The first rule of Brad Pitt’s Fight Club was to never talk about it. The first rule of the new AMP Book Club is that you must talk about it.
The two clubs aren't at all similar – ones much more high energy than the other - but the ability to join in something collective is what makes them special. And that’s what we’re trying to replicate with our new regular article, the AMP Book Club.
It’s a bunch of book-loving folks, sharing great book recommendations.
For this summer’s reading, our diverse group has chosen a mix of fiction, non-fiction, personal development and business titles that are sure to keep you entertained and inspired.
All of the recommendations have been read, talked about and loved. Here’s hoping you’ll love them too.
1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
It’s easy to get stuck in a repetitive rut of work-eat-sleep these days. Even with best intentions of achieving a work-life balance, work comes first in the phrase and in practice. Someone who has experienced time passing them by and tried to combat it is Gretchen Rubin.
The New York-based writer dedicated twelve months of her life to test conventional wisdom and modern research about how to be happier. The result is a fascinating read about how small changes in the way you order your life can have a big impact on your happiness.
Amongst her recommendations, using good manners and giving positive reviews. We’re down to receive some of those, please.
Recommended by: Emily, Marketing
About Emily: Recently returned from maternity leave; Emily’s had a lot of spare time to read. And brush hair - her daughter has the longest hair you’ve ever seen on a 9-month old.
2. The Boy Under The Table by Nicole Trope
Tina is a 17-year-old girl living and working on the streets of Sydney’s Kings Cross after escaping her mother and religiously zealous step-father.
Lockie is a 9-year-old malnourished boy bound to a man’s kitchen table by ropes around his neck and ankle.
The Boy Under the Table is the gritty, and at times, disturbing read detailing how Tina’s and Lockie’s lives cross, and the different attitudes their families have to getting them back. It’s a heart-breaking tale that balances page-turning fiction with a type of realism that will force you to consider your own family and your own circumstances like never before.
A quick public service announcement – you might not be able to put this down if you start.
Recommended by: Stephanie, Company Secretary Assistant
About Stephanie: Stretches out her weekends with her work as an accordion teacher and is also a judge at the World Accordion Championships.
3. Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella
Hit Refresh from Microsoft’s current CEO, Satya Nadella, answers this question and many others about his rise to the top. Nadella shares his life story and how it’s contributed to Microsoft’s innovative response to the threat of artificial intelligence.
One of the pillars of Nadella’s leadership approach is empathy; a unique quality that the torrent of technology will never be able to develop. He wants us all to be more empathetic to others because, “empathy empowers every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more”.
Recommended by: Himanshu, Learning and Development
About Himanshu: Boasting an impressive collection of suits, Himanshu is probably the most upset about the new relaxed office dress code.
4. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Hoah Harari
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.
The history of mankind is a subject that, for most of us, is difficult to comprehend. Harari, however, manages to make the topic engaging and provocative. You’ll read about whether we’ve become happier over our years on the planet, why we’ve grown to love consumerism and how we can impact the course of history for centuries to come.
Sapiens will challenge everything you know about being human.
Recommended by: Peter, Compliance
About Peter: Is singing the praises of a new vegan diet he has recently put into his marathon training mix.
5. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
The title of Trevor Noah’s autobiographical comedy references the illegality of Noah’s parent’s mixed-race relationship, and thus, the illegality of his own birth. Born in a post-apartheid South Africa to a white father and a black mother, the now famous The Daily Show host tells his story of growing up in trying circumstances.
Noah mixes his comedic storytelling with inspirational stories of how he came of age and sought freedom from a challenging upbringing.
Recommended by: Ofa, Product Compliance
About Ofa: Took up reading to escape the boredom of train rides without her phone. Books take a while to get through when the commute’s only 15 minutes though.
Now it’s your turn
If you’ve read something you couldn’t put down or feel like you need to scream from the rooftops about a particular masterpiece, please share it with us. Send us a Facebook message or contact us, and if you’re okay with it, we may even feature your recommendation in the future.
Looking to learn about better money management?
Why not take a quick financial fitness check. It’s free and only takes five minutes.