that means both ‘clean’ and ‘creative’. New words tend to offer new lenses through which to view the world. And artist Daan Roosegaarde has used this word – schoonheid – to invent a new way to engage people in their futures. He’s using large-scale art installations to combat climate change inertia.
This year, I had the pleasure of hearing Roosegaarde speak at the Royal Geographic Society. There I found just how many industries face the same issues, and how each one is tackling inaction in a different way. Roosegaarde’s approach really stuck in the mind. To give you an idea of it, here’s an interview he gave in July.
Why We Get the Wrong Politicians
by Isabel Hardman
This is a book about an unhappy people who deserve more sympathy: MPs. Yup, you read that right. Through research and candid interviews, Hardman catalogues the structures that create and govern our political class, from how potential MPs are selected to how they’re often set up to fail. It’s tough on politicians, and refreshingly tough on the public too, challenging tabloid claims that MPs are especially corrupt (no more than teachers or doctors) or ‘out of touch’ (they spend more time with ‘real people’ in crisis than most of us). It’s clear-eyed, rigorous and thoughtful. I won’t be surprised if, one week into 2019, I’ve found my Book of the Year.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
In a world where we make 109 million decisions a day (I’ve made this figure up), sometimes it’s a relief to feel that some of those decisions are taken off your plate and dealt with by your subconscious mind. That’s why I love this book. It takes a practical view on how we develop good behaviours and how we change bad ones, to the point that they become habits and something you don’t need to apply any brain power to. This leaves you with more brain power to invest in the things that really matter.
Well that’s a relief.
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OK so you’re avoiding using jargon. So why are you still talking so weird?