For years books have been written in an attempt to share knowledge, inspire people and aid discovery. Sometimes these books make such an impact that they change the way the world thinks about things. The following books have done just that by providing readers a bit of a challenge to their everyday behaviour and in turn aiming to change the course of human history.
Aesop’s Fables by Aesop
Sardonic, wry and wise, Aesop’s Fables are some of the most enduring and well-loved literary creations in history. In a series of pithy, amusing vignettes, Aesop created a vivid cast of characters to demonstrate different aspects of human nature. Here we see a wily fox outwitted by a quick-thinking cicada, a tortoise triumphing over a self-confident hare and a fable-teller named Aesop silencing those who mock him. Each jewel-like fable provides a warning about the consequences of wrong-doing, as well as offering a glimpse into the everyday lives of Ancient Greeks.
1984 by George Orwell
1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever, presenting a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. In 1984, London is a grim city where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organisation called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.
No Logo by Naomi Klein
No Logo is about the impact super brands have on broader society. This study examines the power of the logo, noting its increasing capacity for making the product subservient. It then reaches its core argument – the now uneasy struggle between corporate power and anti-corporate activism – via sweatshop labour, submerged identity and subversive action.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Ask most women whether they have the right to equality at work and the answer will be a resounding yes, but ask the same women whether they’d feel confident asking for a raise, a promotion, or equal pay, and some reticence creeps in. The statistics, although an improvement on previous decades, are certainly not in women’s favour – of 197 heads of state, only twenty-two are women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally, and in the world of big business, a meagre eighteen of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business – draws on her own experience of working in some of the world’s most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale. Learning to ‘lean in’ is about tackling the anxieties and preconceptions that stop women reaching the top – taking a place at the table, and making yourself a part of the debate.
#Girl Boss by Sophia Amorusa
The founder of the Nasty Gal fashion e-tailer shares an irreverent manifesto for ambitious young women that explains how to channel personal passion and energy while overcoming insecurities, outlining straightforward advice on doing meaningful work and garnering recognition.