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Team Talk: National Book Lovers Day

On National Book Lovers Day, we’re calling time out from our screens today setting down the screens and taking a moment to appreciate the awe-inspiring power of books. Whether it’s something we read years ago that left a mark, or something we’ve powered through on the beach this summer. We chatted to some of the literary lovers in our ASG team to see what pages they’ve been turning.

What’s the last book you read that left an impression?

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Crying in the H Mart is a memoire honouring the life of Michelle’s late mother and it navigates their tense and difficult relationship. Food is at the centre of this book, as Michelle finds herself forming a connection with her mother in the process of learning how to prepare and cook traditional Korean food. It is a beautiful book that grips the reader and makes you reflect on the relationship you have with your own family. I highly recommend it! It really caught me off guard in a way I was not expecting.

Clodagh Daly, Junior Account Executive (Recruitment Team)

How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie

Dark but hilarious, How to Kill Your Family made me laugh out loud a few times while I was reading it on our family holiday. I’m sure I received a few funny looks from my fellow sun loungers when they saw the title! I would definitely recommend as an easy summer read even if you’re not naturally a big reader. I found it hard to put down.

Emma Murray, Deputy CEO and Media Strategist

Troy by Stephen Fry

As a former student of history and as someone interested in mythology, Troy really appealed to me. Fry imbues the story with a great sense of humour alongside excellent characterisation.

Fraser Jordan, Office Administrator

Which book have you read that changed the way you think about life?

Work Rules!: Insights from inside Google that will transform how you live and lead by Laszlo Bock

Written by the former SVP of People at Google Bock tells the story of the successes and failures of building the culture at Google. Completely fascinating, Bock mixes real experiences with behavioural economics and human psychology and gives an insight into why Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work. It sparked an interest in me on how teams are built and how they work. This is actually part of the reason I decided to return to the office environment after 8 years of self employment!

Darren Davison, Creative Director

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

A manifesto for working women and the men and women who live with them and support them. I found this book incredibly inspiring. Using Sheryl’s own experiences in Facebook as well as data and advice, she talks through how to lean into leadership while pushing for gender equality and finding partnership in all aspects of your life. Brilliantly motivating, a book that anyone interested in a leadership role should read.

Emma Murray, Deputy CEO and Media Strategist

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I’m not sure if I am a fan of the book itself but reading it during lockdown gave me new insights into life. The book follows a man faced to live out his days in a Russian hotel after the Bolshevik Revolution and it goes through decades of his life describing the small things he did in order to survive. The book definitely changed my perspective on time and how I spend my days, as well as the importance of relationships.

Fraser Jordan, Office Administrator

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A book I always come back to is The Great Gatsby. I had a really inspiring female teacher at AS Level at School and this was part of the curriculum at the time. I love everything about the book. The themes around time, fate, societal construct and modern life as well as sometimes feeling out of step with a world driven by consumerism. It really has a lot to unpack in such a short book!

Susannah Hylands, General Manager of Employer Marketing

Do you have a stand-out, all time favourite read?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

A book about artwork but the book itself is a work of art in my opinion! It’s really fantastic and I would recommend it to anybody who looks for characters they can feel attached to, as well as a story that they can’t forget. For me it’s a book that really engages the reader in an emotional way – I love it.

Clodagh Daly, Junior Account Executive (Recruitment Team)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

An absolute classic, I could read this over and over again. It’s a brilliantly written book that shines a light on racism in a small town in America as well as a loss of innocence and faith in the judicial system. Even though it’s set in the 1930s it’s still incredibly relevant to current time.

Emma Murray, Deputy CEO and Media Strategist

Matilda by Roald Dahl

I find it impossible to choose a favourite book or author as an adult. I love a lot of different books and authors and with my French/ Spanish degree I’ve been lucky to experience reading in all three languages. It’s too hard to choose just one. Instead I’ve chosen a book I loved when I was young.  I remember being completely gripped by Matilda’s horrible parents and Miss Trunchbull’s rage all while wishing I had Matilda’s secret super power! Such a brilliant book that never ages.

Susannah Hylands, General Manager of Employer Marketing

“You really ought to read more books – you know, those things that look like blocks but come apart on one side.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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