Welcome to the Axonista team’s book club

At Axonista, we love a good book recommendation! A shared love of reading provides our team with the opportunity to find something in common with our colleagues. We could spend hours chatting with family, friends, or strangers who love the same authors and characters that we do. In addition to this, books are a great way to learn something new and broaden the imagination.

​​Throughout April, we focused our team activities on the theme of ‘growth’. We organised various activities focused on personal and career growth as we wanted to support our team in developing their interpersonal, emotional, and career skills. Having a growth mindset can have real benefits as it can help our team reframe their approach to challenges, and stay motivated to work to improve their skills.

We started a book club to encourage our team to engage with a book of their choice on a topic of personal growth and learning. We all took on the challenge to read our book, and share our learnings with the rest of the team.

Axonista Book Club 

Our book club included people from Product, Design, Marketing, Operations, and Engineering teams, so it was exciting to see the various books chosen. 

We created a book club channel on Slack where we shared images, quotes, and books we had chosen to read. We also had coffee morning calls to chat about what we learned from the books we read.

To kick off a series of our book club reviews, we asked three members of the Operations, Design and Marketing teams to give us a review of their chosen books.

The Reviews

Michaela from Operations read “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant, Thomas from Design’s book choice was “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, and Dami from Marketing was “MANIFEST” by Roxie Nafousi.

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant

Think Again examines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions and open other people’s minds. There are plenty of lessons that can be discovered from reading an insightful book focused on a growth mindset. It exposes you to different ideas and improves your perspective. Michaela was delighted with her book choice!

“For Growth Month, I chose to read Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant. I chose it as I’ve always wanted to embrace uncertainty and change in a world where it seems everyone around me has their careers and lives in order.”

“Grant wants you to lean into a sense of humble open-mindedness as he believes having an open mind is a teachable skill. I’ve learned the power of embracing imposter syndrome (as it can help motivate you to work harder and smarter while making us better learners) and applying the idea that “the purpose of learning isn’t to affirm our beliefs; it’s to evolve our beliefs. Think Again pushes you to reimagine, rethink and reconsider your beliefs, thoughts, and identities to help you get to the core of why you believe what you believe, why it’s so important to you, and why you’re steadfast in holding on to those ideas and beliefs.”

“I’ve really enjoyed reading Think Again and I’m hoping to carry the lessons with me throughout my personal and professional life going forward.”

In Grant’s words:

“Being wrong won’t always be joyful. The path to embracing mistakes is full of painful moments, and we handle those moments better when we remember they’re essential for progress. But if we can’t learn to find occasional glee in discovering we were wrong, it will be awfully hard to get anything right.”

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Thinking, Fast and Slow is a book that outlines rational and non-rational motivations or triggers associated with each type of thinking process and how they complement each other. Our Director of Design Thomas chose this because “I’ve heard folks proclaiming how it changed the way they think or at least made them more aware of how their brain functions. That put it on my radar.”

I’m also interested in material consciousness, how thought and self awareness can emerge from a lump of grey organic matter sitting between our ears. So I made the connection as a book that could help me grow. Perhaps understand something about myself and the other 8 billion folks on the planet.

Thomas thought that Thinking, Fast and Slow is an excellent, challenging book that has far reaching implications on society and our basic understanding of who we are.

The book begins with an introduction to what the author calls the “Characters of the Story”. A classification of processes or thoughts that occur in your brain — System 1, and System 2. One is intuitive, automatic, and a jumping to conclusions machine. The other is the logical, effortful, but a bit of a lazy bugger.

Each following chapter looks at different biases and heuristics about how these two systems operate and the fascinating implications they have on the world. One study followed judges who spent days reviewing hundreds of parole applications. Their overall approval rate is 35%. But their approval rates spike to 65% after each meal and fall to 0% approval rate until their next meal. So if you’re up for parole, you better hope the judge recently finished a Snickers. An example of the impulsive System 1 at work.

MANIFEST by Roxie Nafousi

MANIFEST is a guide for anyone and everyone wanting to feel more empowered in their lives. If they wish to attract a soulmate, find the perfect job or dream home, or simply discover more inner peace and confidence. Our Marketing Executive Dami chose to read Manifest because “Manifestation is popular right now, and as someone interested in trends, I wanted to learn more about how people use it to improve any aspect of their life.

Everyone says that manifestation is all about visualising what they want, and it will come to them, and I couldn’t quite get into it, but I didn’t want to rule it out till I did some research. So, I decided to focus my growth book on a self-development topic that could transform my negative thinking into something positive that I could use to advance my career and personal life.

It doesn’t seem like Dami is ready to jump on the train with the 7.3 million+ who have used the hashtag Manifestation on Instagram. However, she did find Nafousi’s book to be insightful and inspirational. 

The book has 7 chapters which lead to the 7 steps to living your best life filled with positive quotes, guided questions and diagrams. I enjoyed creating a vision board of my goals. If I am being honest, I don’t think I believe in manifestation yet. Still, I enjoyed how the book motivated me to seek better out of life and reminded me of my capabilities. I recommend this book for anyone who needs a little pick up because it’s filled with so many notes that will make you feel like you can achieve anything.

Thank you for reading! We are so pleased to have a company book club that encourages us to pick a book category that we might not always go for and learn something new. The Axonista book club is also an excellent way for remote teams  to connect with each other outside of work related activities. 

We are so excited to share the next book reviews from our team members!

We’re always on the lookout for new team members to join in our mission of building the video-first future of shopping, if this sounds like something you are interested in, please check out our careers page.