We asked our customers to share their favourite reads in celebration of World Book Day. Here's what they said...

For those of you with a penchant for leafing through the pages of a good old book, we’ve got you covered. In celebration of World Book Day, we asked six of our customers to pinpoint a page-turner that had them hooked.

In our internet-driven world, sometimes it can be hard to put the email checking, Facebook scrolling, and Twitter updating to one side and dedicate some quality time to simply reading an old-fashioned book. But, research shows that reading has a host of benefits, including maintaining a sharp memory, brain function and it can even reduce stress levels – this means increased productivity in the office.

So, if like Frank Zapper your problem is "So many books, so little time!" We've put together a shortlist of six definitely worth making time for...

 

1) Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom

If you work in Cloud or AI based computing – or simply love a well-grounded intellectual read – Superintelligence is one for the list. Oxford professor, Bostrom lays out interesting research and in-depth debates around the topic of super-intelligence. 

“A level headed view of all possible outcomes and issues.” — Ben Gancz, Director at Qumodo based at The Print Rooms.

What's it all about?

“If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.

But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?”

 

2) The Gendered Society by Michael S. Kimmel

A thought-provoking exploration of current thinking about gender, guaranteed to get you thinking. Well written and comprehensive, this is a great book for anyone looking to expand their knowledge on this topic.  

“I read it a long time ago but it shed a lot of light on how gender biases and stereotypes work." — Sabina Socias, Branch Manager and R&I Consultant at Central Test based at Canterbury Court.

What's it all about?

“In 'The Gendered Society', Michael S. Kimmel examines our basic beliefs about gender, arguing that men and women are more alike than we have ever imagined. The issues surrounding gender are complex, and in order to clarify them, the author has included a review of the existing literature in related disciplines such as biology, anthropology, psychology, and sociology. With an eye toward the future, Kimmel offers readers a glimpse at gender relations in the next millennium."

 

3) The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley

Perfect for entrepreneurs and freelancers looking to read up on the basics of economics and problem solving. Refreshingly honest, and boldly positive, it’s a good Monday motivator! 

"It's how I first understood what economics was. It explains in a rational way why we should always expect things to be getting better and better. It's definitely helpful as an entrepreneur to have that view." — Tom Putnam, Co Founder at Beeline based at The Biscuit Factory.

What's it all about?

“Life is on the up.

We are wealthier, healthier, happier, kinder, cleaner, more peaceful, more equal and longer-lived than any previous generation. Thanks to the unique human habits of exchange and specialisation, our species has found innovative solutions to every obstacle it has faced so far.

In ‘The Rational Optimist’, acclaimed science writer Matt Ridley comprehensively refutes the doom-mongers of our time, and reaches back into the past to give a rational explanation for why we can – and will – overcome the challenges of the future, such as climate change and the population boom.

Bold and controversial, it is a brilliantly confident assertion that the 21st century will be the best for humankind yet.”

 

4) The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin

If you like Sci-fi, Maths and Physics, The Three-Body Problem will be hard to put down. It's the first in a riveting trilogy of books that bring science – and the imagination – to life.  

“It is an extremely unique book that includes a lot of real-life elements in it. When you read it, it’s understandable - especially if you like sci-fi stuff. A lot of sci-fi novels are based on imagination, but includes a lot of real life problems and how they are solved. It’s a very interesting read.” — Jack Tang, CEO and Founder at Funky Panda Games based at Kennington Park.

What's it all about?

“1967: Ye Wenjie witnesses Red Guards beat her father to death during China's Cultural Revolution. This singular event will shape not only the rest of her life but also the future of mankind.

Four decades later, Beijing police ask nanotech engineer Wang Miao to infiltrate a secretive cabal of scientists after a spate of inexplicable suicides. Wang's investigation will lead him to a mysterious online game and immerse him in a virtual world ruled by the intractable and unpredictable interaction of its three suns.

This is the Three-Body Problem and it is the key to everything: the key to the scientists' deaths, the key to a conspiracy that spans light-years and the key to the extinction-level threat humanity now faces.”

 

5) The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

On the cusp of something big? Want to know the secret to reaching that 'tipping point' in business? Insightful and easy to digest, The Tipping Point has the research-backed answers.

"It's an incredible book for understanding things like epidemics – the science of how things to come to be, where they started from and how patterns develop." — Doug Ayres, Managing Director at Filament AI based ar Cargo Works.

What's it all about?

“In this brilliant and original book, Malcolm Gladwell explains and analyses the 'tipping point', that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviour cross a threshold, tip and spread like wildfire. Taking a look behind the surface of many familiar occurrences in our everyday world, Gladwell explains the fascinating social dynamics that cause rapid change.”

 

6) The Nature of Technology by W. Brian Arthur

Tech-lovers, take note. If you want to brush up on your understanding of technology and how it evolves, this is one to keep on the radar. A very logical and well-explained read.

 “It’s a really good science book that gets undervalued. It's simply a great explanation of how technologies work." — Rich Walker, Managing Director at Shadow Robot Company based at Leroy House.

What's it all about?

The Nature of Technology is an elegant and powerful theory of technology’s origins and evolution. Achieving for the development of technology what Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions did for scientific progress, Arthur explains how transformative new technologies arise and how innovation really works. Drawing on a wealth of examples, from historical inventions to the high-tech wonders of today, Arthur takes us on a mind-opening journey that will change the way we think about technology and how it structures our lives. The Nature of Technology is a classic for our times.”

At our WBI Dinner recently, on the topic of Design Thinking our panel shared lots more books and resources that you might find enlightening.

If you’re looking for office space or somewhere inspiring to co-work, why not have a look at what we have to offer at Workspace? You’ll be joining all our customers that benefit from The Workspace Advantage and no doubt sharing plenty of book recommendations!

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