RBC Impact Rating
|RBC Review||London Meetup Venue||Cocktail (by Mix & Muddle)||Vote Result ( + the other books)|
|April 15||Pilot in Bali||Startups||Zero to One||Peter Theil||8||The Onion Collective, Bali||Mojito + One||Exclusive!|
|May-15||1||Mix||Happiness by Design||Paul Dolan||8||Virgin HQ Roof||Duppy Share||Creativity Inc / Tribes|
|Jun-15||2||Productivity||The One Thing||Gary Keller||6||Underbelly, Southbank||Mojito's|
An Optimists Tour of the Future / Reasons to Stay Alive
|Jul-15||3||Mix||This Changes Everything||Naomi Klein||7||Futerra with Ed Gillespie||Mix & Muddle||Sapiens / Quiet: The Power of Introverts|
|Aug-15||4||Mix||Never Eat Alone||Keith Ferrazi||6||Huckletree Farringdon||Kingbloom|
The Omnivore's Dilemma / The Story of the Human Body
|Sep-15||5||Mix||Doing Good Better||William MacAskill||9||Work Life Camden||The Obstacle is the Way / Peers Inc|
|Oct-15||6||Mix||Wild Courage||Elle Harrison||6||WeWork Devonshire Place||BeerBods|
Reinventing Organizations / The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being
|Nov-15||7||Extraodinary Lives||An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth||Chris Hadfield||9||Bathtub to Boardroom||Guns n Rose||I am Malala / Meditations|
|Dec-15||8||Inside our Minds||The Chimp Paradox||Dr. Steven Peters||7||Popup Shop||Mix & Muddle||Brain Rules / The Talent Code|
|Jan-16||9||Work habits||The Power of Habit||Charles Duhigg||8||Work Life Camden||Thinking Fast & Slow / Remote|
|Feb-16||10||Mix||This is Happening||Rohan Gunatillake||7||WeWork Liverpool St||The Rise of Robots / Life on the Edge|
|Mar-16||11||Hustle||The Art of Asking||Amanda Palmer||8||Airbnb HQ||'The Boston Cooler'||Wild / We Should All be Feminists|
|Apr-16||12||Extraodinary Lives||City of Lies||Ramita Navai||8||Huckletree|
Undercover Jihadi Bride / Nothing is True and Everything is Possible
|23 Things they don't tell you about Capitalism||Ha-Joon Chang||6||Virign Startup - 1st Birthday!|
The Flat White Economy / The Undercover Economist
|Jun-16||14||Food||Gut||Giulia Enders||7||Blacksmith & Toffeemaker||The Omnivore's Dilemma / Eating Animals|
|Jul-16||15||Rethink||Dataclysm||Christian Rydduer||7||Victoria Gardens||Harry Bromptons Picnic||Feral / Cradle to Cradle|
|Aug-16||16||Ego||Ego is the Enemy||Ryan Holiday||8||Escape the City||Exclusive!|
|Sep-16||17||Adventure Classics||A Long Way Home||Saroo Brierly||8||Launch 22, Old Street||Touching the Void / The Lost City of Z|
|Oct-16||18||Risk||Black Box Thinking||Matthew Syed||7||Work Life London Fields||Black Box Bromptons||Born to Run / A Life Without Limits|
|Nov-16||19||Women & Work||Girl Boss||Sophia Amaruso||5|
Qubit w/ Gabi Hershman, Pippa Murray
|Unfinished Business / The Glass Wall|
|Dec-16||20||Future of Education||Creative Schools||Ken Robinson||8||Airbnb HQ||'Sir Ken'||Educating Ruby / The Smartest Kids in the World|
|Jan-17||21||Life Hacking||Tools of Titans||Tim Ferriss||10|
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 Fields||Your Titan, My Way||Exclusive!|
|Feb-17||22||Young Role Models||In Order to Live||Yeonmi Park||8|
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-17||23||Reinvention||Reinvent Yourself||James Altucher||5|
So much wit and wisdom but pretty hard to follow as its literally a stream of consciousness. James was great in our skype chat.
|Apr-17||24||Modern Crime||The Dark Net||Jamie Bartlett||8|
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 Street||The Dark Roots||Narconomics / The Snowden Files|
|May-17||25||Childs Eye View||Little Wins||Paul Lindley||7|
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 Squash||Exclusive!|
Alternative Political Futures
|Utopia for Realists||Rutger Bregman||9|
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-17||27||Live Forever||Homo Deus||Yuval Noah Harari||9|
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 Deck||Cold, Calculated||100 Year Life / Superintelligence|
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 Park||Amy's Pisco Party||Pants of Perspective / RTW Taxi|
|Sep-17||29||History||The Silk Roads||Peter Frankopan||8|
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 17||30||Gender||How Not To Be a Boy||Robert Webb||9|
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 17||31||Sleep||Sleep Smarter||Shawn Stevenson||6|
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 Library||The Sleep Revolution / Sleep|
|Dec 17||32||Random||100 Year Life||Linda Gratton||9|
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.
|LeWagon||100 Year Medicine||Women & Power / Choose Life|
|Jan 18||33||Brene Brown Theme!||Braving the Wilderness||Brene Brown||5|
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 St|
Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Gingerbread
|Daring Greatly / Rising Strong|
|Feb 18||34||Race & Immigration|
Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race
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 HQ||Rose Tinted Glasses||The Good Immigrant / Black & British|
|Mar 18||35||Cryptocurrency||Blockchain Revolution||Don Tapscott||4|
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 London||Decentralized||Digital Gold / Cryptocurrency|
|April 18||36||Future of Food||Eating Animals||Jonathan Safran Foer||9|
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 18||37||Career Hacking||Designing Your Life|
Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
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 18||38||Undercover Jobs||The Secret Barrister||The Secret Barrister||8|
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 18||39||Pirates!||Be More Pirate||Sam Conniff Allende||8|
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 18||40||Travel Classics||Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance||Robert Prisig||7|
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 Co||The Value of Greece|
As I walked out one midsummer morning / Our of Africa
|Sept 18||41||Simplicity||Wabi Sabi||Beth Kempton||8|
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 18||42||Transgender Journeys||The Gender Games||Juno Dawson||9|
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 18||43||Plastic||Turning the Tide on Plastic||Lucy Siegle||8|
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 18||44||Seth||This Is Marketing||Seth Godin||9|
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 HQ||Love Excellence, as a Local||Exclusive!|
|Jan 2019||45||Work Smart||Atomic Habits||James Clear||10|
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 Co||Stack & Automate||Stealing Fire / Hyperfocus|
|Feb 2019||46||Body Positivity||Just Eat It||Laura Thomas||7|
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!
Most interesting Chapters: HUNGER, FEELING YOUR FULNESS, GENTLE NUTRITION,
- 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 Works||Comfortably Numb||Am I Ugly / Body Positive Power|
|Mar 2019||47||Artificial Intelligence||Life 3.0||Max Tegmark||8|
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 HQ||Prometheus||Surviving AI / The Rise of Robots|
|April 2019||48||Human Economics||Doughnut Economics||Kate Raworth||9|
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 HQ||When are you Satisfied?||Exclusive!|
|May 2019||49||Bad Business||Bad Blood||John Carreyrou||8|
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.
|Underpinned||Clouded in Determination||American Kingpin / Dark Edge|
|June 2019||50||Modern Mortality||All the Ghosts in the Machine||Elaine Kasket||8|
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!
|Knowtel||Proseco + Tony's||With the End in Mind / When Breath Becomes Air|
|July 2019||51||Altered (mental) States||How to Change Your Mind||Michael Pollen||9|
Take a 60 something who has never tried psychadelics and follow the journey. Wonderful mix of history, science and experiment.
|Entrepreneur First||Mindjuice||Walking with Einstein / The Awakened Ape|
|August 2019||52||Personal Finance||Money: A User's Guide||Laura Whateley||7|
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 HQ||A User's Guide to Mixers||Exclusive!|
|September 2019||53||Planetary Emergency||There is No Planet B||Mike Berners-Lee||8|
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 City||The Stats Don't Lie||This is Not a Drill / Human Planet|
|October 2019||54||Losing Our Minds||Lost Connections||Johann Hari||10|
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, Soho||This is Not Your Sage||Reasons to Stay Alive / Mad Girl|
|November 2019||55||Fake News||You Are What You Read||Jodie Jackson||7|
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, Paddington||The Influence||Factfulness / Breaking News|
|December 2019||56||On the Front Line|
In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin
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, Aldgate||Flee The Chaos, Join the Choas||Emergency Sex / Undercover Jihadi Bride|
|January 2020||57||Dream Big, Start Small||The Doorstep Mile||Al Humphreys||6|
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 West
|February 2020||58||Fast Fashion||Fashionopolis||Dana Thomas||8|
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 West
|Binary Intentions||To Die For / How to Break Up with Fast Fashion|
|March 2020||59||Power Shifts||New Power|
Henry Trimms & Jeremy Heimans
|7||Hopin with Jeremy Heiman||Who Can You Trust? / Winners Take All|
|April 2020||60||Stories of Resilience||Midnight in Chernobyl||Adam Higginbotham||9|
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 Russian||Vote Result|
|May 2020||61||Paradise||The Awakened Ape||Jevan Pradas||3|
"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 Birthday||Religion for Athiests / Eat Pray Love|
|June 2020||62||Gender Bias||Invisible Women||Caroline Criado Perez||9|
Hopin with 4 x Gender Gap Specialists
|Unbiased||The Guilty Feminist / The Gendered Brain|
|July 2020||63||Icons||Rise Up||Stormzy||Bowie A Life / Clothes Music Boys|
|Reviews||Author in Person|
|1 Secret Barrister|