Looking for a few last minute Christmas gift ideas? There’s nothing better than discovering a new book, settling down beside the fire, and being warmed by words. Here are Carbon’s top twelve books that excite us (…we’ve even read some of them!)
1. Purple Cow
by Seth Godin.
Michael Burne recommends Purple Cow to anyone who is building a game-changing, disruptive business. He discovered this remarkable book years ago. Since then it has fuelled loads of interesting and productive discussions. Godin’s advice is simple: just be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.
2. The Consciousness of Sheep
by Tim Watkins
From cows… to sheep! The Consciousness of Sheep explores the economic world stage, pointing out how people and governments behave like sheep. At a networking event, David Martin met this book’s publisher and he’s excited about reading it. David thinks the sheep metaphor resonates with Carbon’s way of doing things. “Everyone in large, traditional law firms just seems to have their head down, trundling around all day looking for more grass. It’s only when a sheep escapes from the field that they start to think: what on earth is happening? At Carbon, we’re the escaped sheep!” David grins.
3. The Lonely Planet Guide to the Middle of Nowhere
by Lonely Planet
Do you have a sense of adventure? Or are you ‘going places’ in an entrepreneurial sense? Michael Burne would love to read this book, which combines awe-inspiring full colour photographs of remote places with essays on being away, apart, or alone. Whether in the remote regions of Russia or the chaotic streets of Shanghai, exploration is a state of mind as much as a destination.
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
Another travel guide – but this one’s about intergalactic adventure! It’s no surprise that David Martin likes this quirky sci-fi favourite, full of genius neologisms and hilarious truths. Here’s one for you high-flying entrepreneurial types who know the value of bouncing back from catastrophe: “There is an art… or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”
5. Worldchanging: A Users Guide to 21st Century
by Alex Steffen
At the top of all our Christmas lists is a sustainable, liveable, prosperous future. So let’s venture into 2016 with Steffan’s ground-breaking compendium, and resolve to make next year a bit different. This book shows what’s possible in the near future – if we decide to make it so.
6. Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
This American classic has moved a few of us here at Carbon. Set during the Great Depression, it tells the story of migrant farmers setting out along the legendary Route 66. Steinbeck captures the jagged edges of resilience and hopelessness. (Just between us, the ending made our Chief Executive shed a tear on the tube between Victoria and Chancery Lane!)
7. The Hero with a Thousand Faces
the collected works of Joseph Campbell
Who are your heroes? This author reckons that archetypal heroes in different world mythologies have a lot in common. They all go on the same essential journey, from call to action to reaching their goal. A hero’s final step is using their newly found self-knowledge to improve the world. If you need any more convincing, George Lucas is a fan – Campbell’s ideas influenced Star Wars.
8. Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney
Speaking of heroes, here’s a story to share with the whole family. We love Rachel Clayfield’s suggestion, the children’s book that’s celebrating 20 years of heart-warming snuggles before bedtime. We all wish we had more time to read. But there’s always room in the day for the story-time tradition we love as high as we can hop…
9. Do It Yourself
by Thomas Bärnthaler
50 of the world’s most exciting designers and visionary artists have devised simple objects that anyone can make at home – using basic tools and everyday items. “My office at home doesn’t have a filing cabinet yet,” Jon tells Carbon Curated confidingly. “But this book has a design for one made out of broomsticks! I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
10. The Five People You Meet In Heaven
by Mitch Albom
From the same pen as ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’, this book begins at the end. A lonely war veteran awakens in the afterlife. He finds out that heaven is a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people who played a part in it. Judith Turnbull describes this book as a gripping and thoughtful read. It makes you realise that the people who affect your life most are not necessarily the ones you’re closest to.
11. Man’s Search For Meaning
by Viktor Frankl
Frankl came to believe that man exists in order to find meaning and purpose in life. He wrote this thesis on secret scraps of paper in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. Despite enormous loss, Frankl found his own sense of purpose: to finish his thesis ‘Man’s Search For Meaning.’ It sounds like a grim read – and yes, Frankl describes his experiences with striking truthfulness and accuracy. But his belief in man’s essential goodness is ultimately uplifting.
12. Oh, The Places You’ll Go
by Dr. Seuss
“Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.”