Reading lists for a staycation

After three long months at home, whether we filled with days baking sourdough while on furlough, or juggled childcare between back to back zoom calls, I think it’s safe to say that most of us are desperately looking forward to having some time off this summer.

While we might be missing out on hopping on flights to beaches with guaranteed sun & breakfast buffets this year, there are worse places to spend a summer than old Blighty. And what better way to escape & explore new worlds than with a great book.

This week, we caught up with the Transform team about what’s on their reading list this summer, and which ones they are most looking forward to…

Ronnie – MD & Founder of Transform

One of the benefits of a staycation is the limitless luggage capacity – which means I can revert to my love of an actual, physical book. There’s a mixture here:

  • An oldie that has been on the shelf for a while – Sticky Wisdom is about how to start a creative revolution.

  • Something for inspiration – Information is Beautiful about how to visualise information.

  • My must-read is The Goldfinch by Donna Tart. An acerbic coming of age tale about a young boy whose life is intricately connected with a famous missing painting.

  • For new learning – Incognito by David Eagleman which explores the secret lives of the brain.

  • And a special mention for Derek Draper’s Create Space. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Derek and be inspired by his work. I’ve previously speed-read his book but I’ve never given it the attention it deserves. Derek has been seriously ill from Covid-19 and our thoughts are with him and his family with every wish for a full recovery.

Reading list summer holidays

Karolyn – Head of Content at Transform

Karolyn’s role involves writing white papers, managing accounts and leading intelligent PR campaigns.


  • Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. Because…Who doesn’t love Brené Brown? Plus it was recommended in the brilliant This column will change your life column in the Guardian. And Oliver Burkeman is a man to be listened to.

  • Summer by Ali Smith. It’s the last instalment in her Seasonal Quartet and the first three books were exceptional.

  • Motherwell by Deborah Orr. Her columns were always brilliant, her death last year was incredibly sad, and it comes highly recommended by my husband. Who is also a man to be listened to. 


  • What’s New on Netflix.

And to add to my shame, there’s no pile of books so here’s a photo of my Kindle…

Josie – Digital Executive at Transform

Josie’s role involves updating our website, graphic design, creating digital assets for clients and updating our social channels.

I’d like to stay I’ll be too busy at the beach and running along the Pembrokeshire coastal path to reading all of these books, but let’s face it, 7 days of sunshine is a miracle when in West Wales so I may just get through them…

  • Atchafalaya Houseboat by Gwen Roland. Because there’s something divine in closing my laptop at the end of the day and reading about simple days in the Louisiana Swamp. I’ve had this book on the go for a couple of weeks and will hopefully finish it with an empty to-do list.

  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith because Zadie is one of my favourite authors & it has become somewhat of a tradition to get absorbed in one of her novels over the summer.

  • The Next American Revolution – Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-first century by Grace Lee Boggs because I used to be really passionate about fighting climate change and I need to stop being lazy.

  • Also in the stack – Place Based Education by David Sobel and How to get to the top of Google by Tim Cameron-Kitchen because… they have both been sat on my bookshelf for too long and it’s about time I finished them!

Dan – Head of Business Development at Transform

Dan’s role involves building relationships, creating opportunities and expanding our presence.

  • A Fool and his Eel by Mark Walsingham because he is a good friend of mine. He is the owner of a magical 17-acre fishery called ‘Ashmead’ on the Somerset levels, hidden away behind the small village of Martock. Mark has devoted his life to wildlife and the conservation of lakes, forests, rivers and waterways across the UK.

Having the privilege of being able to spend 5 days and nights on Marks beautiful lake whilst reading his book is like heaven on earth. To learn more about Mark and Ashmead, please see an interview here, recorded in September 2018. The film also features one of my favourite captures in over 34 years:


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