Saffron Book Shelf, Autumn: Resilience

At Saffron we often find that a good book is a great way to open our minds and find the strength to take on whatever comes our way.

Therefore to start the autumn season, our strategy team recommends 7 books that will encourage your inner survivor, handle change and reflect on the important themes of freedom and resilience.

Cultural Code by Daniel Coyle.
Coyle provides readers with a toolkit for building a cohesive and innovative culture. He describes successful social groups with insightful examples and doesn’t shy away from showcasing terrible groups with devastating outcomes. Recommended by: Michèle Richner

Antifragil by Nassim Taleb.
A particularly topical book given the pandemic, Taleb analyses how we adapt to unexpected challenges and in the best cases, we thrive. Taleb is an independent thinker with a talent for conveying important concepts in a clear and entertaining fashion. Just as rich on page 400 as it is on page 4! Recommended by: Adrian Pring

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
A classic of contemporary literature, first published in 1962, the novel captures all aspects of Ivan Denisovich Shukov’s life after being sentenced to 10 years of hard labour in a gruelling soviet camp. Reading this book can be just the thing to make our daily worries seem just a little bit more trivial. Recommended by: Fernando Ortiz Ehmann

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song, edited by Kevin Young (release date Oct.13th).
New Yorker poetry editor Kevin Young spent six years condensing 250 years of African American poetry into this must-own anthology. It covers everything from slavery and civil rights, the Harlem Renaissance and the Dark Noise Collective. Recommended by: Steven Hodgson

The Fear of Freedom by Erich Fromm.
A landmark work that is as timely now as when first published in 1941. Psychologist and Philosopher Erich Fromm sees right to the heart of our contradictory needs for community and freedom. Fromm’s work analyses the illness of contemporary civilisation as witnessed by its willingness to submit to totalitarian rule. Recommend by: Jorge Müller

Beloved by Toni Morrison.
Pulitzer Prize winner, Beloved is a portrait of a woman haunted by the past. Not a light read, it's a demanding book that is uncompromising in the author’s honesty. Not a novel to be missed, but you might be glad to finish it. Recommended by: Emma Sisson

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant.
This book combines Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg’s personal insights with Grant’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. In the wake of the gut-wrenching moment when Sheryl finds her husband collapsed on a gym s floor, the book goes into how Sandberg and others who have gone through hardships overcome them. The book’s ‘lessons’ can be applied to everyday struggles to help the reader brave whatever lies ahead. Recommended by Claire Huxley

If you still need more recommendations, check out our previous booklist here