From darkly comic novels and escapist beach reads to non “woo-woo” self-help and business psychology, the Grace Blue team has put together twelve summer book recommendations that we hope will provide inspiration wherever you are in the world.
Your Grace Blue Team
Our top books
1. The Better Brother by Simon Gravatt
A highly observant and amusing comic tale of sibling rivalry laced with the power, passion, revenge and everyday friction of family business. Entertaining and easy to read, but has the ingredients of power, revenge and great British humour. An excellent read for the beach.
Ian Priest, Global Chairman
2. The Book of Echoes by Rosanna Amaka
A novel set in 1981, it tells two parallel stories of Michael, a sixteen-year-old in Brixton who is accused of a crime he did not commit, and Ngozi, an African village girl who leaves her home for the chance to work as a maid. They both face racial discrimination and other injustices until their lives collide and will be transformed for ever. Highly recommended!
Juliet Timms, Co-Founder and Global CEO
3. I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
A thriller full of suspense where Pilgrim, an American former intelligence agent, writes a book on forensic pathology. As he becomes involved in a case in New York City, a mysterious woman uses his book to commit inexplicable murders in the aftermath of 9/11. I absolutely loved it!
Jay Haines, Co-Founder and CEO Americas
4. Born in Blackness by Howard French
Written by a former foreign correspondent, this provides a very different perspective on how history books have miscast Africa and its people. Humbling, thought provoking and incredibly relevant, demonstrating how this misrepresentation continues to translate into many of today’s issues. A holiday read because you need time to pause and reflect.
Sarah Skinner, CEO EMEA
5. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Procrastinating was my favourite bad habit until I read this book. James Clear makes it easy to understand how small, incremental, achievable changes in your day-to-day behaviour impacts your happiness in huge ways. With clear, evidence-based guidance that isn’t too “woo woo,” delivered in an engaging style, this is the self-improvement book for those who dislike self-improvement books.
Debra Sercy, Managing Partner Americas
6. Who – The Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart & Randy Street
A New York Times Best Seller covering the most important decisions business leaders make: the WHO decisions. Although it was published 14 years ago, this is still an awesome book which provides a great overview of the competencies of “A-Player talent”, insights into the 5 top ways to secure top talent, and fascinating data points around the costs of mis-hiring. Based on 1300 hours of interviews with 20 billionaires and over 300 CEOs, this is a great source of inspiration for board members looking to appoint a new CEO, or owners of small businesses looking to grow.
David Nobbs, Managing Partner, Consumer
7. Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer
A great tale of a young man escaping communist Russia in the late 1960’s and making the decision to head to the UK or US. The story tells his journey from both angles and has a great twist … a nice easy read!
Tim Palmer, Managing Partner, Sports, Media & Entertainment
8. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
I don’t typically read non-fiction, so this is for all you fiction fans out there. I completely enjoyed this sharp and witty novel about three estranged sisters (witches) who join the suffragette movement in 19th century Salem, Massachusetts. It’s got a big heart, and though it’s an entertaining read, it also has something serious to say about female agency in the world that feels particularly relevant right now.
Erin Maxin, Director Americas
9. A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations (5th Edition) by Prof Christopher Grey
Funny, rigorous, subversive and very entertaining: it’ll challenge everything you think you know about organizations and how they work (and you don’t need to be ‘studying’ them to enjoy it).
ISBN: 13 978-1473953451
Lucy Goode, Consultant
10. Sorrow and Loss by Meg Mason
An extraordinary and amusing read with a quietly dark story line about mental health and depression: where it begins and ends and who we, as humans, are with and without it. Through the main character, Martha, the reader gets to understand why and how depression affects her life, encompassing the struggles – and triumphs – of living with depression and being able to move forward with it. Ultimately, the novel reveals ways in which being ‘ordinary’ can actually be exceptional, and how ‘failure’ can help us improve ourselves and inspire others.
David McGowan, Director
11. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Historical books about species aren’t what I’d usually pick from a bookshelf, but Sapiens lives up to its reputation. It is a high speed, deep dive into what makes our collective hive mind tick, that’s relatable and gives some context and backstory into who we are and why we do what we do. Interestingly, it pegs our evolutionary success (if we can call it that) to the human ability to tell stories; inspiring stories that have the power to draw people together creating the most successfully marketed concepts like countries and religions. I’d recommend it t anyone wanting to take a deep breath and look at the big picture from an evolutionary context.
ISBN : 9782226332196
Ayesha Desquiens, Partner APAC
12. Mindset – The new Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
In this book Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., analyses the power of mindset. The author demonstrates how we can dramatically and positively influence our lives by shifting perception of our talent and abilities, becoming aware of the difference between “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset”. If your ambition this summer is not only to relax but also to reflect on ways in which you can positively influence others and get more from yourself, this is the book for you.
Sonia Voirol, Director