3 book recommendations to educate and inspire over the festive period


If you have some down-time over the Christmas period, there can be nothing nicer than settling down with a good book. And if you’re at a loss for Christmas presents for those difficult to please people, read on.

I’d like to share with you three great reads that will satisfy your quest for learning without being too heavy or academic. Each is incredibly well written (and researched) and has a lot to teach us about humanity (in very different ways!).

1. “Difficult Conversations” by Bruce Patton, Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Next week I’ll be writing to you with advice about how to avoid arguments over Christmas. In the meantime, this is one of my top reads on having the difficult conversations that we all need to have, and how they can help us to really understand what’s going on during those conversations. This book is essential reading. It can help with every difficult conversation you have in your life, whether that be with loved ones, people at work or in relationships where there’s friction. I teach people how to have difficult conversations and sometimes recommend this book to clients who have described it as life changing.

2. “Twice A Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey” by Bruce Clark

This book is a wonderful, moving read that would be easy to gift. It will appeal to history buffs, and talks about the forced mass migration between Turkey and Greece. There’s a passage at the very beginning of the book – which I consider to be poetry – which in itself begins a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be a refugee and to move countries. The whole book is filled with insights which can be applied to some of the most intractable situations that our world is facing today.

3. “Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet” by Dallas Campbell

This book, hot off the press, is guaranteed to be a winner with all you science geeks, or your science geek friends! It’s a completely different, incredibly well-researched and fun to read guide to space and space travel stories. I haven’t yet finished it, but having read parts and spoken to the author and one of the researchers I’m confident that it’s a brilliant book that takes readers on a fun and interesting journey through space. Don’t just take my word for it; this book also comes highly recommended by Nature.

If you give any of these books a read, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I’d love to hear what you think, so do let me know!