What are ECI reading? Our spring 2021 reading list recommendations

07/04/2021
Read Time: 3 Min

As lockdown restrictions start to ease, and reading in the sunshine becomes a distinct possibility, we ask the ECI team what they’re reading this spring: 

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, by Bill Gates

George Moss

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, by Bill Gates

In the current global environmental situation, it can be easy to feel despondent about what we can do to reverse the damage to our planet before it’s too late. What Bill Gates does in this book is make the consequence of doing nothing clear, but also sets out a plan for people to get behind in order to avoid a climate catastrophe. It is clear when reading the book that he is a real expert on the topic, and whilst his focus is on practical targets, this isn’t a CEO perspective as much as someone who is passionate about creating a better world before it’s too late. A good read for anyone who is interested in what should be expected of leaders in the coming decades, and who needs to be brought along in order to face the environmental problems together.

George Moss

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant

Suzanne Pike

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant

Adam Grant looks at what it is that sets original thinkers apart, and how we can adopt some of those tactics and processes to avoid group-think. Although there are lots of examples here which are relevant to entrepreneurs – highlighting innovators who are transforming the world we operate in – there are also lots of case studies around how to nurture originality and welcome confrontation across our personal and professional life. For example, how do parents encourage non-conformity and challenge in their children or how do CEOs get honest feedback from across their business? A captivating read that compels you to see the value of changing the status quo.

Suzanne Pike

Salt Path, by Raynor Winn

Jeremy Lytle

Salt Path, by Raynor Winn

I found this book uplifting and strangely compelling – it is the true story of a couple who are made homeless in their mid-fifties and he is diagnosed with a terminal illness at the same time. They resort to walking the 630 mile south west coast path from Somerset to Dorset. It’s a story about hope and resilience coming out of near total despair, and the warmth and generosity of some of the people they meet along the way. Oddly, it reminded me of Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris in London, both in highlighting how tough it is to survive on so little, and how challenging that can be when there is conspicuous consumption all around. A useful reminder about our own luck and how important small kindnesses can be to others.

Jeremy Lytle

The Man Who Came Uptown, by George Pelecanos

Chris Watt

The Man Who Came Uptown, by George Pelecanos

George Pelecanos is a Greek American crime writer based in Washington DC, and he’s also the screenwriter for the HBO series The Wire. I’ve not got around to watching The Wire, but I’ve read pretty much all of Pelecanos’s novels, The Man Who Came Uptown, being the most recent. The main protagonist, Michael Hudson, inspired by Anna, the prison librarian, discovers a love of reading while inside. Will this help him get back on the straight and narrow once he is released, or will he be drawn back to a life of crime? A common feature of Pelecanos’ writing is the nuanced approach he takes to the issues of crime and race relations in DC and this book is no exception. Crime writing with a social conscience is fairly unusual, but makes his works stand out. His books also provide the reader with a window to the “real” DC – a world beyond the iconic glamour of the White House and Capitol Hill. So, having never visited Washington DC, I feel like between The West Wing and the books of George Pelecanos I’m getting to know the city pretty well! If you’ve enjoyed the likes of Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosley or James Ellroy then definitely worth checking out Pelecanos.

Chris Watt

A Visual Hug, by Andrés J Colmenares

Naomi Pham

A Visual Hug, by Andrés J Colmenares

Okay, so it is technically a book of comics, but this lockdown has been hard! This book (or alternatively follow wawawiwacomics on Instagram) cheered me up. Great to flick through when you need a quick break. A visual hug has been very necessary and I would thoroughly recommend this to bring a smile to your face. Here is one of my favourites:

wawawiwacomics we should have built a boat

Credit: @wawawiwacomics

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