Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

31 January

Book of the day

originalsOriginals: How Non-conformists Change the World
Adam Grant
(UK: W H Allen, 2017; USA: Viking, 2017)

The New York Times bestselling author examines how people can drive creative, moral, and organisational progress – and how leaders can encourage originality in their organisations.

How can we originate new ideas, policies and practices without risking it all? Adam Grant shows how to improve the world by championing novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battling conformity, and bucking outdated traditions.

Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt. Parents will learn how to nurture originality in children, and leaders will discover how to fight groupthink to build cultures that welcome dissent.

Told through case studies of people going against the grain, you’ll encounter an entrepreneur who pitches the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who challenged secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees who don’t criticize him, and the TV executive who saved Seinfeld from the cutting room floor.

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine, or via Amazon (Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Originals: How Non-conformists Move the World)

bokati%e2%88%82indi-5-sofaFacts of the day

31 January

1865 The US Congress passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in America.

New Year

A 2016 study from credit-score website, WalletHub, ahead of New Year’s Eve (source: CNBC) found that only 9 per cent of adult Americans go to a bar or an organised event to ring in the new year: 22 per cent of people don’t celebrate the occasion at all.


When he worked in publishing for Faber & Faber, poet and playwright T S Eliot liked to seat visiting authors in chairs with whoopee cushions and offer them exploding cigars.

Writers birthdays

1804 József Bajza (Hungary)
1817 Antony Winkler Prins (The Netherlands)
1866 Emil Strauss (Germany)
1872 Zane Grey (USA)
1877 Max Ettlinger (Germany)
1893 Freya Stark (UK, Italy)
1901 Marie Luise Kaschnitz (Germany)
1905 Anna Blaman (The Netherlands)
1905 John O’Hara (USA)
1909 Miron Grindea (Romania)
1915 Thomas Merton (USA)
1923 Norman Mailer (USA)
1935 Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan)
1938 Ajip Rosidi (Indonesia)
1944 Anton Korteweg (The Netherlands)
1960 Grant Morrison (UK)

Jokes of the day

I think a lot of the conflict that happened in the Wild West could’ve been avoided had architects in those days just made their towns big enough for everyone.

Cartoon: Various, The Hobbit, CartoonStock

Quote of the day

Groucho Marx: ‘I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.’