All posts tagged: books

A great gift for all uni graduates

January/February is the time when final year students at universities start to seriously think about what to do when they’re “out”. It used to be so much more relaxed, but for the past couple of years the best grad schemes and interships have had very strict application deadlines early in the year. Which means right now is the time to sit down and figure out what’s next, in the “real world”. I’d say if you have a friend or a relative who is about to graduate, this book can do a lot of good. I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg in 2013, a few weeks after it came out. I was just starting out in Marketing , and I needed something to reassure me that I didn’t have to get it right from Day 1 (the pressure many of us felt). And it’s not just the lives of a few lucky readers this book has had impact on. Three years in, and there’s a global movement that changes company policies and inspires lawmakers across the …

A a science book for Christmas? Yes!

I vividly remember the excitement of finding carefully wrapped books under my Christmas tree when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I was also expecting Barbi houses and pretty dresses, but my parents did make sure I was hooked on books early on. It’s a tough task for any parent to engage children in reading, especially if it’s related to science. It’s much easier to get distracted than to focus on the words you don’t know about things you’ve never heard of before. The trick that worked well for me was illustrated encyclopaedias, where serious subjects like General Theory of Relativity were explained using images as much as words, with helpful pointers and highlighted boxes to keep me entertained. I could spend hours browsing History, Geography and Biology tomes, fascinated by the richness of imagery. I didn’t fully understand everything, of course, but it trained my brain into being constantly curious about the world around me. The one book that I would recommend as a universal all-rounder with amazing quality of illustrations is …

Stop Self-Indulging, It Really Isn’t Making You Happier

Every time I read another article in a women’s magazine about the healing powers of shopping and spa weekends, I cringe. Not because I strongly disagree, but because I think they are promoting a fundamentally wrong assumption that we should enjoy spending money on ourselves, and the more, the better. Before I explain how I’ve come to this conclusion, let me go back a bit. Up until very recently, most of our daily activities were shared. People were working without computers, requiring cooperation and dialogue; shopping was a special occasion, when families gathered for a day at the market; and holiday preparations involved an entire neighbourhood. The new culture of the 21st century celebrates career-focused individuals, praised for achieving everything on their own. We create our social media identities and fill them with selfies at work after midnight, exercising at the gym (we need great bodies to go with our blossoming careers), and then with our latest designer purchases (hashtagged #selftreat and #metime). As a Londoner working in the City, the financial district, I am …

Oh my, Italians know how to mix chocolate and hazelnuts!

Chocolate lovers out there, you have a new destination to check out – a little shop called Venchi in Covent Garden. Italy is home to the world’s most renowned food and wine producers, but its chocolate isn’t as legendary. Yes, Belgium and Switzerland will almost always beat Italy in chocolate competitions, but hey, no one mixes hazelnuts and cocoa quite as well as Italians (God bless Ferrero for introducing Nutella to this world!). Venchi was established in 1878 in Piedmont and has since earned itself a cult status for its unique recipes and quirky approach to design. Arguably, their packaging is what really sets them apart. Their gift boxes are shaped as books with colourful theatre-inspired covers to suit the most exquisite tastes. I highly recommend these for any book-lovers, who would appreciate your thoughtfulness and sense of humour. I always find it challenging to find gifts for book fans (I hate the word “bibliophile”, it’s too old-school and somewhat scary), as giving them books more often than not results in unnecessary judgement of character. …