CYB recommends: 10 books for Christmas
Caution Your Blast Ltd is kicking off the festive season with some book recommendations from our team. From business to fiction, science, photography, motherhood and faith, you’re sure to find something for everyone.
TIP: check your local second hand book store first before buying new. :)
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez
"This had a profound impact on me - it gave me the vocabulary to describe why the world felt like it didn’t work for me as a woman. It asserts that the world is designed for, and by men - we therefore live in a world built for the ‘default male'. Everything is designed with a typical man in mind, meaning that lots of decisions are being made without consideration for the impact on women. I think about this book and its message daily, and bring it into my work life: constantly thinking about how we might design an inclusive world, and trying to reduce the gender data gap."
- Katie, Head of User Research
Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke
"In a workplace parable, Christina Wodtke elegantly demonstrates the power and principles behind team prioritisation and alignment. This ticks all of my boxes for a professional book - it’s a quick read that’s easy to understand, it transforms your mindset and it gives you the tools to start applying what it teaches. There’s even some transferable lessons/principles to life outside of work and remaining focused on what matters most without distraction or feeling guilty."
- Ros, Product/Delivery Associate
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
"This book was recommended to me by my yoga teacher and has gained a reputation of a must read amongst yogis. However, this isn't just for Yogis and applies to all of us! Whilst the science of breathing is no new topic, this book does give some strong evidence and research into how we breathe and how this can affect us. Many people find it difficult to breathe naturally (not just shallow or chest breathing) and do not realise that the secret art of living lies in how we breathe. Whilst reading this book I guarantee your mouth stays closed and you will befriend your nostrils!"
- Marleen, Operations Manager
Invisible Jumpers by Joseph Ford (knitting by Nina Dodd)
"If there’s a book that puts a smile on my face each time I pick it up, it’s Invisible Jumpers. The concept of the book is simple. A series of photographs depicts people in their favourite surroundings - but what makes these photographs so arresting is that one part of their body is completely camouflaged by a knitted piece of clothing that matches the background. The utter genius of the knitted items that mimic the complexity of a scene and the sheer beauty of the photographs make this book an inspirational treasure."
- Christine, Head of Branding and Design
What Mothers Do: especially when it looks like nothing by Naomi Stadlen
"Ten years ago a postnatal doula recommended this book to me. My daughter was four months old. I finally got around to reading it last month and wish I hadn’t left it so long.
What I like about it as a user researcher is that the author gathers together observed behaviours and quotes from mothers over the years during her work as a breastfeeding counsellor and dares to articulate what is not articulated about motherhood. Not all of it is pretty, but I found it compelling and insightful of aspects of motherhood that are rarely discussed."
- Sarah, User Researcher
Prediction Machines by Agrawal, Gans and Goldfarb
"Prediction Machines by Agrawal, Gans and Goldfarb is really high on my work reading this year, it’s all about AI and machine learning. It’s great as it unpicks and exposes some of the complexity while explaining fundamental reasons behind ‘why now’. AI is definitely the future (and the present) and this is a great book for understanding why it matters and what sort of shift it will bring in society."
- Rich G, Director of Digital Services
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
"A superb non-fiction book discussing how one woman and her cancerous cells accelerated modern medicine. Henrietta Lacks was a poor black woman whose cells were stolen, which ultimately propelled the needs for ethics within medicine. Henrietta's stolen cells changed modern science and were sold across the world and used to create a number of life changing vaccines. The book further discusses race, class and the injustice Henrietta and her family faced. A poignant reminder of the need for ethics and consent."
- Sian, User Researcher
Cosmos by Carl Sagan
"It's the book that will teach most people how little, delicate and beautiful we are as humans and how precious we are. One of the most influential science promoters of the 20th Century and a big believer in space exploration. Give it a read!"
- Edu, Product Manager
Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin
"I much prefer watching a video or listening to a podcast, but this book caught my attention. A book about the relevance of Christianity in the modern age written by a highly educated, same-sex attracted woman - I couldn’t pass on that. The author brings up topics like diversity, suffering, and sexuality, and answers them in a way that makes sense and doesn’t condone many of the hurtful things Christians of the past and present have done. It respects the topic, and explains how a 2,000-year-old religion can still be relevant in the 21st century."
- Rich B, Full Stack Developer
Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndam
"I started reading John Wyndam books as a child after Chocky was serialised for children's TV and I will always remember how scared I was when watching The Day of the Triffids adaptation! The book was written in 1957 and tells the tale of an English village in which there is a blackout and everyone passes out. When the blackout is lifted, life for those affected returns to apparent normality - except every woman of child-bearing age inside the zone has suddenly and inexplicably fallen pregnant. The children are other, different and powerful and they start to represent a very real threat."
- Vicky, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager