RBC Impact Rating
RBC ReviewLondon Meetup VenueCocktail (by Mix & Muddle)Vote Result ( + the other books)
April 15Pilot in BaliStartupsZero to OnePeter Theil8The Onion Collective, BaliMojito + OneExclusive!
May-151MixHappiness by DesignPaul Dolan8Virgin HQ RoofDuppy ShareCreativity Inc / Tribes
Jun-152ProductivityThe One ThingGary Keller6Underbelly, SouthbankMojito'sAn Optimists Tour of the Future / Reasons to Stay Alive
Jul-153MixThis Changes EverythingNaomi Klein7Futerra with Ed GillespieMix & MuddleSapiens / Quiet: The Power of Introverts
Aug-154MixNever Eat AloneKeith Ferrazi6Huckletree FarringdonKingbloomThe Omnivore's Dilemma / The Story of the Human Body
Sep-155MixDoing Good BetterWilliam MacAskill9Work Life CamdenThe Obstacle is the Way / Peers Inc
Oct-156MixWild CourageElle Harrison6WeWork Devonshire PlaceBeerBods
Reinventing Organizations / The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being
Nov-157Extraodinary LivesAn Astronaut's Guide to Life on EarthChris Hadfield9Bathtub to BoardroomGuns n RoseI am Malala / Meditations
Dec-158Inside our MindsThe Chimp ParadoxDr. Steven Peters7Popup ShopMix & MuddleBrain Rules / The Talent Code
Jan-169Work habitsThe Power of HabitCharles Duhigg8Work Life CamdenThinking Fast & Slow / Remote
Feb-1610MixThis is HappeningRohan Gunatillake7WeWork Liverpool StThe Rise of Robots / Life on the Edge
Mar-1611HustleThe Art of AskingAmanda Palmer8Airbnb HQ'The Boston Cooler'Wild / We Should All be Feminists
Apr-1612Extraodinary LivesCity of LiesRamita Navai8Huckletree
Undercover Jihadi Bride / Nothing is True and Everything is Possible
Unconventional Economics
23 Things they don't tell you about CapitalismHa-Joon Chang6Virign Startup - 1st Birthday!The Flat White Economy / The Undercover Economist
Jun-1614FoodGutGiulia Enders7Blacksmith & ToffeemakerThe Omnivore's Dilemma / Eating Animals
Jul-1615RethinkDataclysmChristian Rydduer7Victoria GardensHarry Bromptons PicnicFeral / Cradle to Cradle
Aug-1616EgoEgo is the EnemyRyan Holiday8Escape the City Exclusive!
Sep-1617Adventure ClassicsA Long Way HomeSaroo Brierly8Launch 22, Old StreetTouching the Void / The Lost City of Z
Oct-1618RiskBlack Box ThinkingMatthew Syed7Work Life London FieldsBlack Box BromptonsBorn to Run / A Life Without Limits
Nov-1619Women & WorkGirl BossSophia Amaruso5
Qubit w/ Gabi Hershman, Pippa Murray
Unfinished Business / The Glass Wall
Dec-1620Future of EducationCreative SchoolsKen Robinson8Airbnb HQ'Sir Ken'Educating Ruby / The Smartest Kids in the World
Jan-1721Life HackingTools of TitansTim Ferriss10
Great way to start the year. His best podcast interviews with some remarkable characters condensed into short chapters covering health, wealth & wisdom (my favourite).
Work Life London FieldsYour Titan, My WayExclusive!
Feb-1722Young Role ModelsIn Order to LiveYeonmi Park8
A young North Korean girl escapes. Brave is an understatement. Its hard to imagine that this type of existence is a reality still today.
WeWork Devonshire Place'Bravery'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind / I am Malala
Mar-1723ReinventionReinvent YourselfJames Altucher5
So much wit and wisdom but pretty hard to follow as its literally a stream of consciousness. James was great in our skype chat.
Doodle BarExclusive!
Apr-1724Modern CrimeThe Dark NetJamie Bartlett8
A surprisingly engaging journey into the people who live in the online world of crime, porn, and destructive chat-rooms. The chapters on teenage suicide and anorexia were frightening. Jamie is a brilliant guide and journalist.
Launch 22, Old StreetThe Dark RootsNarconomics / The Snowden Files
May-1725Childs Eye ViewLittle WinsPaul Lindley7
A mission driven entrepreneur who harnessed his toddler’s frank feedback — ‘The Red One’ to build the very successful Ella’s Kitchen. Paul is a great advocate of purposeful business and playfulness.
Virgin Startup - 2nd Birthday!Orange SquashExclusive!
Alternative Political Futures
Utopia for RealistsRutger Bregman9
The most positive political book I’ve read in a while. Bregman makes the seemingly radical ideas of Universal Basic Income, a 15 hour work week and mass open borders, seriously compelling.
Work Life Clerkenwell'Utopian'Hope in the Dark / Moranifesto
Jul-1727Live ForeverHomo DeusYuval Noah Harari9
Sapiens was my book of the year for 2016, and Homo Deus — a short history of the future — is a brilliant attempt to match it. Harari is a masterful synthisiser and his glimpses into where we might be going are as exciting as they are frightening.
WeWork Paddington DeckCold, Calculated100 Year Life / Superintelligence
Aug-1728Miss-AdventureMiss-AdventureAmy Baker7
Amy’s straight talking and painfully honest tales of her travels in South America were really entertaining, as was her Q&A session with the book club in the park.
Green ParkAmy's Pisco PartyPants of Perspective / RTW Taxi
Sep-1729HistoryThe Silk RoadsPeter Frankopan8
Probably the most ambitious book we’ve taken on at RBC and the only one this year I didn’t quite finish. Silk Roads re-tells history as if the Middle East, and not Europe, is the centre of the world. Peter kindly spoke to us about how and why he wrote it which made it even more impactful.
Huckletree West'The Silk Road'SPQR: An Ancient History of Rome / Worth Dying For
Oct 1730GenderHow Not To Be a BoyRobert Webb9
The most surprising book of the year for me, both in terms of how entertaining I found Robert’s awkward tales of growing up not wanting to the be ‘the boy’ his family and society expected him to be and, also how impactful a discussion it created about masculinity.
Work Life Clerkenwell'My Man' Girls Will Be Girls / Trans Like Me
Nov 1731SleepSleep SmarterShawn Stevenson6
Like all good life hacks, sleep is a big one. This popular book shows you how to master sleep. Maybe not the ideal read for a Dad of 3 kids under 3!
The LibraryThe Sleep Revolution / Sleep
Dec 1732Random100 Year LifeLinda Gratton9
The one book I read this year that takes a big subject — increased life expectancy- and made it relevant and realistic to my current life and work. Compelling, useful and a little bit scary.
LeWagon100 Year MedicineWomen & Power / Choose Life
Jan 1833Brene Brown Theme!Braving the WildernessBrene Brown5
Brene’s writing is often mentioned at RBC. This book on ‘belonging’ had some great nuggets without ever getting into full flow, unlike the conversation it ignited at our meetup.
Huckletree Liverpool StBe Bold, Be Brave, Be GingerbreadDaring Greatly / Rising Strong
Feb 1834Race & Immigration
Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race
Reni Eddo-Lodge10
A challenging blog post that has become a book phenomenon. Reni’s articulate reflection on white privilege cut through many assumptions and generated the best conversation I’ve heard at RBC.
Zinc HQRose Tinted GlassesThe Good Immigrant / Black & British
Mar 1835CryptocurrencyBlockchain RevolutionDon Tapscott4
For one of the most exciting ideas to emerge into the world today, the book didn’t quite match the hype. But it did serve as a useful introduction to this disruptive technology and our meetup revealed that there were plenty of crypto investors and players in our club.
Rise LondonDecentralizedDigital Gold / Cryptocurrency
April 1836Future of FoodEating AnimalsJonathan Safran Foer9
Food. Always a good topic and although this book is a few years old, it seems more prescient than ever. Safran Foer’s detailed tour through the meat and dairy industry is enough to challenge any open-minded carnivore without being earnest. The kind of book you want to give to people.
Work Life Clerkenwell'The Rose Mary'Dead Zone / Farmageddon
May 1837Career HackingDesigning Your LifeBill Burnett & Dave Evans7
Nice framing on how to think about work and career like a designer and useful tools and guidance to make it happen. You’ll likely need more than this book to turn it into a reality. I’d recommend the Escape School or Nomad MBA.
Huckletree 'Prototype'Pivot / So Good They Can't Ignore You
June 1838Undercover JobsThe Secret BarristerThe Secret Barrister8
The theme of ‘undercover jobs’ was won by this brilliant and disturbing insiders view of the criminal justice system. All is not what it seems. Our mock trial at the RBC meetup proved the point of the book.
Virgin Startup'The Mistaken Icon'Hired / This is Going to Hurt
July 1839Pirates!Be More PirateSam Conniff Allende8
Sam makes the case that the Golden Age Pirates have had their story mis-told. They are in fact, the role models we’ve been looking for: fighting for justice, equality, and freedom! Fun, outlandish and a fresh take on how, inspired by pirates, we might work and live in stormy times.
Ticketmaster Den'If in doubt...RUM'Exclusive!
August 1840Travel ClassicsZen & The Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceRobert Prisig7
On the theme of travel, we read ‘Zen’ at RBC and despite the dense prose, I was engaged by the intricate metaphor of maintaining the machine and the author’s shaky mental health.
Boutique Workplace CoThe Value of GreeceAs I walked out one midsummer morning / Our of Africa
Sept 1841SimplicityWabi SabiBeth Kempton8
We’d heard of Tsundoku (the growing pile of unread books on your bedside table), and often discussed Ikagi (finding the sweet spot — purpose — in our work). Beth serenely introduces another Japanese philosophy-in-a-phrase, Wabi Sabi, how to find beauty in imperfection.
Boutique Workplace Co'This' Exclusive!
Oct 1842Transgender JourneysThe Gender GamesJuno Dawson9
A popular theme at RBC, Juno proved to be an excellent and entertaining guide into the wild world of gender transition and cleverly helps the reader realise how big a role ‘gender’ plays throughout our lives, whoever we are.
Huckletree Shoreditch'The Blend'Believe Me / Trans Like Me
Nov 1843PlasticTurning the Tide on PlasticLucy Siegle8
Lucy has been fighting the environmental cause on the BBC and beyond for a long-time. But her time has come with the swell in interest in fighting plastic and her book captures the scale of the problem and how we can tackle it whoever we are
Work Life Clerkenwell'Shrapnel on the Surf'How to Give Up Plastic / Zero Waste Home
Dec 1844Seth This Is MarketingSeth Godin9
Seth joined us via skype for our final RBC of 2018, brilliantly articulating the importance of focusing on your ‘smallest viable audience’ and making something specifically for them. Its common business sense of course, but not something that we put into practise as much as we could. An easy, story-driven and insight-laden read.
Airbnb HQLove Excellence, as a LocalExclusive!
Jan 201945Work SmartAtomic HabitsJames Clear10
The best balanced (psychology + practical action) on habits forming and breaking that I've read. The kind of book that pushes you to start changing things straight away. Have recommended it a lot already.
Boutique Workplace CoStack & AutomateStealing Fire / Hyperfocus
Feb 201946Body PositivityJust Eat ItLaura Thomas7
Fun and passionate challenge to diet culture. Insights:
- Accepting that babies/kids regulate their feeding but adults don' > society undermined trust in our own bodies (minds)
- Language (especially with children) needs to be managed carefully...pudding incentives etc..
- Gherline is the hunger hormone...'gherlin makes your tummy grumble' (spot the diff between physical & emotional hunger')
- Emotional eating is a prob when its the ONLY way of coping
- Diet culture is everywhere, a bit like 'gym culture' and most of the time it really isn't helpful
- Laura would be fun to have dinner with!


Personal Actions:
- Be more aware of food language around my children (and in general)
- Understand that for many people, relationship with food is more complex that you might assume
- Eat More Plants!

Q for Laura: It seems we live in a time where knowing so much more about what we eat is empowering but also brings the burden of the perceived good/bad it can do to ourselves/society/the environment. Do you agree?
Perseverance WorksComfortably NumbAm I Ugly / Body Positive Power
Mar 201947Artificial IntelligenceLife 3.0Max Tegmark8
A solid overview over the wild future of AI with a brilliant fable at the start of the book about a company that produces the world's first AI that can re-make itself and what might happens next. Frightening, engrossing and a vital book.
Habito HQPrometheusSurviving AI / The Rise of Robots
April 201948Human EconomicsDoughnut EconomicsKate Raworth9
Economics is broken, can the ‘doughnut’ save us? This is the economics book (and theory) I wish I’d been taught at school. Compelling, clear and passionate. Kate was equally convincing and energising at our London meet, one of my most recommended books in recent years. Send to all world leaders now!
Zopa HQWhen are you Satisfied?Exclusive!
May 201949Bad BusinessBad BloodJohn Carreyrou8
In 2014, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionise the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. How did the investors not do their due-diligence at such scale? A wild, frightening ride into a broken Silicon Valley culture and psychology of a sociopath. A brave piece of investigative journalism too. Reads like a thriller.
UnderpinnedClouded in DeterminationAmerican Kingpin / Dark Edge
June 201950Modern MortalityAll the Ghosts in the MachineElaine Kasket8
A glimpse into the future of digital life after real death. Painful, remarkable and one of the most thought-provoking reads in a while. It’s complicated!
KnowtelProseco + Tony'sWith the End in Mind / When Breath Becomes Air
July 201951Altered (mental) StatesHow to Change Your MindMichael Pollen9
Take a 60 something who has never tried psychadelics and follow the journey. Wonderful mix of history, science and experiment.
Entrepreneur FirstMindjuiceWalking with Einstein / The Awakened Ape
August 201952Personal FinanceMoney: A User's GuideLaura Whateley7
Cuts through the panic of personal finances and reminds you of what the basics (tax, pensions, mortgages, simple investments) you should have learnt a long time ago. Laura is a great guide to sensibly managing money and gave our members — and me — lots of great tips.
Zopa HQA User's Guide to MixersExclusive!
September 201953Planetary EmergencyThere is No Planet BMike Berners-Lee8
A surprisingly clear and useful guide to how to tackle the climate crisis. We turned our meet into a ‘pub quiz’ to help cement the books key data which is both shocking and galvanising.
Huckletree, White CityThe Stats Don't LieThis is Not a Drill / Human Planet
October 201954Losing Our MindsLost ConnectionsJohann Hari10
The book that led to our largest ever turnout at an RBC meet-up (270 in Soho) and a topic that clearly resonates with many. Johann’s skill is to tell his painful personal journey exploring recovery from depression without traditional drugs, whilst questioning the industry behind them. A lot of his ‘connections’ seemed blindingly obvious, but maybe that’s the point.
Huckletree, SohoThis is Not Your SageReasons to Stay Alive / Mad Girl
November 201955Fake NewsYou Are What You ReadJodie Jackson7
Bad news sells but good news is needed more. Jodie was an excellent guide as we shared and explored our media diets. My biggest insight: Read the news less regularly (not a few times a day), but when you do read the news, read more diversely and in more depth (beyond the headlines).
Storey Club, PaddingtonThe Influence Factfulness / Breaking News
December 201956On the Front Line
In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin
Lindsey Hilsum9
I didn’t know the story of Marie Colvin until I opened this book, but My God, what a life! Colvin saw more war than most veteran soldiers and it’s not surprising perhaps that her personal life was chaotic and her own health poor. But, incredible bravery and a constant mission to share human stories of suffering to try and bring change. Impossible not to be moved or inspired.
Samsara, AldgateFlee The Chaos, Join the ChoasEmergency Sex / Undercover Jihadi Bride
January 202057Dream Big, Start SmallThe Doorstep MileAl Humphreys6
A 'marmite' book for our members. It was either: "wow, that just what I needed, I'm off to do make things happen and this book has inspired and kicked me into action..." or "That didn't work for me / nothing new / felt like a collection of blog posts..." In person at our meet-ups, Al Humphreys, took on the challenging questions humbly and helpfully. My personal reflection is that although I know a lot of the lessons its always good to be reminded and putting them into action is worth re-reading a book like The Doorstep Mile when the time is right.
Underpinned + Huckletree WestStart SmallExclusive!
February 202058Fast FashionFashionopolisDana Thomas8
An intense, first-hand tour of the horror of the real world of fashion followed by a much more hopeful journey meeting the innovative and passionate leaders of the future of the industry. Really engaged our members and galvanised lots of action. Dana was wonderful on our first podcast episode too.
Underpinned + Huckletree WestBinary IntentionsTo Die For / How to Break Up with Fast Fashion
March 202059Power ShiftsNew Power
Henry Trimms & Jeremy Heimans
7Hopin with Jeremy HeimanWho Can You Trust? / Winners Take All
April 202060Stories of ResilienceMidnight in ChernobylAdam Higginbotham9
This book reminded me of the importance of learning from history to help navigate an uncertain future. It helped me understand some of the history of Soviet Russia & nuclear power. But above all, it is a giant case study in poor leadership (mainly due to the culture of the political system) leading to disaster and the heroic response of people to save lives on an unimaginable scale. A lot of conversation at the moment is, understandably, about looking forward. But this book (and brilliant TV series) might be one of the more powerful lessons in how - and how not - to prevent, prepare and respond to a crisis.
Hopin with Dame Sue Vegan White RussianVote Result
May 202061ParadiseThe Awakened ApeJevan Pradas3
"The happiest people in the world don't wear underwear." A great opening line for any book. Although there was plenty of interest in the book's spiritual themes and practical well-being applications (squatty potty's and no shampoo living), the majority of our members found the book contentious in its language used to describe interactions with women, problematic undertones of ableism and shortsighted conclusions about the ‘ideal body shape’. Whilst we did our upmost to give Jevan the chance to respond to our concerns (he kindly responded to our questions and calls), we didn’t feel he was able to grasp or acknowledge the complexity and magnitude of the themes we had picked up on. Jevan's response was essentially that 'they were jokes' about the men, not the women. Clearly, we didn't get it but hope that our feedback (several hundred of us started the book) will be taken on for future edits/books by the author.
Hopin: 5th BirthdayReligion for Athiests / Eat Pray Love
June 202062Gender BiasInvisible WomenCaroline Criado Perez9
Hopin with 4 x Gender Gap Specialists
UnbiasedThe Guilty Feminist / The Gendered Brain
July 202063IconsRise UpStormzy7
Rise Up gives you the inside scoop of Stormzy’s journey to stardom from the streets of Croydon to headlining Glastonbury. It showed me the level of dedication and raw emotion that goes into passion projects like an album and how to build a movement around a disruptor brand like #Merky.
Hopin with Professor of Grime & co
Fresh Icons NeededBowie A Life / Clothes Music Boys
August 202064Harari21 LessonsNoah Yuval Harari8
Humans were always far better at inventing tools than using them wisely.
Hopin with CommunitySapiens / Homo Deus
September 202065Club SoberIn the Realm of Hungry GhostsGabor Mate9
“Each carries within him/herself the ALL.” Joseph Campbell. ...coming to the end of this remarkable book I can summarise in three parts: Part 1: Painful. Part 2: Compassionate. Part 3: Awakening
Broadcast meet at HuckletreeEverlease of LifeThe Unexpected Joy of Being Sober / The Naked Mind
October 202066BorderlessThe Ungrateful RefugeeDina Nayeri9
Behind news front pages lies real stories, real suffering that we can’t just brush away and move on to the next topic. This book Very eloquently adresses people’s complex identity and search of safety.
Hopin with Dina Nayeri, Second Tree & Echo Library
HomeThe Girl Who Smiled Beads / Infidel
November 202067WhistleblowersMindf*ckChristopher Wylie9
Perfect title. This book reads like an uncomfortable but engrossing thriller that’s too close to reality 🤯
Hopin with producer of The Great Hack
HeadfuckHacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy / Permanent Record
December 202068WildTough WomenJenny Tough8
Tough be name, tough by nature. I loved this diverse range of remarkable human stories of adventure, endurance and risk-taking. Perfect end of year read and escapism. "Don't quit whilst crying."
Mulling over the YearBraiding Sweetgrass / Underland
January 202169MakersThe Art of GatheringPriya Parker7
“A great book written with brilliant examples from an amazing lady who has lived through them all. I have used many of her rules in both a personal and business gathering space and it made my life so easy.” RBC Member
The Art of MixingThe Artists Way / How I Built This
February 202170Magic NumbersThe Life-Changing Magic of NumbersBobby Seagull6
"Made me look at maths in a more positive way, I had always been disdainful of it in the past but this book has helped me see it in a different light. Enjoyed reading it!" Phil
Mind ElectricsHumble Pie / Hidden Figures
March 202171UnpluggedRestAlex Soojung-Kim Pang8
"This was the book I needed for this point in time. I appreciate and agree with some of the points others have made about the number of anecdotes and the heavy focus on creatives, but as someone who has to drastically up my creative output at the moment due to a looming book deadline, Rest resonated deeply and gave me the push to do what I already know works. I’ve always known I’m much more productive early in the morning, but I wasn’t holding myself to account, wasn’t applying the self-knowledge I have. So I’m turning in at 9 pm these days for a more comfortable 5:30 a.m. start, and although with the pandemic I’m not always sure what to do with the time I’ve created for myself later on, I’m no longer spending it feeling guilty and panicked about not having written that day. Before Rest gave me a kick up the arse, I was waiting for inspiration to strike, hoping to eventually be in the mood to write. I’m not waiting anymore." Elaine
Digital Minimalism / How to Break Up With Your Phone
April 202172Future of FoodThe Fate of FoodAmanda Little9
The Fate of Food is one of those books that hurls you back and forth between wonder and shock. From the scale of food waste (a third of all we produce) to the brilliance of vertical farming. From the horror of droughts to the controversial brilliance of GMO. From the disgust of industrial agriculture to the genius of lab-grown meat. Whenever you reach the depths of 'how are we ever going to get out of this?' a new, or very old, story of food is shared through an individual human journey and then at scale, that gives you genuine hope and, in the case of 3D printed foods, wide-eyed amazement. Amanda was an effervescent and generous guest author at our April meetup. Spilling a 1000-words-per-minute (like BPM but author talk) on us, sharing the breadth and depth of her curiosity and experience. I left the conversation hungry; for more ideas about how to fix our broken food systems, for more things I can do in my weekly shop, for more ways to encourage others to explore one of the most important topics of our time. "A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into. A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even religion...yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognised." George Orwell, Road to Wigan Pier (p.260 Fate of Food)
Hungry for Disruption / Billion Dollar Burger
Book cover blind vote 50% of members.
May 202173ActivismThe 5 Rules of RebellionSophie Walker8
A philisophical toolkit for a more activist life. Sophie is an honest role model and inspiration for all of us.
Breaking Out /
Book cover blind vote 50% of members.
June 202174HopeHumankindRutger Bregman9
There is a persistent myth that by their very nature humans are selfish, aggressive and quick to panic. It's what is known as veneer theory: the notion that civilisation is nothing more than a thin veneer that will crack the perest provocation. In actuality, the opposite is true. It's when crisis hits - when the bombs fall or the floodwaters rise- that we humans become our best selves.' Bregman then spends the next 400 pages making compelling cases against some of the most well known 'humans are bad' stories and psychological experiments over the last 100 years. From the British & German responses to the bombing blitzes of WW2 to the fate of the Easter Islander's and the Stanford Prison Experiment, we are taken on an investigative adventure to prove that in each of these cases, the results are either unjustified or mistaken. Humankind is a rollercoaster ride of hope, surprise and further questioning of human nature. It is not bulletproof and picking intellectual holes in Bregman's tapestry of 'new realism' is tempting but when you zoom out it is hard not to feel more confident that your own sense of 'the kindness of strangers' is part of a much bigger cultural and historical pattern. Ultimately I suspect that Humankind is particularly compelling for those with a relatively pain-free lived experience. For those who have suffered at the hands of others, the idea that we are programmed for good might be a lot harder to accept.
July 202175EqualityNativesAkala9
Where do you start with this sweeping history, personal journey and pop-culture exploration and dissection of race and class? Akala is such a compelling writer, storyteller and activist. Reading Natives I was simultaneously entertained, shocked, uncomfortable, educated and galvanised. Impressive melting point of a non-fiction classic.
August 202176TruthCatch & KillRonan Farrow9
Like previous RBC reads, Bad Blood & Mindf*ck, Catch & Kill rolls like a thriller, except its real. Depressing on the state of institutional corruption, misogyny, sexual violence & litigation within US culture. Amazing reporting and remarkable bravery of women who were abused. Hopefully this work and book, have played a part in changing the story.
September 202177NegotiationNever Split the DifferenceChris Voss8
Former FBI negotiator Chris Voss tells a good story. From persuading hostage takers to bank robbers to stand down is an art and, it turns out, a method we can all learn too. Show tactical empathy by mirroring our opposition, use leading questions, let the silence hang, reassure, create an illusion of control and have a lot of patience. These are the tools that win negotiations. We had a brilliant night at our London meetup playing 'negotiation games' and discovered quite a few strong performers and persuaders amongst us. Chris kindly joined us for a Q&A from NYC which demonstrated his famous late night DJ voice and why he believes we can all learn to become negotiators in our work and lives, and, crucially, never split the difference!
Huckletree ShoreditchElrayo
October 202178LoveAttachedAmir Levine & Rachel Heller7
Are you anxious, avoidant or secure? It seems to easy to divide humans into 3 types of attachment but Levine & Heller do a good job in making it feel like we really do live up to one of these roles in relationships. We heard from quite a few members who found the book a real game-changer in their lives as well plenty who were skeptical about its simplicity and lack of awareness of a diversity of relationship types and sexual orientations. It led to some excellent, bigger discussions on effective communication and at our meetups we heard from experts who use attachment theory as a big component of their work. We even played Blind Date, attachment style!
Huckletree ShoreditchTails of the Unexpected
November 202179CashThe Deficit MythStephanie Kelton7
Great intro to Modern Monetary Theory. Top insight: The state (one that has monetary sovereignty) will never run out of money; there will never be a day where our government cannot afford to pay for healthcare or pensions.
December 202180MagicSleights of Mind
Stepehn Macknick & Susana Martinez-Conde
What can we learn from magicians? Magicians know that multitasking is a myth & so they use 'divide and conquer' approach with attention. Magicians make mistakes all the time, but they move on quickly so the audience never notices. Magicians use empathy and humor to lower your guard.
Punchy / Dash
January 202281Greatest of All TimeBlack SpartacusSudhir Hazareesingh6
More real-life Black Panther than Black Spartacus. A challenging read because of its dense historical style but a remarkable story, one that feelslike it should be on the big screen next to other greats. RBC member Florence: "That we need to look at history in a different way and challenge ourselves with narratives like this one , and also that Toussaint Louverture was a multifaceted historical figure with many identities coalescing into one, I was very glad to learn about him."
Big Drop / Dash
February 202282HappySolve for HappyMo Gawdat9
Exploring happiness with a good author is never time wasted. Mo's personal journey from losing his son to finding peace in a busy, ambitious, tech-driven world is full of raw honesty, fascinating psychological insight and helpful ideas that are easy to explore. We loved hosting Mo at our meetup!
Moth / Dash
March 202283NarcosZero Zero ZeroRoberto Saviano8
So much violence. The first half of this deep dive into the world of narcos is brutal - detailed story after story of murder and horror. But there is a reason Saviano is such a global star...he knows this territory so well and is a master storyteller and educator on the hugely influential world of drug cartels, buyers and dealers. The biggest insight for me is the fact that pure cocaine sells for about 1000x its original value. Any product that does that without regulation immediately corrupts everyone involved - and leaves a trail of mayhem. Great discussions at RBC. Focus on demand/changing culture of middle class users who fuel this crisis.
The Uncommon / Dash
April 202284InfluencedGet Rich or Lie TryingSymeon Brown8
We are all influencers now.' A brilliant story-driven dive into the merky world of the influencer economy and how it preys on the vulnerable, particularly scam 'get rich' business models. Symeon was an engaging guest at RBC and a reminder of how we must tread carefully as we engage and amplify influencer culture.
May 202285FriendshipThe Lonely CenturyNoreena Hertz8
From renting a friend to Tokyo pensioners choosing to shop-lift to find friendship in prison, Noreena is an expert guide on her round-the-world journey to understand why we’re living in the loneliest century of humanity’s existence. Thankfully she shows us how we can rebuild human connection. A timely book. Great to chat to Noreena with RBC members and host over 100 for the 'reconnection + play' event at Tocas Social.
June 202286LGBTQ+The Transgender IssueShon Faye8
The Transgender Issue is a landmark work that signals the beginning of a new, healthier conversation about trans life. Really engaging conversation and eductation at RBC
July 202287ScandalEmpire of PainPatrick Radden Keefe9
1. A better understanding of how big pharma and corporations are able to bend the rules in their favour ⚖️
2. How regulations for bringing new meds to the market differ - USA vs UK vs other European countries - thanks to a few pharma experts in the club!
3. How philanthropy works and its ethical implications when good deeds are funded with dirty money…
August 202288SensesSuper SensesEmma Young7
We don't have 5 senses, we have 32! Emma Young debunks Aristotle's long-lasting view of the world of human senses and offers us a fun, scientific and experimental approach to discovering them. Great RBC event with magic beans, unfake smiles and more.
September 202289Earth HeroesAll We Can Save
Dr.Ayana Johnson & Katherine K. Wilkinson
I've read a lot of books on the climate and ecological crisis and what we can all do about it. They often leave me with a mix of fatigue and fear of the reality of what we're facing as well as ideas for what might do. All We Can Save is different. Not just because of the splattering of powerful poetry but principally because it's a collective work. Described as a 'provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront for the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward.' We were lucky to spend an hour with one of the project's contributors, Kendra Pierre Louis, who writes in the 'Reframe' section of the book about why 'Wakanda doesn't have suburbs'. In her essay Kendra explains that eco-paradise capital in the Marvel film Black Panther shows the power of imagining a better future. The story rejects the standard narrative that humans and our environment are nature enemies and that another world is possible. Alongside the climate science and critical realities we face it is the power of storytelling, both personal and imagined, in All We Can Save by Kendra and her fellow leaders (all women for once), that makes it such a compelling, moving and ultimately, despite the pain, uplifting work. I'm confident it will become a classic and the project will grow. If we heed its words and inspiration, there is hope. As it concludes: "It is a magnificent thing to be alive in a moment that matters so much. Let's proceed with broken-open hearts, seeking truth, summoning courage, and focused on solutions."
October 202290WiseBreathJames Nestor8
There is nothing more essential to our health and wellbeing than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. In Breath, journalist James Nestor travels the world to discover the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.
November 202291SpaceThe Future of HumanityMichio Kaku9
Human civilization is on the verge of living beyond Earth. But how will it happen? World-renowned physicist Michio Kaku takes us on a journey to the future, introducing the mind-boggling developments in robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology that will one day enable us to make our homes among the stars.
December 202292Rebel LibrariesThe Book Collectors of DarayaDelphine Minoui8
A brilliant, shocking story of resilience, community and the power of books. Wonderful conversation with Delphine Minoui.
January 202393TimeFour Thousand WeeksOliver Burkeman9
Time management for mortals. Kicks hustle culture and productivity hacking into touch and zooms in on the bigger question of our relationship with time. The shortness of the average human lifespan in the UK (80 yrs or 4000 weeks) is not a cause for despair, but relief. You get to choose how best to spend it.
February 202394The LawWe Are BellingcatEliot Higgins8
From solving the Salisbury poisonings to war crimes in Syria, a group of online investigators appear to be beating the world's most powerful Government intelligence agencies at their own game. When we spoke to Bellingcat's founder, Eliot Higgins, we were surprised to hear how relaxed he is about his personal safety considering the massive impact of their digital detective work. We tested out a few of the Bellingcat open source tools at a club quiz with a difference - discovering not only that our own emails are subject to regular hacks but that geo-locating abstract pictures or fact-checking political speeches at speed, are things we can all do, should we wish. In an age of fake news (and the arrival of deep fakes) Bellingcat are proving that the truth is less 'out there' and more 'on your laptop'...if you know where to look.
March 202395AwkwardLet's TalkNihal Arthanayake8
“The common misconception…as an interviewer is to ask a list of pre-prepared questions.” Loved chatting with Nihal at RBC. What a great modern example of the art of conversation.
April 202396UnwrittenFreeLea Ypi9
The end of communism in Albania. An incredible story through the eyes of an 11 year old of what its like to live through a ‘rupture in history’. Inspired many powerful stories shared at RBC.
May 202397GenesA Crack in CreationJoanna Doudna7
A woman with DNA in her name was destined to play a leading role in the gene-editing technology that may well change the world in dramatic ways! Wonderful potential disease killer, horrible potential eugenics enabler...the moral questions and implications CRISPR throws up are as tough to grapple with as any.
June 202398ChildfreeWomen Without KidsRuby Warrington8
The unsung sisterhood is, perhaps for the first time in modern history, a new group of women who are choosing not to have children. Ruby is an excellent, passionate guide to this 'journey of many paths' and why it is happening now (culture, climate, economics and more). A great convo for the RBC pod and event...and a lot of engagement from our community.