KA Reads

We at KA, love a book; as within the pages there is knowledge, information, creativity, escapism and power!

Here we want to offer YOU the benefit of our collective experience, enthusiasm and encouragement to delve into the must-read titles we select, where we believe you’ll be taken on a journey of discovery.

Get Involved to Evolve – Enjoy!

How Not To Die

Author: Michael Greger, M.D FACLM

While the title of the book may seem odd or even slightly morbid, I found myself intrigued.

A lot of people, myself included are asking themselves how they can be healthier and take better care of themselves. What are the steps can I take, where do I start? This book taught me just how powerful the foods I choose to eat are; and how they can make a real and potent preventative impact. In some cases they can even reverse the manifestation and development of many serious chronic health conditions.

The author doctor Michael Greger presents scientific medical evidence in an easy-to-read narrative demonstrating the significance of dietary choices. My actionable attitude towards my food choices is forever changed after reading this book. I actively appreciate the connection between the intentions that drive an industry to ask specific questions and the influence those motives hold over the answers arrived at – for example, what motivates the medical industry to take the directions it takes? Is it being influenced in the best ways? I will leave you to read the book and make up your own mind. – Kara Minto-Simpson

QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Author: Susan Cain

This book helped me to re-evaluate the meaning of being an Introvert during a time where every parents evening sounded like a broken record. The expectation being that unless your child actively speaks in class, contributes or asks banal questions they somehow don’t understand or are regarded as less worthy as their verbose peers. Maybe that makes sense?

However, in this age of constant noise and celebrity, very often it’s the quiet ones that are underestimated and overlooked.

Susan Cain explains and explores the nature of introverts, their skills, powers and their expertise that make diverse learning and working places thrive. So sit up and pay attention to the person who may say the least but does the most. You never know what you might find out. – Alpa Patel

Untamed

Author: Glennon Doyle

Untamed is a book that seemed to travel extensively in a year whilst we were all at home, being hungrily read by those who needed to hear it’s messages. The author Glennon Doyle makes real ‘the personal is political’ and this book is a testament to her move from the label of ‘Christian mommy blogger turned philanthropist activist’ to free woman, whilst in both cases being a best-selling author.

She is a force to be reckoned with. Between her talent as a writer, her fierce loyalty to staying true to herself, and what she’s accomplished with her non-profit Together Rising, she is living a life dedicated to creating change and living truth. What is so impactful and arresting is that she starts with using her own life as the vehicle for doing that. In this book, and in her two previous books, Carry on Warrior and Love Warrior (which got picked up and championed by Oprah Winfrey and is now being made into a film) she documents her internal and domestic life. Her ability to make the unique and personal universal seems to be part of USP.

As she was about to launch Love Warrior – which is partly a book about the redemption of her fractured marriage to her husband – she met and fell in love with a
woman, Abby Wambach (a highly decorated football player, 2 time Olympic Gold medallist and the highest all-time goal scorer of international goals for both female
and male players). She then went on to write Untamed. Instead of being a structured story, it is a collection of essays spanning a range of topics: leaving her husband for Abby, getting sober — from substances, patriarchy and racism, sexuality, faith, God and parenting.

Glennon’s craft is powerful and the structure of the book is pure art. The entire book is fire from start to finish: it is a quotable book with wisdom on every page… – Claire Gold

Year of Yes – How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person.

Author: Shonda Rhimes

This book held many surprises for me but the most important one was how someone who is seemingly uber successful redefines success for themselves by saying yes to everything (especially the stuff that scares them) for one year.

A personal story of the power of challenge, this book speaks to the greatness that can happen when we push ourselves to grow. As a working mother, I saw myself in many of the pages, particularly in the struggles to find the balance between what the heart wants (read, the innocent smiling eyes of your child) and paying the bills.

After reading this book, I was inspired to say ‘Yes’ for a season – a year was too much for me! – In that time I acted on things from my bucket list and I stepped out of fear. Read this book, and say YES to growth…its time for a re-read for me.. – Movell Dash

The Good Immigrant

Author: Nikesh Shukla

The book is a selection of short essays written by men and women from across the African and Asian diasporas each sharing their experiences of life in the UK. Each account is only ten to twelve pages long, which makes the book ideal for multiple readings, dipping in and picking a different piece each time.

The subjects covered include, amongst others: the appropriation of language; the anglicisation of names; being scrutinised at airports (despite being a well-known actor); the importing of American ideas of blackness and black history over the myriad examples available from within our own country; and children from diverse backgrounds not seeing people like themselves in books. There are some well known names amongst the authors (Reni Eddo-Lodge makes an appearance a year before her book was released and made her a household name) – some are known for their work in the field of equalities whilst others are from other areas of the arts.

There is a power to this anthology because every essay is personal and heartfelt – this is not some abstract concept or theory; these are real people sharing real lives. Michael Kimmel said that privilege is invisible to those who have it – read this book and that will no longer be the case. – David Bartlett

Redemption Song - Muhammed Ali & Spirit of the Sixties

Author: Mike Maqusse

With the release of the new movie “One Night in Miami” I have returned to this non-fiction classic first published in 1999, by journalist Mike Marqusee. The author charts Ali’s growing interest in politics and the Civil Rights Movement encouraged by his growing relationship with Malcolm X. Set against the background of the domestic upheaval in the USA as well America’s increasing involvement in Vietnam, the book has gone on to be seen as a defining biography of the early years of Ali as he emerges from a national hero to a global superstar. The book asks questions of the role of celebrity and the responsibility of the famous at times of national crisis; these are themes that resonate with celebrity and readers alike.

At no more than 190 pages in length and littered with references to contemporary popular culture and sport, this is one of those books that is easy to engage with as it holds your attention throughout. I bought and read this book when it was first published and I have often returned to and recommended to others over the past 20 years because as its title suggests ‘Redemption Song’ is a story of challenge, liberation and action.  – Paul Downer

The Chrysalids

Author: John Wyndham

I first read this book when I was 10yrs old and what an impression it made. It changed my view of how one can get engrossed by words on a page and the magic that happens when an author has the ability to capture the readers’ imagination.

Be prepared to explore a post-apocalyptic society where things need to change, however, leaders control by fear. Meet a small community of individuals who because of their uniqueness and difference have to voyage across the ‘badlands’ to find an environment to be safe, to be accepted for who they are and have the sense of belonging they yearn for. A fantastic read! – Yvonne D Dowie

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