As August is now upon us, and many of you will be off on your summer holidays, I wanted to pull together a list of some of our favourite books, magazines and podcasts from everyone in the studio here at Home. It’s a collection of inspiring things we’ve read or listened to so far this year that you may want to take along with you on your hard-earned break:


Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

by Héctor García

One of Carol’s favourite books right now, she says:

“Ikigai is the Japanese word for ‘a reason to live’ and can help you find a place of balance. The book helps you to find your own Ikigai, discovering your purpose in this world: all of your skills, interests, desires and past history have made you the perfect candidate for something. Apparently, there’s no word in Japanese for ‘retire’!”.


Carol’s other recommendation and current read is:

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose

by Tony Hsieh

“Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life, from starting a worm farm to running a pizza business, through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Fast-paced and down-to-earth, Delivering Happiness shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own”.

Description taken from the Amazon website.


Let my people go surfing

by Yvon Chouinard

A must-read from Martin “Yvon is a reluctant businessman… he makes no excuses, he’d rather be climbing, surfing or fishing! Through his passions and the adventures, he saw many opportunities for creating better stuff that had minimal impact on the planet we live on. Turns out he’s done a good job. Patagonia is one of the biggest sports equipment brands in the world today. Love his outlook on life and the way he runs his business, especially in the early years when it was small”.



by Patty McCord

Suggested by Liz. She says “It’s a book all about Netflix’s culture — the way Patty describes the role of Internal Comms in building such a kick-ass culture is really inspiring and thought provoking”.


Successful Employee Communications

by Sue Dewhurst and Liam FitzPatrick

This is Lauren’s current read, which is also part of CIPR’s #ICBookClub. It’s a practitioner’s guide to tools, models and best practice for internal communications. You can follow their curated list of the best Internal Communications books and discuss them via their Twitter page: @ciprinside and on their Linkedin group. A great way to keep up-to-date on the best Internal Communications books out there.


Work Like A Woman

by Mary Portas

Kerry recommends this because “I was inspired by her podcast of the same name so have bought the book and can’t wait to read it over the summer. It’s a sort of manifesto and looks at how women today can still be working in male ‘alpha’ cultures which can work against women, and the need for change. More kindness, more intuition, more gut feelings. It also looks at issues in the workplace such as flexible working, equal pay, gender bias — it’s an exciting look at the future world of work”.


401: The Man who Ran 401 Marathons in 401 Days and Changed his Life Forever

by Ben Smith

An inspirational recommendation from our very own Ben. “People thought he was mad, until they heard his story, then they began to understand. Having endured years of bullying as a child, Ben tried to take his own life. In adulthood, he struggled to feel content with the life that was mapped out for him. But having found his passion in running, he sold his possessions, escaped his old life and set off on what seemed like an impossible mission – The 401 Challenge.

During his 10,506.2-mile odyssey criss-crossing the UK, Ben ran in 309 different locations, accompanied by more than 13,500 people. He visited 101 schools, burned an estimated 2.4 million calories, wrecked his back and braved every extreme of the British weather, while raising £330,000 for charity, touching the lives of millions.

This is the inspiring journey of a previously lost and broken man who discovered that anything is possible, if only you choose to search for what makes you truly happy”.


A National Geographic subscription

National Geographic Magazine subscription


Something a little bit different from Dave “OK, so it’s not a book, but… I’d recommend anyone and everyone subscribe to National Geographic. A monthly dose of interesting things happening around the world in science, nature and travel, all supported with amazing copy, photography and infographics. At around £30 a year, it’s amazing value too. You will be wiser for it”.


Positivity: Groundbreaking Research to Release Your Inner Optimist and Thrive

by Barbra Fredrickson

Sharon’s top pick at the moment “Fredrickson is one of the leading members of the positive psychology movement. The book draws on cutting-edge research and lab-tested tools to explain; Why positivity is more important than happiness, how it relieves depression, broadens minds, and builds lives. As well as explaining how to tap into your own sources of positivity and become the best version of yourself”.


Chase the Rainbow

by Poona Bell

Kate’s current inspiring read “A compelling memoir of a woman and her husband’s battle with depression. It’s obviously not a particularly uplifting subject but it’s a fascinating and poignant perspective on an all too common problem. Must read!”.


I myself, have not one, but two recommendations. First up…

Do Purpose

by David Hieatt

Do Purpose by David Hieatt

Recently I’ve read Do Purpose, by David Hieatt. It helped show me some valuable insights into how to build a purpose-driven brand and also how to find your ‘why’ as a business. A great short read, that is part of a bigger series from the Do Book Co – well worth a look.

The most important brands in the world make us feel something. They do that because they have something they want to change. And as customers, we want to be part of that change. These companies have a reason to exist over and above making a profit: They have a Purpose.


And secondly…


by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

I’ve always been interested in the thinking and work of design firm IDEO and this book from David Kelley (one of its founders) doesn’t disappoint. It’s about unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us. The book explores the principles and strategies that allow people to tap into their creative potential both in work and our personal lives. Allowing us to think outside the box in terms of how we approach and solve problems. You can also watch David’s TED talk on the same subject, to get a flavour of what’s inside.


Basics Design 01: Format

by Gavin Ambrose and Paul Harris

The last book on our list comes from Tony “It’s full of great examples of book design, from the wildly impractical to a simple stack of paper held together with an elastic band. Page 11 says it all to me: ‘A book is a means of organising and presenting many pieces of information in one package.’ Endless inspiration”.


And if putting on a pair of headphones rather than turning pages is more your thing, we’ve got some podcasts to listen in on…

13 minutes to the moon

Oli’s first suggestion “How the first moon landing was saved. The full story of the people who made Apollo 11 happen and prevented it from going badly wrong. Theme music by Hans Zimmer. Episodes released weekly”.


And secondly…

Intrigue: The Ratline

“A story of love, denial and a curious death. Philippe Sands investigates the mysterious disappearance of senior Nazi, Otto Wachter, and journeys right to the heart of the Ratline. 10 episodes”.


I’ve also added to the podcast list too with:

By Design

in partnership with Luke Irwin.

“A great series of talks if you’re interested in hearing from inspiring people within the world of design. A recent highlight was an episode with Will Gompertz talking to the designer Peter Saville”.

We hope this list has given you some inspiration for books and podcasts to take on your travels. Let us know what you think and if you have any we should add to the list?