Rosie’s Roundup - the book club edition


In the midst of the heatwave we have the holiday feels. I don’t know about you but one of the things I look forward to most when I go away is the opportunity to catch up on my reading list. I’m delighted that both my children have now passed the stage where they are going to drown themselves in the pool and are more focused on drowning each other, which means I can simply hiss at them from my sun lounger where I am parked with my kindle.

Like dogs versus cats or white versus red (or of course rose in the summer), you’re either a kindle or (as Rin would say) a ‘real book’ person. I know people who practically get a high from sniffing the pages of a new book but personally I love the convenience of chucking my kindle in a bag. Apart from cook books….if the pages aren’t stuck together with ingredients then it’s not a good one!

Since I’m a swiper not a page turner, I don’t own many physical books. And yet my house is crammed with them. They are now so squeezed (and we have a good deal more in storage) that if you try to take one out then they often attack you. A big chunk of these I like to refer to as business tomes - think big heavy hardbacks with scary words like ‘execution’ on the front. These are genuinely the last thing I’d choose to read and I’m definitely suspicious that they’ll have pages of graphs in (see last month’s post on my numerical data avoidance policy).

So if you’re looking for something that’s perhaps a little more inspirational and a little less power hungry then here’s some suggestions of business books that will get the blood pumping.

Business books you’ll actually enjoy

Learning how to tame your inner chimp through reading the Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters is perfect for those who struggle with imposter syndrome or fears around work activities such as giving presentations. It’s written without jargon and presents really great actions that you can start straight away to ensure you’re not behaving like you’re at a PG Tips tea party (will people get this or I am just old????).

Who doesn’t want to have energy, passion and a positive attitude when working? Stephen C Lundin’s Fish! is a modern day parable and a super short read - it’s nothing more than a great story but it might just change your life. See also: Who moved my cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson and all of Simon Sinek’s writing.

Self-development books that work

I think the line is pretty blurry when it comes to business books and self improvement these days. We are all so busy there is definitely less divide between work and not being at work. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball or you just need to give yourself a good kick up the bum and that’s where these recommendations come in. I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love - an oldie but a goodie - so I couldn’t wait to read journalist Bryony Gordon’s Eat, Drink, Run. It’s about the importance of having headspace for all of our mental wellbeing. Exercise is self care and for one crazy moment I actually contemplated signing up for a marathon (talked myself down to a 5K).

On this note, I hear so much good stuff about The Miracle Morning by Hal Erod. Apparently it’s not the same as mine, where success looks like having put on a load of laundry, sunk a cup of coffee and mascara-ed both eyes before anyone speaks to me…. Though I do know silence is one of the pillars the book recommends you achieve. This is about starting your day the right way. I need to do it and set the alarm earlier (than my children get up!).

Unputdownable summer reads

I love the saying “lose yourself in a book” and my final set of recommendations is for reads that you can’t put down, the ones you keep reading late into the night because you have to know what happens next even though you know the following morning will most definitely not be a miracle one.

I get a lot of my inspiration from Insta book groups - I love @Erica Davies and Dawn O’Porters @the_cold_water_book_club. Thanks to them I recently read the brilliant Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman and Cows by Dawn Porter herself, which made me cry with laughter whilst waiting at my children’s tennis lessons. I have Clean by Juno Dawson and The Partyby Elizabeth Day ready to go on, and I’m currently enhancing my eye bags with the dark and difficult-to-read Lullaby by Leila Slimani (this may upset those with young children).

I’ve also put a call out to fellow bookworms and lovers of words - all very different people and at different life stages. I asked them what was keeping them up at night and giving them cramp from sitting for ages curled up on the sofa. These were their recommendations -

  • Slow Horses (Jason Lamb series) by Mike Hernon for those who love a spy thriller.

  • A Manual for Heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink if you’re looking for honesty and reflection.

  • How to be famous by Caitlin Moran for anyone who lived through the britpop years and wants a snigger on their sunbed.

  • How we meet and why it matters by Priya Parker for global cultural insights on how we relate to others.

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer, about life in the Channel Islands in WW2 and all round keeping your chin up-ness.

  • 100 Foot Journey by Richard C Morais for foodie travellers - don’t read if you’re hungry!

  • Creativity.Inc by Ed Catmull on how one man’s dream of Pixar became reality.

By the time you read this, I will be luxuriating on my sun lounger, poolside, cocktail in one hand, kindle in the other… in my dreams. The reality is that my kindle will be blurry after a child stuck a suncream covered hand on the screen and I’ll have read one page repeatedly due to a continuous need to adjust swim goggles and fetch snacks. Don’t be too jealous!

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Want to read more? Try this - Rosies' Roundup - The blog special

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