My 13 books of Christmas

My 13 books of Christmas


A book list for 2016 with something for everyone: artificial intelligence, #Brexit, public relations, relationships, technology and microadventure. And the Beano annual.

Here's a list of 13 books that would make great gifts and additions to your reading list this Christmas. There's a mix of work and play. It's personal.

Karan Chadda and I started a business book club this year called Read.Think.Discuss. Sign up on the home page for reviews and information about events in 2017.

#1 Microadventures: Local discoveries for great escapes, Alastair Humphreys

William Collins, June 2014, £14

Working nine to five, or thereabouts, leaves 16 hours free. It’s the perfect amount of time for a microadventure. Alastair Humphreys was responsible for Karan and I spending a night sleeping out in West London earlier in the year. We’ve more microadventures planned for 2017.

#2 Weapons of math destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy, Cathy O'Neil

Allen Lane, September 2016, £10

Cathy O'Neil sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life and threaten to rip apart our social fabric.

#3 Unleashing demons: The inside story of Brexit, Craig Oliver

Hodder & Stoughton, October 2016, £10

History used to be written by the winners. Today it's the first person to write a memoir and share it with traditional and social media. Craig Oliver led communications for the Brexit remain campaign.

#4 How to live on 24 hours a day, Arnold Bennett

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, November 2016, £9

Originally published in 1910, this short volume by Arnold Bennett was recommended to me by Karan. It provides a straightforward response to the refrain: "There aren’t enough hours in the day.” It’s incredibly relevant, despite the fact it was written more than 100 years ago.

#5 Rise of the robots: Technology and the threat of mass unemployment, Martin Ford

Oneworld Publications, June 2016, £7

Martin Ford asks fundamental questions about the future of the economy and society. He suggests we need to reassess our economic and political structures as tech dismantles the knowledge economy. A book to return to following the fallout from Brexit and the US election.

#6 Algorithms to live by: The computer science of human decisions, Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths

William Collins, April 2016, £10

Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths help to solve common decision-making problems. Technical and hard work, but worth persevering.

#7 Connect: How companies succeed by engaging radically with society, John Browne, Robin Nuttall and Tommy Stadlen

WH Allen, March 2016, £8

Lord Browne and his co-authors pose serious questions for the aspiration of public relations in the boardroom. He explores the chasm between big business and society, offering a practical manifesto for reconciliation.

#8 #FuturePRoof: Edition Two, Sarah Hall

Sarah Hall, September 2016, £5

Sarah Hall is back, this time with more than 40 thinkers and doers, to explore the future of public relations and assert its value as a management discipline. She's working on a novel concept for a third edition.

#9 Conscious uncoupling: The five steps to living happily even after, Katherine Woodward Thomas

Yellow Kite, 24 September 2015, £14

Katherine Woodward Thomas explores why long term relationships breakdown and sets out a roadmap for managing the fallout, and in particular co-parenting in a functional and healthy way.

#10 Fear: Essential wisdom for getting through the storm, Thich Nhat Hanh

Rider, November 2012, £10

A guide to anxiety and practical advice on how to deal with its toxic presence in our lives. Lots of books have been written about mindfulness but this is one of the best.

#11 Blockchain revolution: How the technology behind Bitcoin is changing money, business and the world, Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

Portfolio Penguin, May 2016, £12

Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott show the potential for Blockchain to disrupt markets. A thoughtful and well researched primer.

#12 Disrupted: My misadventure in the start-up bubble, Dan Lyons

Hachette Books, reprint pending March 2017, £13

Dan Lyons takes aim at ageism and the cult of start-up culture in this hilarious and well-written book.

#13 Beano Annual 2017

D.C. Thomson & Co, September 2016, £3.50

The comic book bestseller from DC Thompson, just because after the last 12 months we could all do with a laugh this Christmas.

Blogger's block

Blogger's block

Chartered PR Practitioner reaches important milestone

Chartered PR Practitioner reaches important milestone