INSIDE GOODPRACTICE SERIES: by Justin Anderson

The GoodPractice office is lucky to be populated by a diverse and discerning collection of bibliophiles. Twice a year, we share that joy with our clients by producing a list of recommended reads for the holiday seasons. This year’s list of Summer Reads is just out. You may notice a familiar name in there, if you’re paying attention…

Business books

Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead
by Laszlo Bock
“We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It's not right that the experience should be so demotivating and dehumanizing.” This is how the Head of People Operations at one of the most admired, imitated and desirable employers in the world thinks about work. Google is a regular and constant reference for research and articles on work-life balance and employee engagement. Little wonder then that the internet giant receives 1.5 million distinct job applications a year. The company is at the forefront of modern working practices, and Bock is part of the vanguard. His book takes lessons from a wide range of businesses to create a blueprint for a new form of working that could attract the best and brightest to your business.

Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love
by Richard Sheridan
In 2001, Rich Sheridan founded Menlo Innovations, a company that designs and builds customised software. In 14 years, the company has won the Alfred P Sloan award for Workplace Flexibility eight times. Joy, Inc. is an inspiring and exciting story of a company that simply ignores the traditional rules of work, encouraging a democratic, collaborative atmosphere and a culture of flexibility. Think your business could never function if employees brought their kids to work – or their pets? Think again…

 

 

 

I Know How She Does It
by Laura Vanderkam
With a nice play on words from the recent novel (and film) I Don’t Know How She Does It, Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Think, presents insights and research from a range of women who have successfully mastered the art of balancing a high-powered career with family and self. If you thought Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In was asking a bit much, this could be the ideal companion piece.

 

 

 

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity from Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs
by Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips
Ever wondered how a black market economy works? Wonder no more, as this new book promises to reveal the drivers that lead to some creative and lateral – if wholly illegal – thinking from people living in extreme circumstances. You might think you have nothing to learn from criminals, but Clay and Phillips argue that when you get past the moral implications of their business models, there are universal lessons in ingenuity and innovation that can be applied to modern business.

 

 

 

Non-Fiction

The Teenage Brain
by Frances E. Jensen
Neuroscientist and mother Frances Jensen’s book sails into some uncharted territory by examining how the brain itself changes during puberty. In the teenage years, the brain is like a "building site", apparently – wired back to front and functioning in a completely different way from younger children and adults. Some of the advice on how to deal with teenagers is a bit ‘preachy’, but if you can get past that it’s a fascinating insight into the workings of the brain, which is relevant to how we deal with people of all ages.

 

 

 

The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves
by Stephen Grosz
Longlisted for The Guardian’s First Book Award and a Sunday Times bestseller, psychoanalyst Grosz’s debut is a fascinating insight into what makes people tick. Drawing from over 25 years of experience, he constructs some elegant and insightful patient portraits with a storytelling skill most novelists would admire.

 

 

 

 

 

A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-Fiction
by Terry Pratchett
The loss of Sir Terry Pratchett was keenly felt amongst his legion of fans. He was not only a skilled and prolific storyteller, but also a man of deep intellect and conscience. This posthumous book collects his various writings on topics close to his heart, including his struggle with Alzheimer’s and his passion for animal rights. A wonderful insight into the life and mind of a British literary icon.

 

 

 

 

 

Fiction

Go Set a Watchman
by Harper Lee
The internet exploded when Harper Lee, author of the seminal classic To Kill a Mockingbird, announced she had also written a second novel featuring the same protagonists, which she would publish this year. Anticipation is so great that the book is already registering high in Amazon’s bestseller lists, despite not being released until mid-July. Set twenty years after her race-relations blockbuster, but written before it, Go Set a Watchman sees the adult Scout return home after years in New York, to visit her father, Atticus. Sure to be the literary water-cooler moment of the year.

 

Armada
by Ernest Cline
The follow up to the best-selling Ready Player One sees young dreamer Zack Lightman having to deal with the invading UFOs he’s spent hours fighting in the eponymous online flight simulator. Recalling classic 80s movie The Last Starfighter and peppered with pop culture references, this escapist romp should be heaven for sci-fi fans and gamers alike.

 

 

 

 

Carpet Diem: or…How to Save the World by Accident
by Justin Lee Anderson
A witty, sexy, sweary, fantastical thriller, this debut novel about a hermit reluctantly drawn into a wager between God and Satan has been favourably compared with the likes of Tom Sharpe, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Tom Holt. The “unputdownable” read is packed with compelling characters and an original, unpredictable plot. Likely to cause spontaneous guffawing, you may want to read this one in private, unless you don’t mind getting funny looks from strangers.

 

 

Elizabeth is Missing
by Emma Healey
It’s difficult enough investigating a 70-year-old crime. But Maud, the 81 year old hero and narrator of Elizabeth is Missing has an even greater burden to overcome – her own advancing dementia. Blackly comic and compelling, this debut had nine publishers fighting for it. It has already attracted literary awards, and could well collect more before the year is out.

 

 

 

 

 

Nora Webster
by Colm Tóibín
The latest offering from the three times Booker-nominated author focuses on a widowed mother of four struggling to build a life for her family and herself in late 1960s Ireland. Nora’s story mirrors the small town’s late arrival to feminism, her world and her options changing throughout the years covered by the book. Tóibín’s latest novel is a moving portrait of a complex character living through personal and cultural change. Set chronologically between his previous hits Brooklyn and The Blackwater Lightship, Nora Webster acts as both a companion piece and a link between the two.