Books to read this summer: top picks from Vision contributors

From Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder of the Middle East’s first unicorn, to Sara Al Haddad, a groundbreaking artist at the Venice Biennale, Vision interviewees share what they are reading this summer 

Yvette Judge, COO of the Emirates Literature Foundation

Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat

Yvette Judge Emirates Airline Festival of Literature LitFest
As COO of the Emirates Literature Foundation, Judge is an avid reader

An inspiring read. Mo writes about how he used his background as an engineer with a pragmatic approach to solution-finding to look at how happiness can be achieved and maintained no matter what life throws at us. If you want to become happier, you can – it is a choice we make, and Mo takes us through the steps to make that decision.

Justine Bain, CEO of Sandy Seeds

The Mind Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer, MD and The Plant Paradox by Steven R. Gundry, MD

Justine Bain Sandy Seeds
Justine Bain's choices will no doubt help shape her mindful education business

The first is a truly fascinating book written by Mayer, that I highly recommend to anyone that has not yet stumbled across the proven link between our gut health, its environment, and our brain. It's a relative easy read and has precious nuggets of information for all readers. 

The second by Steven R, Gundry combines years of groundbreaking research (his own) with practical advice and tools for those wishing to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder of Careem

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone and Perspective on McKinsey & Company, the World's Top Strategic Consulting Firm by Marvin Bower

Mudassir Sheikha co-founder Careem
As co-founder of the Middle East's first billion-dollar company, Careem, Sheikha's reading is business-focused

The goal [of reading these texts] is to learn how to scale a high-performing organisation with a mission-driven culture. 

Sara Al Haddad, exhibiting artist at National Pavilion UAE

The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard

Sara Al Haddad artist National Pavilion UAE
Sara Al Haddad's chosen reading will shape her both personally and professionally Image: National Pavilion UAE

I learnt what home meant to me while I was doing my MFA in Baltimore, US, as my time there was nearing an end. Here in Dubai, a year later, I find myself longing for that same sense of security. I went [there] knowing I wanted to explore 'home' for my thesis, and I came back; I try to remind myself that home no longer needs to be defined, I just need to learn to allow myself to openly experience it again. This book was recommended by two of my professors back at Maryland Institute College Of Art.

Viktor Axelsen, men’s singles Olympic bronze medallist, badminton

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and Originals by Adam Grant

Viktor Axelsen
Viktor Axelsen is the 2016 Dubai World Superseries Finals champion

I enjoy studying the human body and mind, and I was recommended [the first] book a few times. I’m really enjoying it so far and find it interesting how the brain works. 

The second is an interesting book about going against the grain and believing in good ideas. Adam Grant uses a lot of studies in this book, which I really like. 

Matt Toogood and Kim Thompson, co-founders, RAW Coffee

Matt Toogood and Kim Thompson, co-founders of RAW Coffee in Dubai
Matt Toogood and Kim Thompson, co-founders of RAW Coffee in Dubai

Matt: The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack

I enjoy reading business books based around real life stories that as a business leader you can relate to. This book is 30 years old but is still incredibly relevant to today’s business. We have an amazing young dynamic team at RAW, and we are introducing this to our senior leadership team as part of our business planning over the summer. We know that if our team understands, believes, and helps to create the company's goals, we will all be focused towards the same outcomes.

Kim: The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

This is a saga following an eccentric family, set in a Latin American country. I decided to read it because it’s a good yarn, and helps me escape work and switch off.