We recently asked members and friends which books we should add to the library for summer. As summer becomes autumn, and our back to school mindsets kick in — these are now yours to borrow.
We're adding these in batches. If you see something you'd like to borrow, drop us an email and we can tell you if it's on the shelves or not. Many thanks to those who took time to share.
Recommended by: Lee Farrant, RPM
A raw, sometimes painful, and often funny account of a woman’s journey to the edge of what she believes she is capable of. Of interest if you have ever dreamt about taking on a seemingly impossible physical challenge.
Olivia Gold, Everyman Group
Mengiste’s debut is a gripping story about a time and place that has rarely been explored in fiction – Ethiopia, on the eve of the 1974 revolution. It’s a poetic exploration of a family bond in unbelievable circumstances.
Based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese child refugee who immigrated to the United States under the “Lost Boys of Sudan” program. It’s an eye-opening account of life amid the madness of war.
The true story of one man's single-minded quest to reclaim the world-class art collection, stolen from his family by the Nazis. It reveals notes from painstaking detective work, and rediscovering a legacy.
Boys as close as brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the Holocaust. The story – written by a former trial attorney – takes place 60 years later, as one brings the other to trial for his Nazi past.
An account of how a Chinese peasant boy, selected to attend Madam Mao’s Peking Dance Academy, later moved to the US where he came one of the West’s best ballet dancers.
Matt Kemp, Scriberia
The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World by Lewis Hyde
A wonderfully written book that looks at the idea of “gift economies” through various lenses, including the poetry of Ezra Pound and Walt Whitman.
Somewhere between pop-science and a productivity guide, this is very readable, very interesting and highly applicable.
A helpful approach to productivity. First published in the 1990s, it became one of the most influential business books of its era.
A shorter, stripped back and flexible take on David Allen’s 'Getting Things Done' system.
“Intuition Pumps” are philosopher Daniel Dennet’s name for conceptual tools to help with clear thinking. It’s a good look at what “survival of the fittest” really means in the modern world.
A paradigm-shifting book. It’s an extensive survey of the history of human violence in all its forms, and makes a thorough case that we have reason to be very optimistic for the future of our species.
A well-written look at the power of the humble checklist, especially when building a business.
A classic by Carl Sagan, it looks at the urgent need for science and skepticism in society, and internal life.
Matter-of-fact advice for better productivity, stemming from a Covey's simplified outline of seven essential habits.
Paul Willoughby, Human After All
A truly inspirational read, free of dogma, and full of poetic aphorisms on all the big subjects in life. Gilbran was the acclaimed philosopher and founder of the religious lifestyle Taoism.
An ode to a slower, more ancient way of life ordered by seasons and sheep herding. Part memoir and part a history of farming in the Lake District, it describes life working in the countryside – the familial claustrophobia as well as the freedom.
A book of daily stoic meditations, to follow over the course of a year. A powerfully uplifting book of advice by figures such as Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, and slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus.
Ned Mortimer, Propercorn
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, it chronicles a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. The Underground Railroad is not just a metaphor; it’s a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil that takes protagonist Cora on an epic journey.
An extraordinary true story Roberts’ eight years in the Bombay underworld – from being a heroin addict, to setting up a free-health clinic, joining the mafia, spending time in an Indian jail, acting in Bollywood… and much, much more.
Nobel prize winner and pioneering author of magical realism, Márquez tells a tale of an unrequited love. A cornerstone of Latin America literature.
A lifeboat is all that remains from a shipwreck. The only survivors are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra, a female orangutan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger…
James Trosh, Red Bull Media House UK
A true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom – and almost got away with it. It depicts the clash of the new world of the anonymous, free-spanning Web versus the world of centralised government control and order.
Michael Brenner, Beyond Words Studio
In under eighty pages, you'll understand the most transformative scientific discoveries of the twentieth century, and what they mean for us. An introduction to modern physics that can be applied to creative thinking, and expanding the boundaries of what's possible.
Good for thinking about general design. Cognitive scientist Don Norman explores the psychology behind good design and why some technologies disappoint us.
A collection of witty illustrations and whimsical views on working creatively. The mundanity of modern life becomes charming with Niemann’s illustrative and photographic musings.
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4," African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian by W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell is the hilarious host and producer of CNN’s Emmy-nominated show United Shades of America. Humour and politics intertwined, The New Yorker wrote of him: "Bell’s gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women’s issues as inseparable."
Simon Manchipp, SomeOne
An exciting and insightful study of the metropolis of Bombay, told through the lives of hitmen, dancing girls, cops, movie stars, beggars and politicians.
The phenomenal journey of Nike as candidly told by its founder.
About the people (not pixels) behind Google. A fun primer on corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption.
Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques, honed over years, that have made Pixar so widely admired―and so profitable. Not just a history, it’s a book about how Pixar continues to be brilliant.
Michael Tropper, forpeople
A grand story of youthful idealism, and a girl who ends up working for a Wikileaks-type company that gathers in all the secrets of the world.
Lucy Tams, KK Outlet
Village Christmas And Other Notes On The English Year by Laurie Lee
A lyrical portrait of England through the ages; it details the sights, sounds, vistas and traditions of Lee’s childhood home in the Cotswolds. A sweet and nostalgic look at life.
Katie Bremner, KK Outlet
Written before The Handmaid’s Tale, this novel similarly grapples with notions of national and gendered identity. An unnamed protagonist, politically dispossessed, returns to her childhood home to find her father missing.
The book gathers the influential curator's interviews with some of the foremost musicians and composers of the 1950s-1990s, including interviews with Yoko Ono and Brian Eno.
Neurologist Oliver Sacks recounts stories of the most bizarre disorders he's worked on, and the enigmatic personalities behind them. The title literally references a man who couldn’t distinguish between his wife and his hat. A fascinating insight into the incredible capabilities of the mind.
Natalie Hart, KK Outlet
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
A modern epic, about a boy who survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum, as his beloved mother dies. Staggering out of the debris, he takes with him a small Dutch Golden Age painting – The Goldfinch – which serves as his hope and obsession as he descends into a world of crime. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014.
Anya C. Driscroll, KK Outlet
Fancy pencil, basic biros, and aesthetically pleasing rubbers… James Ward looks into where these things come from, and what stories they might have to tell. He answers questions including: Who is Mr Pritt of Pritt-Stick fame?
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
An 'intelligent fantasy' story – a kaleidoscopic look into an unusual woman’s life. Mitchell uses his characteristic blend of science and fiction, sense and nonsense.
A roundup of personal essays from the writer named by Time as 'America’s Favourite Humourist'. A laugh-out-loud funny look at his most vulnerable moments in life, that will likely cause you to cringe with recognition.
Featuring the best of Ronson’s adventures (including attending a UFO convention in the Nevada desert with Robbie Williams), this collection of essays explores both extraordinary people, and the fascinating stories that lie on fringe of our daily lives.
The Circle by Dave Eggers
A novel about our obsession with the Internet, which looks at the ins-and-outs of a fictional super-power tech company.
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
It begins like this: Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley’s house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught. A vivid, Man Booker Prize winning novel.
A story about a missionary called to leave behind his wife to take the word of God to the farthest corners of the galaxy. A mind-bending story by the writer behind Under The Skin. Read it before it comes out as an Amazon Original Series in late 2017.
Mayumi Beckers, KK Outlet
Arundhati Roy described it as “an ordinary person’s guide to hope”. It articulates the restless anxiety we have towards contemporary politics and how we got to where we are. A necessary manual for constructive disobedience.
Maria Midttun, KK Outlet
A detective story that takes advantage of the comic book medium, playing with form and interweaving different storytelling techniques.
Jemima Ferguson, COOK
An exploration into the methods and mindset that foster a practice of distraction-free productivity at work. It’s an inspiring collection of tools to show how to get every last drop of value out of your intellectual capacity.
An insightful look and why habits exist, and how they can be changed. Duhigg shows us how certain habits have benefitted people from Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz
Nick Fahey, MMT Digital
Haruki Murakami reflects on how running has effected his writing life. A philosophical look at distance running, in all its gruel and glory.
Dean Faulkner, YCN
Tony Hsieh, the CEO of online retailer Zappos recounts anecdotes and lessons learnt from running a business that does over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. He shows how to apply research from the science of happiness, and make company culture the no.1 priority.
Joe Cruz, artist and illustrator
Dr. Aaron Rosen, the Lecturer in Sacred Traditions & the Arts at King’s College London, shows how religious themes and images are unavoidable in the work of contemporary artists across the globe. It looks at how artists working with spiritual and meditative ideas, are just as profound at the ‘blaspheming artists’ merely using religious imagery for its shock potential.
Will Hudson, It’s Nice That
The founder of Patagonia Inc. reflects on his unique business, which has grand adventures and environmental protection at its centre. Includes little known stories such as how a small experiment to improve the design of an ice axe became basis of all modern axe design.
Ed Andrews, director and editor
The account of how an ordinary man became the king of the largest slum in Rio, the head of a drug cartel, and Brazil’s most wanted criminal.