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Top 5 book recommendations of 2024
From Fascinate's Podcasts

Podcast hosts and guests love giving book recommendations. But who has time to read them all.? Can’t someone just compile a list of the best ones, please?

Yes. Here it is. The top five books recommended on Fascinate’s slate of podcasts so far this year, as picked by our diligent staff!

1. Food for Life: The New Science of Eating Well by Time Spector

Recommended in: ZOE Science & Nutrition – 5 foods I got wrong with Tim Spector

Tim Spector is one of the world’s most cited Scientists. But even scientists can’t be right all the time. In one of his regular appearances on ZOE Science & Nutrition, Tim delves into 5 of the biggest things he got wrong when he wrote his best-selling book ‘The Dies Myth’ in 2015.

Luckily, as a scientist, Tim is happy to amend his views depending on the best available data. With our scientific understanding of nutrition advancing at an astonishing rate, Tim thought it about time to distil the latest and greatest information for us again.

After promoting the launch of his new book on ZOE Science & Nutrition, Food for Life, shot straight to number #1 in the Amazon best seller list.

It’s a cracking read and is also available on audiobook via Audible.

2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Recommended in: Startup Dads – Embrace and learn from failure with Mike Quinn

Mike Quinn is the former CEO and founder of Zoona, one of the first startups out of Africa to raise venture capital. After the collapse of Zoona, Mike took a couple of years off. He made detailed notes about what had happened, reflecting on every aspect of the downturn in a personal attempt to learn from his failure. These reflections turned into his breakout book (and bonus recommendation seeking onto this list) Failing to Win

It makes sense that Mike Quinn would recommend Ben Horowitz’s legendary book, The Hard Thing about Hard Things, subtitled, Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers.
Cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, Ben Horowitz wrote the most honest and straight-talking book about startup and founder life. Far from trying to convince potential entrepreneurs to make the jump into founder life. As a lifelong rap fan, Ben brings his hard won lessons to life through the lyrics of some of his favourite songs. The whole book serves as a warning for those about to make that leap into startup life.
Unfortunately, as is the case with most hard won lessons, few will heed the warning, and still fewer will grasp the enormity of the challenge he describes until they have lived through the ordeal themselves. 

3. Dr Rupy Cooks by Rupy Aujla

Recommended in: Happy Millionaire – How Rupy became irresistible to sponsors

Dr Rupy Aujla is the host of The Doctors Kitchen and Happy Millionaire podcasts. He’s on a mission to improve the eating habits of 1 billion people worldwide. A Big Hairy Audatious Goal but with the release of his new app and growth in his podcast empire, it’s one he’s well on his way to meeting. 

Rupy’s new recipe book, Dr Rupy Cooks: Over 100 easy, healthy, flavourful recipes, has been developed to give maximum health benefit and ease while also delivering amazing taste. It’s also been recommended by Joe Wicks, Rangan Chatterjee, and Nadiya Hussain.

4. The Third Door by Alex Banayan

Recommended in: Happy Millionaire – Founder sacrifices vs balance in life with Rhys Chowdhry

About: In his appearance on the Happy Millionaire podcast, Reece Chowdhry, Founding Partner of Concept Ventures, divulges his unconventional approach on deciding which founders to invest in. Reece says, “You’ve got the VIP line, which you pay a lot for, and you’ve got the normal line, which everyone queues up to. But there’s always a door round the back where you can jump through the toilet and get into the nightclub. You have to take that. You know, to get things done in life.”

It’s this love of finding a way that prompted Reece to suggest we pick up a copy of Alex Banayan’s The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers.
The Third Door tracks the journey of an 18-year-old college freshman who set out from his dorm room to track down Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, and dozens more of the world’s most successful people to uncover how they broke through and launched their careers. 
It doesn’t disappoint.

5. The Digital Seeker by Raj De Datta

Recommended in: Founders Uncut – Raj De Datta CEO of Bloomreach

About: This is less a book recommendation from a guest, and more the guest’s book, that we’d like to recommend. On Founders Uncut, Raj tells a wild story of his company going from $25M ARR, down to $1M. Then shooting up to $100M all in the space of 6 years.
Some Rollercoaster!

As his company, bloomreach, powers the digital commerce experience of many of the world’s biggest brands, Raj is the perfect person to write a playbook for companies wanting to offer a better digital experience. For the business nerds out there, The Digital Seeker: A Guide for Digital Teams to Build Winning Experiences is a treasure trove of information on how to coordinate teams as the world grows ever more reliant on digital experiences. 

That rounds off our top 5 book recommendations from our recent episodes. Get in touch if you like these and we’ll make these a regular blog!