World Book Day – what the Clarity team is reading

The Clarity team not only loves books, we love World Book Day too. In fact there was discussion about whether we would all dress up for it. Sadly this got vetoed on account of the way it would probably turn the office into something resembling the set of a Harry Potter film – with way too many Hermiones! In London today the office looks more like The Chronicles of Narnia but that’s another story…

Anyway here are the team’s favourite books. Some people have offered not just their favourite novel but a business book too.

Happy World Book day.

Michelle O’Rourke (New York)

How To Win Friends And Influence People – A great read to better yourself and gain what you want out of your career. A truly motivating read that will inspire you to go after what you want and gain an understanding of people to help you get what you want to achieve.

Sara Collinge (London)

The Warrior, The Strategist and You – Floyd Woodrow, former SAS – inspiring book about self-leadership, having a clear plan and then going after it by bringing your team along with you.

Ashley Dennee (London)

The Great Gatsby. I’ve read it numerous times and every time I do, I find a new angle or hidden commentary on excess and society. It’s like reading a new book every time!

Samantha Dickson (London)

Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? Any book by Seth Godin is worth the read. He challenges people to move beyond the norm, especially in the workplace, encouraging readers to be unpredictable in order to get ahead in everything they do.

Darryl King (London)

Tiffany Haddish’s memoir – The Last Black Unicorn. The reason why The Last Black Unicorn is my favourite book is that out of all of the autobiographies I’ve read, it’s one of the rawest and most honest depictions of someone’s life. You’ll laugh, cry and empathise with all of the trial and tribulations Tiffany Haddish has gone through to the point where her career exploded. She is a prime example of someone who has had horrendous episodes in her life but due to her personality and her perception of the various situations she’s able to learn and grow and surpass her setbacks.

Robert Andrews (London/Cardiff)

Startup Blueprint: 7 Skills For Founders, Builders & Leaders, by (ahem) Robert Andrews. I love this book, because I wrote it! Startup Blueprint was part-experiment, part desire to learn – my quest to understand, and convey, the entrepreneurial mindset it takes to start up. Despite having helped tell hundreds’ of great companies’ stories, I had never told a cohesive story over this length – almost 25,000 words – before. In the book, readers learn how to lead a company like an army officer, how to be persuasive and more skills, all through the eyes of founders I admire and have worked with. Get your free chapter at now.

Also Ghostwritten, David Mitchell. This is a great piece of fiction that is big in scope, grander than a conventional novel. Ten chapters tell the stories of characters in different eras and in different corners of the world – all seemingly disparate. But moments of serendipity and connectivity within each story raise the prospect that there is no such thing as coincidence, that there may be some method underlying the madness of the universe after all.

Michelle Yampolsky (New York)

I’d recommend The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. It’s my favourite book of all time – Junot does an amazing job at building out all of the characters, which gives the readers a totally different perspective from their own that’s really eye opening. I would also recommend The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. It was a beneficial read for me because it not only explained how we can build better habits and apply them in our careers, but it also highlighted really interesting case studies to prove it.

Miriam Graf (Berlin)

Pippi Langstrumpf by Astrid Lindgren and The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Chanel Sedeno (New York)

My favourite book of all time is The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho. While this may sound cheesy, I love the core message about following your heart and following your dreams, no matter the challenges in your way. After all, according to Coelho, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

There’s a reason How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie is on every entrepreneur’s list of “must-read” books. The advice within this book has stood the test of time and it covers everything from navigating small talk to negotiating what you want. Every time I re-read this book, I learn something new about human relations!

Jay Kolbe (New York)

Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The reason I love Z&TAoMM is because it’s so existential. It breaks the world down in a way that’s very removed from my current existence, being a city dweller in the rat race of NYC. It’s the opposite world. A disconnect from my current reality.

My favourite business book is  Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point. I love Tipping Point because it was the first book that confirmed many of my existing beliefs in the power of social psychology in decision making. It answers why things happen in business, and why they sometimes do not. It’s also my own personal confirmation bias.

Luke McDowell (London)

Bossypants by Tina Fey and Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham. I love Lauren Graham because she’s my life’s idol, and her book is even better in audio format And Tina Fey taught me that you can be as weird as you want to be. Both brilliantly funny books. But also kinda inspirational

Ashley Norris (London)

20,000 Streets Under The Sky – Patrick Hamilton. The ultimate London novel IMO. It is set in a Euston Road boozer in the late 20s and chronicles the story of a bizarre love triangle from each of the protagonists own perspectives. Also 2016s The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride for being a brilliant evocation of London in that odd period just before the internet, mobile phones , Brit pop, Reality TV, Tony Blair and Arsene Wenger changed everything.

My business book is Innovators in Digital News by Lucy Küng. It is a superbly researched and insightful book about how print companies pivoted to digital business models and the obstacles they had to overcome.

Sonia Carneiro (London)

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. I studied this magnificent Canadian piece of literature and its writer and became a bit of a feminist slash scandalous drama addict as a result in my teens.


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