On the first day of each month, our wonderful office manager, Maureen, draws a name for our book recommendation tradition. So many great titles have been suggested, and we wanted to share them with you!

There’s really a bit of everything in our virtual library. From inspirational manga to management and leadership books – and even some humor for good measure – the titles listed are a reflection of our diverse team.

Check them out below!

November 2021

The Freelance Mum by Annie Ridout

Amazon description: More time with your kids, making the money you know you’re worth and a better work/life balance. No wonder more women than ever are choosing to become freelance mums. In the last decade, 70% more mums have chosen to go freelance. Annie Ridout was one of them. And in her enlightening new book, she shares the tips and tricks that helped her build a better working life around her family. From choosing a career and launching a website, to getting your name out there and perfecting your brand, to the nitty gritty of childcare options and daily routines, The Freelance Mum is a comprehensive guide to setting out on your own path. Using her own experience, alongside advice from other mums that make it work, including Arianna Huffington, Scummy Mummies, Carrie-Anne Roberts, Robyn Wilder, Zoe de Pass, Cherry Healey, Sali Hughes and Anna Jones, Annie will show that with hard work and determination, any mother can thrive as a freelancer.

Recommended by Daniela: The book was a source of support as I grappled with a life-changing decision – return to the career I had pre-kids or leave. But, most importantly, through it I found a community of other mums who wanted a bigger role in their kids’ upbringing while still pursuing their career goals – just not in a regular 9-5. I learned it’s ok to prioritize family over work in a culture that often tells us otherwise. The book’s firmly placed within a specific niche, but can still be helpful to anyone considering a switch to freelancing. Annie’s other book, Shy: How Being Quiet Can Lead to Success, is another great read for anyone who fits that description. I know I do!

December 2021

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

Goodreads description: The One Thing explains the success habit to overcome the six lies that block our success, beat the seven thieves that steal time, and leverage the laws of purpose, priority, and productivity.

Recommended by Richard: This book was recommended to me and I can’t wait to dig in!

January 2022

The Body as Material Culture by Joanna R. Soafer

Amazon description: Bodies intrigue us. They promise windows into the past that other archaeological finds cannot by bringing us literally face to face with history. Yet ‘the body’ is also highly contested. Archaeological bodies are studied through two contrasting perspectives that sit on different sides of a disciplinary divide. On one hand lie science-based osteoarchaeological approaches. On the other lie understandings derived from recent developments in social theory that increasingly view the body as a social construction. Through a close examination of disciplinary practice, Joanna Sofaer highlights the tensions and possibilities offered by one particular kind of archaeological body, the human skeleton, with particular regard to the study of gender and age. Using a range of examples, she argues for reassessment of the role of the skeletal body in archaeological practice, and develops a theoretical framework for bioarchaeology based on the materiality and historicity of human remains.

The cognitive behavioral workbook for anxiety by William J. Knauss

Amazon description: William J. Knaus offers a step-by-step program to help you overcome anxiety and get back to living a rich and productive life. With this book, you will develop a personal wellness plan using techniques from rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), powerful treatment methods proven to be even more effective than anxiety medication. This edition includes new evidence-based techniques such as behavioral activation and values-based action, addresses perfectionism and anxiety, and features updated, cutting-edge research. Anxiety and panic are intense emotions, and in the moments that you experience them it may seem like you are powerless, but nothing could be further from the truth. This workbook offers a practical program that you can use on your own, or with a therapist, to take back that power and end anxiety once and for all.

Recommended by Callista: There are various books that have grabbed my interest over the years. Two books that came to mind are “The body as material culture” and “The cognitive behavioral workbook for anxiety”. The first one is based in archaeology. I just find it really interesting what we can learn from people themselves but also the frames we ourselves use. The second book just has great tips for particular situations that one may find themselves in when it comes to anxiety/ panic attacks.

February 2022

The Witcher Series by Andrzej Sapkowski

Amazon description: Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless hunter. Yet he is no ordinary killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good . . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

Recommended by Maureen: I like to read…..mainly fiction books. However, these days once I start a page I doze off! So….I am into Audiobooks. I listen while I’m folding laundry, while I’m washing the dishes, etc;  And right now I am almost finished with ‘The Last Wish’ by Andrzej Sapkowski. From The Witcher Novel Series. I love the Netflix Show, and of course the books are so much more detailed. So if you like reading about Elves and Monster Slayers I suggest you start from this one.

March 2022

The Demon-haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan

Goodreads description: How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions. Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today’s so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.

Recommended by a team member: I have to say “The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark” by Carl Sagan is one of my favorite books ever!! It’s about rational and critical thinking, highly recommended!

April 2022

Kokou no Hito (The Climber) by Shin-ichi Sakamoto & Yoshirō Nabeda

Wikipedia description Kokou no Hito or The Climber is a Japanese manga series based on a novel by Jirō Nitta. It tells the story of introvert solo mountain climber Mori Buntarō—partially based on real-life mountain climber Buntarō Katō—who is introduced to sport climbing after being transferred to a new high school and later dedicates his entire life to professional mountain climbing, keeping the ascent of K2’s East Face as his goal.

Recommended by Tico: This could perhaps be considered cheating but my favorite book isn’t a book but a manga, called Kokou no Hito (The Climber). It’s about a student who discovers his love for climbing and almost becomes obsessed with it. Through overcoming life’s hurdles and conquering objectives, something stirs up inside of us, making us want more.

While on the surface, it follows the narrative of someone simply wanting to climb mountains, some of the most profound elements of The Climber lie in its underlying themes, which questions the “Why” of not only the protagonist but also the reader. What is it that drives us? Why is it that we do what we do on a daily basis in order to achieve our goals? The answer to these questions can be quite complex or, in the case of Mori Buntarou, extremely simple. With its phenomenal paneling and exceptional storytelling, the climber, in my opinion, can, without a doubt, be considered a masterpiece. I highly recommend giving this one a read.

My runner-ups are:

  • The complete chronicles of Conan
  • Arnold schwarzenegger’s Total Recall
  • Dante’s Divine Comedy
  • Marcus Aurelius Meditations
  • Vagabond (Manga)

May 2022

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

Amazon description:  Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. Next, he walks you through the steps in the life of a business — from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed — and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether it is a franchise or not. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.

Recommended by Thomas: When I first started to freelance back in 2015, I used to take on all the work I could get my hands on. This book (suggested to me by Richard) had a profound effect on how I select the work I do, but also most importantly the importance of delegating work. It’s been tough to rewire my brain to work on projects using a different mindset, however this book has helped me go in the right direction. Value can be found within the book whether you are a freelancer or not.
And as for the best book to read while sitting on the toilet, it has to be Laugh on the Loo!

Watch this space in the months to come for more book recommendations from our amazing team!

The books we read are a reflection of what inspires us… If you love our recommendations, chances are you’d also love us! Check out Ciloo’s current job openings – we’re always on the lookout for new talent!