What We Would Like to Read this Christmas

Like many of our clients we are captivated and challenged by a variety of topics and themes. As this is an exciting time of year for all readers we would like to share some of the books we hope to find in our Christmas stockings in 2018.

21 lessons for the 21st century
by Yuval Noah Harari

Harari is often pitched as a-sage-of-the-moment. While I am wary of prophet labels, after enjoying his previous books (Sapiens, Homo Deus) he is clearly both eloquent and arresting on the history and potential future of humankind. Now he tackles the most pressing challenges of the present.

The book promises a lot, but Harari has a lot at his command. He is adept at unearthing findings from the past and weaving those nuggets in to a modern narrative. At a quick skim, I can see he asks many questions – I am intrigued to see what the answers might be.
Charlotte Ransom

by Tim Harford

I hope this book will go some way towards validating my occasional disorder, and gives me licence to elevate to a more productive chaos. Harford is a prize-winning economist, a senior FT columnist, presenter on Radio 4 and the best-selling author of titles such as The Undercover Economist. So if someone this obviously organised advocates more messiness, I want to know why.

I’ve always liked Harford’s engaging style – and if he can explain how a more unstructured approach helps me to solve problems more efficiently and to be more inventive, even better.
Thomas Salter

In extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin
by Lindsey Hilsum

Marie Colvin was a war correspondent for the Sunday Times who was tragically killed during the siege of Homs in Syria in 2012. But even though her ‘office’ was the theatre of war, she was renowned for her humanity – on many occasions risking her life to save those in danger.

I remember Colvin’s writing as peppered with vigour and empathy. This chronicle by Hilsum, a Channel 4 News editor who knew her, promises to detail the many strands to this courageous reporter. Although Colvin’s skill was getting people to tell their stories, I desperately want to read hers.
Rachel Willox

The lessons of history
by Will and Ariel Durant

A great deal of knowledge and effort goes into making things simple. So it is reassuring that this whirlwind tour of the history of humanity and our culture has exhaustive reserves to plunder. Over five decades, in 11 immense volumes, the authors meticulously narrated The Story of Civilization.

For those pressed for attention the Pulitzer Prize winning duo then helpfully condensed their findings to summarise meaningful lessons from history. I’m hoping their neat 128-page distillation – of our passage through war, conquest and creation – will reinforce my understanding of the current era. At least I should have the time to find out!
Iain Barnes

Doughnut economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist
by Kate Raworth

How can we prosper while also being good to the planet? I am keen to discover how economist Kate Raworth tackles such a critical puzzle. She advocates ‘doughnut economics’, presented as a sweet-spot solution for humans and Earth. Instead of focusing on economic growth we should ensure that everyone has access to their basic needs and that our ecosystem is protected: the middle of the doughnut being those needs, the outer limit the environmental constraints. Or that at least is how I understand it before reading the book!

Of course, we must do all this while still growing – and creating jobs – and Raworth talks of not limiting opportunities for the future. I think climate change is one of the big issues we face so it is important to read books on this topic and this one caught my eye – for the title, the line of thinking and to see if it provides credible answers to this global challenge. With her book in the running for a couple of major prizes last year, chances are doughnut economics offers much more than a half-baked idea.
Gerard Lyons

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