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Blog Speakers Turned Authors: Our Top Picks for World Book Day 2017

Speakers Turned Authors: Our Top Picks for World Book Day 2017

I joined the Speakers Corner family as a Marketing Executive. This means I spend my days editing content, writing blog posts, updating biographies online, and, most importantly, making sure the great work of the team here is heard about far and wide. I work best when fuelled by many cups of tea and all kinds of cereal bars. 

World Book Day is a celebration of reading; of authors, publishers and all things books!

2017 marks World Book Day’s twentieth anniversary. Traditionally, the celebration takes place in schools as children dress up as their favourite book characters and are encouraged to purchase books with their tokens given out on that day. We missed the frivolity of all the celebrations and felt that, just because we are adults in an office, we shouldn't miss out - so we asked the team to share some of their favourite books written by our speakers, why they loved them and what lessons they learned.

Marketing’s Lucy M loved Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. She said “for anyone wanting to dig deeper behind all the frantic news headlines regarding politics and international affairs these days, Tim’s book makes the complicated mess that we're experiencing in the big wide world right now a bit easier to understand! He takes the reader through 10 key areas around the globe map-by-map to explain, in simple but informative terms, how their physical geography has had an impact on political reality. Definitely feel more clued in when contributing to conversations about current affairs since reading it!”

Also looking at the intersection between geography and politics, our logistics team member Dave loved environmentalist Tony Juniper’s book, What Has Nature Ever Done For Us. He said “it is an important book that looks at the environmental argument from a wholly economic perspective. Tony explores the financial impact of systematic ecological destruction, positing that sustaining our environmental infrastructure can avoid unnecessary and costly implications. One example is that marshes could act as natural filtration systems in the Punjab.”

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Anna really enjoyed Tim Harford's book on workplace dynamics 

From the economics of the environment, to the economics of the workplace, our Anna is really enjoying Tim Harford’s book, Messy. She says “it’s really interesting to read about how other workplaces function, the optimum working environment, and the different styles of teamwork – all shown through discussions about the results of different studies. It is interesting for me to relate these examples back to how our office works. It’s really changed the way I view and behave within work already - and I’m only three chapters in!”

Another book that has made one of our team really think is Hyeonseo Lee’s, The Girl with Seven Names. Debbie was incredibly moved by this novel, as she said it was a “powerful story about Hyeonseo’s defection from the brutal regime in North Korea, aged just 17 – and her terrifying struggle to avoid capture and repatriation. The book is beautifully written and there is tension throughout. Hyeonseo is such an inspirational young woman and makes you realise how lucky we are to grow up in the UK, which we take for granted every day.”

Our Lucy B felt similarly moved by Ranulph Fiennes’ book, Mad Bad and Dangerous to know. She said: “It made me cry so, so much”.

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Adventurer Ranulph's book brought Lucy B to tears! 

Head of Logistics Rebecca’s favourite speaker book took her back to her studies. It was Robin Wiszowaty’s My Maasai Life. She comments “I studied Anthropology at university and this book was like an extended, super personal ethnography. What started off as a brief exchange between her university in Illinois and a small community in Kenya’s Maasai Mara has turned into her life’s adventure. Robin found a sense of unconditional acceptance in Kenya and despite contracting malaria, typhoid and a parasite she wanted to stay. I didn’t agree with everything she had to say, but it was fascinating glimpse into way of life so different from my own.”

Director Nick Gold says his favourite book is  because it is “a truly fascinating insight into our behaviours as humans and specifically our irrational ones – it gave me warmth and confidence that my seemingly irrational choices in life are really as ‘normal’ as the next person! Also, I now take pride in the fact that I can justify my obsession with freebies…”

Despite being on the continent holding up the Barcelona office, Director Tim Gold also picked Dan’s book. His reasoning was “it has helped me understand or at least learn how we all make messed up choices based on framin. It has aided me in explaining many of my life choices to date!”

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Dan asks us all to question our irrational behaviours

How strange! Are the Gold brothers incredibly irrational, or should we all be reading Dan Ariely?

Thanks to the team for sharing some of their favourite books from a selection of our speakers - hopefully this will inspire us all to get reading and think about the insights, lessons and stories of the authors!

We represent a total of over 6000 speakers, with 1000 listed on our website. For more info., call us on +44 (0) 20 7607 7070 or email us at info@speakerscorner.co.uk.

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