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6 great books to read this Christmas

The Christmas break is fast approaching, so whether it’s a last minute Christmas present for the Life Sciences professional in your life or you’re just looking for an alternative to the Christmas TV then you’ve come to the right place. Paramount have compiled a list of some of our favourite must-reads to keep your brain ticking over the festive period:

Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die 

By Chip Heath and Dan Heath  

What is that makes urban myths so persistent but many everyday truths so eminently forgettable? How do newspapers set about ensuring that their headlines make you want to read on? And why do we remember complicated stories but not complicated facts?

In the course of over ten years of study, Chip and Dan Heath have established what it is that determines whether particular ideas or stories stick in our minds or not, and Made to Stick is the fascinating outcome of their painstaking research. Packed full of case histories and thought-provoking anecdotes, it shows, among other things, how one Australian scientist convinced the world he’d discovered the cause of stomach ulcers by drinking a glass filled with bacteria, how a gifted sports reporter got people to watch a football match by showing them the outside of the stadium, and how high-concept pitches such as ‘Jawson a spaceship’ (Alien) and ‘Die Hard on a bus’ (Speed) convince movie executives to invest vast sums of money in a project on the basis of almost no information.

In the simplest terms, Made to Stick helps you find that focus and teaches you how to grab someone’s attention and create an emotional connection. This book is perfect for anyone planning a speech or trying to get their message across at work.


Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World 

By Michael Hyatt  

Michael Hyatt is one of the top business bloggers in the world, in this book he provides down-to-earth guide for building and expanding a powerful platform. To be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform. In this step-by-step guide, Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, takes readers behind the scenes, into the new world of social media success. He shows you what best-selling authors, public speakers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and other creatives are doing differently to win customers in today’s crowded marketplace. Hyatt speaks from experience. He writes one of the top 800 blogs in the world and has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter. In Platform, Hyatt teaches readers how to extend their influence and how, for the first time in history, non-celebrities can get noticed-and win big!-in an increasingly noisy world.


Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time 

By Susan Scott 

Fierce Conversations is a way of conducting business. An attitude. A way of life. Communications expert Susan Scott maintains that a single conversation can change the trajectory of a career, marriage or life. Whether these are conversations with yourself, partner, colleagues, customers, family or friends, Fierce Conversations shows you how to have conversations that count and how to  overcome the barriers to meaningful conversations, express who you are and what you believe
and inspire followers, attract believers and build visions that become reality.


The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science 

By Norman Doidge 

In The Brain That Changes Itself, brain expert Norman Doidge reveals our brain’s remarkable ability to repair itself through the power of positive thought. He introduces fascinating stories at the cutting edge of the brain science and the emerging discipline of ‘neuroplasticity’. He tells the story of a stroke victim who unable to feed or dress himself learned to move and talk again, the woman with a rare brain condition that left her feeling as though she was perpetually falling but who through a series of exercises rewired her brain to overcome this and the maverick scientists over turning centuries of assumptions about the brain and its capacity for renewal. This remarkable book will leave you with a sense of wonder at the capabilities of the human brain and the power to change which lies within all of us.


Bad Science 

By Ben Goldacre

In Bad Science, Ben Goldacre hilariously exposes the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science. In Bad Pharma, he put the $600 billion global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope.

Since 2003 Dr Ben Goldacre has been exposing dodgy medical data in his popular Guardian column. In this eye-opening book he takes on the MMR hoax and misleading cosmetics ads, acupuncture and homeopathy, vitamins and mankind’s vexed relationship with all manner of ‘toxins’. Along the way, the self-confessed ‘Johnny Ball cum Witchfinder General’ performs a successful detox on a Barbie doll, sees his dead cat become a certified nutritionist and probes the supposed medical qualifications of ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith.

Full spleen and satire, Ben Goldacre takes us on a hilarious, invigorating and ultimately alarming journey through the bad science we are fed daily by hacks and quacks.


Your Conscious Mind: Unravelling the greatest mystery of the human brain (New Scientist Instant Expert) 

By New Scientist  

What is this strange mental world that seems so essential to being human? The conscious mind brings together sensations, perceptions, thoughts and memories to generate the seamless movie of a person’s life. It makes us aware of the world around us and our own self. How all this emerges from a kilogram of brain cells is one of the greatest unanswered questions.

In Your Conscious Mind leading brain scientists and New Scientist take you on a journey through the mind to discover what consciousness really is, and what we can learn when it goes awry. Find out if we will ever build conscious machines, what animal consciousness can tell us about being human and explore the enigma of free will.

Merry Christmas from everyone at Paramount! 

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22nd December

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