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    Cancer as a character, escape to the UK and our digital destiny: my summer book list

    10 August 2022

    Steve Butler

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    2 minute read

    Travel, technology and business-related reads

    While summer is well and truly with us, my holiday reading list has yet to be ticked off.

    This year, travel writing, business insights, crystal ball-gazing and something from a close family friend are making the trip to the beach with me.

    1. Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies by Maddie Mortimer

    Maddie is a friend of the family from where we live. Her debut novel of a woman with terminal cancer has already caught the eye of critics. It’s a brave, absorbing approach for which she’s already won the Desmond Elliott prize and has been shortlisted for The Booker. Still in her twenties, this is an unusual and striking work.

    2. Extraordinary Escapes: Unique and Wild Getaways Across the UK by Gemma Bowes

    If ever there were an excuse to stay in the UK, it’s experiencing the tribulation of queue/delay/cancellation/irritation at our airports, which seem to have forgotten how to work. This guide details the unusual and, frankly, wonderful looking places to stay without setting foot on an aircraft. I’ve bookmarked and post-it-noted the locations it reveals and hope that I get further than just wishing I was there.

    3. Bridge the Gap: Breakthrough Communication Tools to Transform Work Relationships Challenging to Collaborative by Jennifer Edwards & Katie McCleary

    Running a national financial services business means not entirely switching off. We make much of our intergenerational workforce and our espousal of its advantages to both our clients and the wider world of commerce. Communication is key and this is never done and dusted when it comes to bringing together an entity made up of diverse colleagues. Edwards and McCleary probe why we're no longer instinctively understanding and respecting colleagues. This book will help you advance your communication skills and nurture your relationships when you’re not on holiday.


    4. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

    As father to three grown-up daughters and a further three grown-up step-daughters, any female perspective on work will always catch my eye. So it was with the advice from the woman who used to run Facebook as chief operating officer for Meta (and was a Google head honcho before that). Yes, she’s an uber-corporate, take-no-prisoners billionaire but some of her observations are universal. Such as imploring women to be courageous and strong-willed not only to help their own career but to pave the way for their female friends, sisters and daughters to flourish as they should despite the odds being stacked against them. To be honest, it’s objectively good advice so my grown-up son (don’t want to leave him out) should also give it a whirl.


    5. The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything By Matthew Ball

    From Meta to the Metaverse. Matthew Ball told me what the metaverse was, essentially virtual reality. As a technology shaman, he argues clearly and elegantly, that we’re just at the beginning of the kind of transformation that will reshape the economy, society and the world as a whole. Perhaps stop scrolling through Facebook to really connect with what’s going on all around us with this book.

    Happy reading.

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    This year, travel writing, business insights, crystal ball-gazing and something from a close family friend are making the trip to the beach with me.


    Chief Executive Punter Southall Aspire

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