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August One: Summer Reading List 2020

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

by Oscar Hong

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The past few months have presented an amazing opportunity for us to grow as individuals and as families. The circumstances have helped us refocus on things that are important in our lives and to introspect on what we want our world to look like going forward. 

At August One, being active in thought, opportunity and knowledge is a core value that binds us. As a team of avid readers and ‘perpetual students,’ we are constantly recommending books to each other. With our mantra of Investing in together for good we are starting a new tradition of sharing some great books that have inspired, informed and motivated us this past year.

The following is a selection from our inaugural annual Reading List. Featuring 15 titles ranging from personal development and leadership to history, gourmet and travel, this is a diverse collection of topics and authors that inspire us as individuals and as a team. 

We would love to discuss these with you. Please also feel free to write to us or send an audio, text or video message with any book recommendations you might have for us. 

Let my people go surfing, by Yvon Chouinard. The author is a legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc., this book delves into the history of the company and the core values that make it one of the most respected environmentally active leaders in the world.

The Power of Habits, by Charles Duhigg. In this extremely informative and well written book, the author explores the science behind the process of human habit creation. The book helps us identify actionable ways to ‘hack our mindset’ to achieve long lasting and systemic changes in how we live our lives.

Lynchpin, by Seth Godin. The author is one of the most prolific writers of our times. Through his blogs, videos and books he has inspired a whole generation of business leaders to challenge convention and attempt the extraordinary. In this fantastic book, he talks about the importance of indispensable individuals for any organization to achieve greatness.

A history of the world in 6 glasses, by Tom Standage. This very fascinating book tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the twenty-first century through each epoch's signature refreshment. As Tom Standage persuasively argues, each drink is in fact a kind of technology, advancing culture and catalyzing the intricate interplay of different societies.

Dirty little secret of family businesses, by Henry Hutcheson. Acknowledging that every family is unique and a cookie-cutter approach is not the answer, Henry Hutcheson presents a deeper look at the underlying mechanics of what makes a family business work and how to balance the family and the business in the long term.

Start with the Why, by Simon Sinek. One of the simplest and most inspiring books on the subject of what drives us and how starting with the why is fundamental to identifying purpose. Simon Sinek’s work has become even more relevant in a post pandemic world where we will need to redefine how we live, work and play and how we share ourselves as individuals, families and companies.

Taming your Gremlin - A surprisingly simple method for getting out of your own way, by Richard Carson. This well written book presents a creative yet practical approach to solving life's problems. Through the powerful metaphor of the gremlin, visualized imaginatively by Novle Rogers's artwork, you will find ways to identify and banish the tenacious, self-defeating aspects of your personality.

Hidden life of trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries from a Secret World, by Peter Wohlleben. The book discusses groundbreaking scientific discoveries and helps the reader get into this incredibly magical yet familiar world. The concepts of family, community and sharing, often perceived to be uniquely human concepts, are at the essence of how trees relate to each other. A fantastic book for your summer reading list.

Status Anxiety: Writing at the confluence of history, politics, art, philosophy, economics and science, by Alain de Botton. The author is one of the leading philosophers of our times. In this engaging and revealing book, he explores how our fear of failure defines us human kind and how we might remedy it. In a world where external validation in the form of likes, followers and retweets seems to dictate the worth of an individual, de Botton’s work provides the intellectual toolset to reevaluate what's truly important in life.

Cradle to Cradle, by Michael Braungart and William McDonough. Rethinking the way we make things, an underlying concept of our society. The alarming but insightful 2002 manifesto provides a perspective on how we should challenge our conceptions of good and sustainable.

Never split the difference, by Chris Voss. Inspired by his experience as a hostage negotiator for the FBI, Chris Voss shares advice on how to improve negotiation skills. Using powerful examples, he builds a structure for the reader to follow and apply the precepts in real life.

What the dog saw, by Malcolm Gladwell. A refreshing perspective on personalities, intelligence and predictions. This compilation is an easy book to grab whenever you are in transit, looking for a short interesting read.

The 5Am Club, by Robin Sharma. Discover the early rising habit that has helped so many accomplish epic results while upgrading their happiness, helpfulness and feelings of aliveness.  An enchanting - and often amusing story about two struggling strangers who meet an eccentric tycoon who becomes their secret mentor, the book walks you through how some of the great geniuses start their mornings to produce astonishing achievements, wake up feeling instantly inspired, focused and flooded with a fiery drive and make time for exercise, self renewal and personal growth.

Essentialism - The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown. Essentialism isn’t one more thing; it is a different way of doing everything. It is a discipline you apply constantly, effortlessly. Essentialism is a mindset; a way of life. It is an idea whose time has come. Author Greg McKeown draws on experience and insight from working with the leaders of the most innovative companies in the world to show how to achieve the disciplined pursuit of less.

The Hill Station, by J.G. Ferrell, by John Spurling. To the cool of the Simla hills comes a reluctant Dr McNab, with his wife and young niece. For Emily, romance is in the air. For the mysterious Mrs Forester, there is scandal brewing. And for the Bishop of Simla, rain clouds are not the only storms on the horizon...The Hill Station is the novel on which J.G. Farrell was working at the time of his tragically early accidental death.

With best regards to you and your families,

August One

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