Book Recommendations

Jim Kwik, an expert in memory improvement and brain performance, advocates the benefits of speed reading for dramatically increasing understanding and retention of what you read.

If, like me, you can reach the end of a page and not be able to remember any part of what you’ve just read then take a look at this guide for more on how to improve your reading speed.

In my own (sort-of) twist on speed reading, I’ve listed below some of the books I’ve enjoyed and found value in.

What’s it about? Founder of sustainable style brand Tala and fitness tech brand Shreddy, Grace Beverley challenges contradictory societal pressures that advocate for working 24/7 while simultaneously prioritising self-care. Learning from her experience, she shares tips and techniques to help the reader understand how they can best boost their productivity, avoid burnout and practice self-care. 

My key takeaway: Has one size ever fitted all? We all need to spend time working out the routines and ways of working that work best for us (and these routines don’t need to look exactly the same every day). It’s also important that we define what productivity and hard work looks like for us individually in order to get the best out of ourselves and live more balanced and fulfilling lives.

What’s it about? Following his journey to uncover and correct the root of some of his own health issues, science journalist James Nestor explores how over time humans have lost the ability to breathe properly, and the wide-ranging repercussions this has on our health and wellbeing. Through his own experimentation and research, he demonstrates how making small and seemingly insignificant changes to our bodies most fundamental function – to breathe – can dramatically improve not only our health, but our quality of life.

My key takeaway: The simplicity of the solution which is, in a very small nutshell, to breathe through our noses instead of our mouths. There are so many straightforward exercises we can all do to improve our health that don’t cost us money or much of our time.

What’s it about? The premise of the book (which wouldn’t have come about were it not for a series of chance encounters and distant connections that eventually led the authors to meet) lies in the power that networks can have in our lives. Combining Greg Lockwood’s expertise on ‘network theory’ and Richard Koch’s business strategy acumen, this book doesn’t cover the ‘how’ of networking so much as tell (or remind) us about the ‘why’ we should be making the most of the different types of networks around us and the value that can be found in the most unlikely places.

My key takeaway: Even the most fleeting or forgettable encounters and the most distant or unlikely connections can have a profound impact on our lives, Understanding the different types of networks and recognising that we all have a role to play within them can help us tap into their power.

What’s it about? With over a decade of experience training companies and individuals to Brag Better, Meredith Fineman teaches you to rethink the negative associations around bragging and provides strategies that will help you effectively communicate your achievements and skillset to others. This isn’t about false bravado or pretending to be more competent or qualified than you are, but finding quiet confidence in sharing your opinions, abilities and achievements.

My key takeaway: Bragging doesn’t have to be a dirty word. You’re doing yourself a huge disservice by not sharing your capabilities or achievements with others and there are ways to share more about your success in a way that is effective and feels authentic to you.