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!

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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