Augusta's August reading list
You may be looking for some inspiring and insightful books to read this summer once you’ve got through your first couple of page turning novels.
If so, here are five of my absolute favourite books that have offered new perspectives and added a lot of value to my life and business. (Like me, you might also want to keep a page turner on the go!)
“The Good Immigrant” is a courageous book that opens up a dialogue around racism in the UK, the reductive labels we use and the impacts of the systemic racism that does exist everywhere. Each chapter is written by a different individual sharing their story of what it is like to live as an immigrant in the UK.
These insightful short stories explore a variety of themes including what people may think of as a “good immigrant” and why that concept alone can be destructive, through to the way we may say "namaste" without truly understanding its meaning.
"How Bad are Bananas" is a must read for anyone who cares about our true impact on the planet. It is a practical, entertaining and impactful read, setting out the carbon footprint of everything we do, buy, consume and think about.
This book will help you to develop a “carbon instinct”, in the same way we have well-trained instincts with money. For example, we know a block of cheese is usually more expensive than a bunch of bananas; would you know which has a higher carbon footprint?
Mike Berners-Lee shares the footprint of sending an email, to buying a red rose on Valentines day. From owning a dog to putting milk in your tea. By understanding this better, we can develop a carbon instinct and make more informed decisions and lower our carbon footprint.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, a real classic that is still as relevant today as when published in 1936. Carnegie shares some of the fundamentals to building real relationships. A quick and easy read for anyone who wants to improve any of the relationships in your life - be it at work or socially.
Areas that Carnegie shares practical tools for include how to:
Encourage other people to share more about themselves and be genuinely interested in what they say
Listen to understand, rather than reply
Show regular honest appreciation and recognition
Be empathetic, take time to understand other people’s perspectives
Ask questions rather than make statements
“Factfulness” is an uplifting and brilliant book which explores our biases and how to understand and challenge them. The world is probably a better place than you think it is!
Our mind uses unconscious biases to make quick decisions. The challenge is that many of our instincts, primed for survival situations, can be a little too simplistic to be truly useful in the ‘modern’ lives we now lead. Hans shares ten instincts and practical ways to combat them. An insightful read for anyone who would like to improve their big picture decision making, wellbeing and general happiness.
“Radical Candor” by Kim Scott explores the power of effective feedback given in a way that shows you care personally about the individual and are brave enough to challenge them directly.
This approach to feedback has proved useful in all walks of life - with our teams, with our partners, even with our children. Sharing feedback in the right way is a gift and receiving feedback is one of the best ways we can continue to grow and develop.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to improve the conversations and relationships in their lives, be at work or home.
Whether this summer you are listening to the pitter-patter of rain on your tent or finding some time out in the sun, I hope you enjoy these books. Would love to hear what you think of them and any others that you would recommend reading. Please do leave comments or get in touch.