As the holiday season unfolds, it often brings with it an assortment of tasks, deadlines and obligations. Whether you’re tying up loose ends on a project or arranging some last-minute vendors for the end-of-year holiday party, this period is often one that is booked and busy.
Waiting for us on the other side, however, lies the promise of a well-earned break.
To help you get into the holiday mode, we present to you a handpicked selection of our preferred reading and listening experiences from the year. Inside, you’ll find recommendations for podcasts, newsletters, and books. Some have been selected to help you advance in your business and careers, while others are for pure unwinding.
So, take a moment to peruse our thoughtfully assembled list, find something that looks intriguing, and enjoy!
1. Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks – Eszter’s recommendation
“Storyworthy” by Matthew Dicks is a must-read, written by a storytelling GENIUS. Beyond practical advice, he delves into the hows of creating exceptional stories, making it a transformative resource for anyone keen to elevate their storytelling skills. Storytelling is in our DNA and it’s undoubtedly something anyone can learn.
2. Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari – Tim’s Recommendation
I might be a bit late to the party on this one, but Chasing the Scream is still a very relevant read. This book sheds a whole different light on addiction, drugs, and how we treat people in society. It also touches on how countries have tried to ‘manage’ the situation via their war on drugs. Once you finish reading, check out the Oscar-nominated film “The United States Vs. Billie Holliday” that was based on the book.
3. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano – Natalie’s Recommendation
If you’re looking for a page-turning family drama that’s reminiscent of Little Women, I recommend Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano. This novel had me hooked by the first few chapters. Heartfelt, poignant and incredibly well written. I absolutely adored this novel.
4. Play Bigger by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, Kevin Maney – Tim’s Recommendation
A fairly masculine take on how to build a successful business, or rather a category for your business to thrive in. If you can handle some of the bravado, the book has some super useful insights and strategies for doing just what it says on the tin. Its authors are the founders of a respected Silicon Valley advisory firm, who’ve studied legendary category-creating companies.
5. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon – Natalie’s Recommendation
This book is a must-read for anyone who does anything remotely creative. Originally based on a talk and later expanded into a book, Steal Like An Artist explores the concept of originality and whether anything is truly original. It’s refreshing, innovative and nearly guaranteed to help you think differently about what you’re creating.
1. Write With AI Newsletter by Nicolas Cole and Dickie Bush – Natalie’s Recommendation
If you’re tired of fruitless back-and-forth with ChatGPT, then I highly suggest you subscribe to Write With AI newsletter. These guys know what they’re talking about. Each week, they send out new tried-and-tested AI prompts. They don’t just send out prompts, either. They walk you through their thinking behind the prompt and how they ultimately created it so you understand the context behind it and can get better at creating your own prompts. This glimpse into their minds alone is well worth the investment!
2. Lenny’s Newsletter by Lenny Rachitsky – Eszter’s Recommendation
I’ve been subscribing to Lenny’s Newsletter/Podcast, and while it’s not directly related to architecture, it offers in-depth discussions with product innovators. I personally love the conversations around product development, but they go beyond that and apply to not only to product-based businesses. It’s refreshing to hear some fresh takes from other industries — it gets the creative juices flowing!
1. A Bit of Optimism by Simon Sinek – Ray’s Recommendation
I’ve been enjoying Simon Sinek’s podcast “A Bit of Optimism” where he interviews interesting people. A recent episode called “The value of values” featured Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, who spoke about their 2.1 million employees! The podcast covers everything from life to leadership – well worth a listen! Always an upbeat conversation and Simon asks some great questions.
2. The Built Environment Marketing Show by Ayo Abbas – Eszter’s Recommendation
“The Built Environment Marketing Show” by Ayo Abbas is a gem. Having followed Ayo for a long time, I appreciate how she explores marketing strategies tailored to the built environment in collaboration with other professionals. Her insights are not just inspiring but invaluable for everyone navigating the intricacies of archi-marketing, making it a go-to resource for those looking to enhance their marketing efforts within the industry.
3. How Other Dads Dad by Hamish Blake – Tim’s Recommendation
In this podcast, Hamish Blake, Aussie comedian and tv presenter, chats with other dads about their approach to fatherhood. It’s great people having really interesting discussions. We’re a new generation of dads often – doing it quite differently from how we were parented – with no real playbook, so it’s quite fascinating to hear how other Dads go about it.
4. A Podcast of One’s Own by Julia Gillard – Ray’s Recommendation
Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia, hosts a podcast where she has thought-provoking conversations with prominent female leaders from a range of different fields and backgrounds. She is moving in very interesting circles these days so gets some very good guests to interview! Julia is obviously held in high esteem by her guests so these interviews are more ‘weighty’ than some of the normal self-congratulatory podcast interviews.
5. Practice Disrupted by Practice of Architecture – Eszter’s Recommendation
I loved listening to episodes of “Practice Disrupted” by Practice of Architecture. It is an exciting exploration of the present and the future of architecture practices and how they work. Featuring innovative practices, the discussions revolve around the evolving landscape of the architectural profession, so if you’re keen on hearing new perspectives this podcast is definitely worth a listen.