It’s that time of the year once again, we’re digging out our old Christmas jumpers from winter storage, eating our body weight in mince pies and starting to accept that we’re going to hear Mariah in every shop we visit. Another perk of Christmas time is not having #FOMO when you’re not spending time outside. There aren’t many things better in winter than cosying up inside with a good book that whisks you out of the moment.
So, I asked TABbers to reveal their favourite books of the year to bring you our 12 books of Christmas recommendations. With such a variety of themes and subjects, there’ll definitely be something for you. Tweet us if you read one of our recommendations!
1. On Confidence by The School of Life/Alain De Botton
Recommended by Alex Troup
Confidence is often touted as something that a) Is an important trait to have, and b) you either have or don't. On Confidence looks at the basis and common myths around confidence, and offers the new perspective that confidence is a skill. Wonderfully accessible, and short enough to get through quickly, it's a great book for anyone looking to boost their confidence or help others to boost theirs.
2. A Monks Guide to a Clean House and Mind by Shoukei Matsumoto
Recommended by Jon Hocking
A Zen Buddhist monk writes about how there's bliss to be found in cleaning and looking after things. A nice reminder of where to find happiness in mundane tasks, while simultaneously living a calmer and cleaner life. It's all pretty simple, but that's its charm. Also, if you’re a slow reader like myself, then this is the perfect book for you as it can be read in a day!
3. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Recommended by Jon Prins
This is a moving and great read. A black nurse, Ruth, has to deal with a white supremacist newborn baby. She gets accused of not doing her job properly and as a result is charged with a crime. The story covers the following trial and the perspectives of the people involved. Ruth and Kennedy (a white lawyer) have to start to trust each other and go through their own journey realising life on the other side is not as simple as they thought.
4. Miracle Morning: The Six Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8am by Hal Elrod
Recommended by Lauren Grimwood
In this book, you'll find an actionable framework you can use to improve your life. It's called Life S.A.V.E.R.S and stands for Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. The biggest lesson you’ll learn is that your morning routine can miraculously transform your life into an extraordinary one.
5. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Anna Rosling Rönnlund et al
Recommended by Zachary Borrelli
This is a light-hearted but data-rich book that calibrates our view of the world and explains how our cognitive processes can lead us astray. In a post-truth world, it's always good to have an arsenal of ways of thinking to challenge the distorted views we come across in our present time.
6. Close to the Machine: Technophilia and its Discontents by Ellen Ullman
Recommended by Harriet May
This book is incredible. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone working in tech - it’s the memoir of a female software engineer working in the 1980s and 90s in Silicon Valley, as she navigates the relationship between people and technology. Beautifully written, funny, riveting: "Any ethics or morals or second thoughts, any questions or muddles or exceptions, all dissolve into a junky Nike-mind: Just do it."
7. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
Recommended by Marcus Southon
Best book I've read this year. How much do you know about why we actually fall asleep and what happens to the brain when we're sleeping? Well, I can tell you it is freakin’ crazy! We spend a huge portion of our lives in this unconscious state, that we know so little about. This book gives you an insight into the huge importance of sleep and the amazing way our brain works. The chapter on 'dreaming' will blow your face off.
8. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carryrou
Recommended by Harriet May
This book is a shocking and breathtaking declaration of the rise and collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup. Written by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
9. The Four Agreements by Don Michael Ruiz
Recommended by Shaima Eaton
This is an absolute game changer if you're looking at ways to personal freedom and happiness! Written by a shamanic teacher and healer, he explains self-limiting beliefs and simplifies code of personal conduct in a metaphoric way.
10. How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics by Michael Pollan
Recommended by Rory Collins
This will blow your mind. This is basically a history of psychedelics up to now and what the new generation of psychedelic science is conjuring up at the moment. It also predicts how we might be able to tap into psychedelics for all kinds of mental health issues. Utterly fascinating.
11. Product Management in Practice: A Real-World Guide to the Key Connective Role of the 21st Century by Matt LeMay
Recommended by Joe Wapshott
Matt's book moves away from the theory around creating great products to discuss the more practical day-to-day activities for the 'critical connective role for modern organisations', which can often include 'difficult conversations, practical compromises, and hard-won incremental gains'. He explores this through the CORE lens - Communication, Organisation, Research, Execution - to provide Product Manager's with the skills they need to excel in a Product Management role in 2018.
12. Becoming by Michelle Obama
Recommended by Anna Fletcher-Morris
Michelle Obama’s memoirs Becoming is a story of hope, faith and triumph over adversity. The book details Michelle’s formative years, her career, and her relationship with Barack and her family, chronicling her journey, from growing up in the South Side neighbourhood of Chicago, to her life as First Lady and beyond. A truly inspiring read!