Post title image: The Ashore Gift Guide 2023: Part I - Books

The Ashore Gift Guide 2023: Part I - Books

15 books for the reader, thinker and dreamer in your life.

Ashore News

Stuck on some reading recommendations for your favourite bookworm this Christmas?

With under 2 weeks to go, the Ashore Crew is sharing our favourite reads from this year to help you finish off your Christmas shopping.

Books for creative-thinkers, books for bookworms.

Aled read so many books in 2023 we lost track, so you know this selection is top notch.Aled read so many books in 2023 we lost track, so you know this selection is top notch.

First up - Aled Maclean-Jones, our bookworm-in-chief, fearless CEO and chief stay rater / workspace installer at Ashore.

Here are his top 5 this year:

  • After the Funeral: Tessa Hadley, England’s most under-rated writer, returns with another brilliant collection of short stories. A master at work. (Penguin)
  • The Creative Act: Rick Rubin explains why being an artist isn’t about the type of work you do, but how you approach it. Essential for living a more creative life. (Penguin Random House)
  • The Wolves of Eternity: The second book in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Morning Star series. The mundanity of everyday life continues whilst the dead walk the earth. (Penguin)
  • Crossover Creativity: London advertising legend Dave Trott's sixth collection of real life stories about creativity. Buy it. Keep it at home. And whenever you’re stuck, pick it up. (Harriman House)
  • The Secret Hours: Mick Herron’s new tale of bureaucrats and spooks is his best yet. Also has a foot-chase through the English countryside for extra Ashore points. (Hachette)

Books for sci-fi fans, books for fans of science.

We are begging Jon to read a non-sci-fi fiction book.We are begging Jon to read a non-sci-fi fiction book.

Next: Jon, CTO of Ashore; sometime digital nomad, currently working on Ashore from the sunny climes of Gran Canaria.

Here are his top 5 for 2023:

  • The Science of Storytelling: Will Storr’s pop-sci book is so stuffed with fascinating insights into the neuroscience of storytelling that it’s a page turner. Mind blowing in every chapter. (Buy direct from the author)
  • Washington Black: “Imaginative” doesn’t do it justice, is it sci-fi, history, or adventure? Dive-in and grab a hold of something. A total ride from Esi Edugyan. (Afrori Books)
  • Project Hail Mary: The world is ending, a primary school teacher is humanity’s only hope, a twist comes from the heavens. One for those who regularly wonder what non-carbon-based extraterrestrial life might entail, from Andy Weir. (Penguin)
  • Leonardo Da Vinci: I challenge anyone to read this and say “I knew all that”. The biography GOAT Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo’s life into the highest definition with incredible detail. Prepare to feel extremely unproductive & inferior. (Simon & Schuster)
  • Dark Matter: The Sci-Fi blockbuster Hollywood is crying out for, rendered in book form (incoming Apple TV series). I read it in one sitting because it’s too thrilling to stop thinking about. (Penguin Random House)

Books for history fans, recent, far-flung and every time between. (+female cyborg Jesus)

If it happened in the past, (like everything in the past does), Steph wants to know about it.If it happened in the past, (like everything in the past does), Steph wants to know about it.

And finally, Stephanie, our COO, brings some historical accuracy to proceedings.

Here are some books she read this year:

  • Napoleon: Andrew Roberts’ engagingly written and comprehensive biography does everything Ridley Scott didn’t do. Read it and see why it was always a fool’s errand to attempt to cram him into one film. (Buy from the author)
  • Dominion: Tom Holland had another book out this year of course (Pax), but Dominion remains my favourite; he traces “uncanny” at their time Christian teachings through mainstream Western thought today. (Hatchette)
  • Hyperion: I read all of this Dan Simmons series over the summer in one big book binge; imagine Chaucer wrote a space opera about a female cyborg Jesus who's come to save us from AGI. An amazing ride, with lots of current-feeling commentary on the nature of human existence, AI and what we are here for. (Buy on Abe - no longer available from the publisher!)
  • Super Pumped - The Battle for Uber: I technically re-read this after buying a physical copy for the first time in January. Still one of the best insidery ZIRP chronicles ever. #bringbackTravis (Buy from the author)
  • Furious Love: Kashner and Schoenberger’s chronicle of the Burton-Taylor romance from the set of Cleopatra through their multiple marriages (to each other, and others), to the tragic end. By turns extremely romantic, and extremely depressing. (Harper Collins)

Still stuck? Send them on a writing trip.

Why not challenge the bookworm in your life to write something of their own?

We're about to launch Ashore gift cards: Sign up here to be notified when they launch here.

We've had customers use Ashore to put some time aside for focused writing, and our desks are the perfect place to get some serious writing done in peaceful surroundings.

Our beautiful gold-foil adorned gift cards.Our beautiful gold-foil adorned gift cards.

Taking a trip with Ashore means:

A comfortable, quiet reflective space for working - whether that's getting something done in your main job, working on a side project, or even writing a novel

Each location is only onboarded to the platform after one of our team has visited and met the owner personally, as well as tested the internet speed, so there are no surprises

Every Ashore stay is based in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK - from a desk with views over a Scottish loch, stays nestled on the Jurassic Coast, or quiet reflective spaces on a Welsh mountainside, you can find it with Ashore

We‘ve found the best homes in the UK for a working break. If you need a break from your home office, your routine, or a productive way to recharge and re-assess - these are the places to do it. Explore Ashore here.

Continue reading from The Journal:

Side project genesis, a new newsletter for the UK startup world

Made in Ashore
Caitlin Rozario talks us through her Ashore stay in Devon with her partner Will Webster
February 15, 2024

The Founder Residency Programme returns

Ashore News
Time to think. On us.
February 15, 2024

Football Factory

Desk Notes
How the Kansas City Chiefs built the ultimate creative culture.
February 13, 2024

Tech Romanticism vs Tech Rationalism

Desk Notes
Or, why the bicycle of the mind still needs a rider.
February 6, 2024

Product Design, on the riverside

Made in Ashore
A conversation with Vivien Ilett, Product Designer - working on something new from Norfolk.
February 2, 2024