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The Alive positivity book club

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The Alive positivity book club

As a team we often share recommendations of music, inspirational places to go or eat and amazing books we’ve read. It helps us get to know each other more and understand each other through the things that matter most. It strengthens our bond.

In one of our recent #Yesvember blogs, Ben Morton touches on media consumption, when and what we watch and how it affects our happiness and mindset. Our choice of books and when we choose to read them can inspire, enthuse, excite and delight us and make a difference in how we go about our everyday lives and work. A noble book choice is like a good friend who hears your plight and gives you the boost you need at that particular time.


In the words of Mark Haddon;

Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.


So, continuing in the spirit of #Yesvember we decided to share the books that have created a fire in us. Something that has given us a new perspective, or techniques to use or ideas to live by. We have many to choose from as creatives and communicators but we’ve selected a few of ours, and our dear friends’, suggestions to share with you…


Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

“A firm favourite of Team Alive, this book has done the rounds with a lot of us. A fabulous book with lessons on how to unleash your inner creativity and alleviate the doubt and fear in us all.”


The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

“Encouraged me (most of the time 🙂) to get my lazy backside out of bed in the mornings and get stuff done. Particularly when we were in lockdown 1.”


Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success – Angela Duckworth

“This book is all about how we can achieve things through a positive mental attitude and a strong work ethic rather than relying on giftedness, pure talent or a high IQ. It feels real, human and humble and there’s plenty of storytelling to illustrate the points. It’s not just about personal development, it talks about supporting the people around you too, and that matters to me.”


Factfulness – Hans Rosling

“Let’s face it, the world is a pretty confusing, turbulent place right now. If someone offered you a practical ‘How To’ manual on how to make sense of it all, you’d probably take it, yeah? Then say hello to Factfulness by Hans Rosling – a soothing antidote to fake news and alarmist hype. It’s a rallying cry to developing a fact-based viewpoint to shift misconceptions, calm fears and see the world as it really is. It identifies the biases and instincts that cloud our judgements and opinions, and provides a much clearer, more positive view of reality.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

“This is a book for when life gets too much. Mark has a ‘fruity’ way of getting to the root of the problem and gives no nonsense advice when I need it the most. As a pleaser, the word ‘no’ doesn’t tend to feature much in my vocabulary. But his insight has given me a little more power to know when a ‘no’ would serve me better. “

Ally (and seconded by Alex, ” it makes you focus on the important things in life and what really matters to you personally.”)

Zero negativity  – Ant Middleton

“This book of techniques on how to get out of your negative thinking habits is a firm favourite of mine. It has shown me there’s a different way with helpful bullet pointed guides that recap at the end of each chapter.”


Emotional Agility – Susan David

“This is one of the best books I’ve come across. It’s about facing our emotions courageously and compassionately and learning how to accept them for what they are. It echoes so much of what I have already heard and read about but brings it to life in an accessible and tangible way. It was a book that actually made a difference to the way I think and inspired me to behave differently. And that’s powerful.”



The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor

“My favourite ever book on positive psychology. It outlines the seven principles that fuel success and performance at work as well as personal happiness. It challenges the idea that we become happier and more positive when we are successful, suggesting that it’s actually the other way around. And by following the seven principles, we can reverse this formula and create our own ripples of positivity to help others!



We would love to share your titles. What’s the most uplifting book you’ve read? Share your recommendations with us!

“The guys at Alive understand the complexities of our business which means we don’t need to explain the detail of every project or design piece – they’re already on it, which keeps things moving and delivers the results we need.”

Emily Stoten — Head of Marketing, Selecta

“I feel like they own and care for the project as much as we do! I would not use anyone else for my creative work and think Alive is ahead of the game.”

Jo Hobbs — Communications Manager

“Thanks for all your help. We are delighted with the campaign, both in terms of the creativity and messaging but also the thought taken over the rollout of the materials. All looks absolutely fabulous!”

Sarah Crowdy — Campaign and Media Officer Communications, South East Water

“We went to ‘Alive’ for ideas on how to run a specific employee program in Europe. Alan and his team were brilliant in coming up with fresh, creative and practical approaches. The team took charge and executed brilliantly. We are pleased with the progress made so far and hope to have the same level of partnership and commitment going forward.”

Sobha Varghese — Tata Consultancy Services

“So glad that we chose Alive to create our new website. As well as taking the time to get the visual side of our requirement right, they worked with us to understand us, our business and our clients and reflect this across the site. We loved their flexible approach, which, coupled with the right level of challenge has replaced our old, clunky site with one we can be proud of. ”

Victoria Ford — Perago

“Alive were there to help when we were working every hour to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. They gave us the creativity, ideas and support we needed to deliver campaigns which empowered our residents in the most difficult time most of us have ever seen, personally and professionally. The team understood what we needed, worked closely with us and delivered fast without any compromise on quality. Working with Alive has been a joy in the darkest of times and I have no doubt will have helped to save lives. Thanks team x”

Julie Odams, Assistant Director of Communications & Customers — Derbyshire County Council

“Alive with Ideas was able to help transform the visual layout for our RSVP invite into an crisp, vibrant, and eye-catching design. Each time I work with the team, I am always stunned at the effort and creativity that goes into each detail and am always eager for the end result. The team is extremely accommodating and always provide a fresh approach to our projects that elevates our communications materials!”

Alana Khaytin, Communications Specialist — Braskem America

“If you are looking to improve creativity and build teamwork, I highly recommend a session like this for your team. No matter where you are in your creativity journey, a workshop like this can give your team a boost of energy and ideas to invigorate their creative thinking.”

Amy Lilja, IC Manager — Hennepin Healthcare

“This is brilliant. I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the team who worked on this. You all understood exactly what we wanted to communicate and why, and then managed to do it in a way that was far better than anything I could have imagined. I’m a bit choked up to be honest!”

Sarah Wright, Head of Communications and Campaigns — NEA

“This looks amazing - brought a smile to my face scrolling through it :-)”

Jack Ford, Head of Marketing — streamGO

“Love it. I will pass to the boss, but I think it's awesome.”

Matt Fletcher — Met Police

“We worked with the team at Alive to create our staff recognition video.
At a time like this, its never been more important to share the amazing work that our staff have done and continue to do on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances. We wanted to shout about this and recognise that when the time came, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue stepped up to the plate. We didn’t want an ordinary thank you post on social media or a basic email sent out internally, we wanted something special. Enter Alive. ”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“The (Alive) team were able to creatively pull together and document (in just over 2minutes) everything our service has achieved over the last few months, from thousands of prescriptions deliveries to hundreds of phone calls made to the vulnerable. The final product was so powerful and reflective of what our service has and continues to achieve. It couldn’t have been better received within the service – thanks Alive for once again helping us to communicate our vision!’”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire & Rescue

Thank you so much. Incredible work done at incredible speed by incredible people.
Outstanding work as ever and what a turnaround. As for the concepts – wow. These are that good it would be an insult to describe them as just good. It’s a joke, quite frankly. This is exactly the Alive effect I was after. Right now I feel like I am living in an Alive With Ideas wonderland. Thank you!”

Jack Grasby, Campaigns Manager — SYFR

“Our company is fun, we have great brands, but most importantly we’re all about our people – and I wanted an agency who would understand that and help us bring it to life through our website and other comms. Straight away I felt that Alive ‘got’ us and provided the creative inspiration exactly where we needed it, as well as the technical expertise to deliver a well-functioning website.”

Keren McCarron, Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications — KP Snacks

“Alive were professional, friendly and great to work with. Most importantly they were creative, helping us to bring an extremely important safety campaign to life.”

Jack Grasby — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“Alive helped us create a video of our response to the floods of winter 2019. Our Chief Officer received messages from all round the country praising us for it and was really pleased with both the video and the response to it.”

Alexander Mills, Communications Manager — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“I have worked with Alive with Ideas for many years now and they are by far the best Ideas and design company I have ever worked with (I’d even go as far as to say the best company of any sort that I’ve ever worked with). They are an incredibly talented and creative team, who are normal human beings, completely grounded, totally down to earth, approachable, friendly and an overall joy to work with.”

Steph Tranter, Hybrid Exec Coach & Psychologist —

“Alive are unique in how much they deeply listen and invest in you and your ideas. I have not come across a company that listens as much as they do to ensure your needs are understood and met (actually - they always exceed my needs and expectations). Everyone I recommend Alive to has an equally brilliant experience. When you work with Alive, you are not only getting some genius creativity brought into your life, you are also hanging out with some of the best examples of human beings I’ve ever known.”

Steph Tranter, Hybrid Exec Coach & Psychologist —

“What I really appreciate about Alive is that they work with us as partners, and care as much about getting it right for our patients as we do.”

Sara Langston, Patient Engagement & Marketing Manager — italk

“We got 'Alive' involved to help us shift mindsets across our organisation and they delivered! Using simple, clear and creative ideas the team have delivered us a campaign which has seen a dramatic increase in idea sharing and development. They’ve also played a significant role in creating a culture of shared success. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, in fact, we already are!”

Gavin Buckle — B&Q