The best books to help you take control of your future

Why am I passionate about this?

The future is the one thing in which we are all invested. In order to shape the future we must be able to visualise possibilities, prepare for consequences, and take action. My job is to help companies, charities, and governments to see and prepare for the future. But so many of the lessons that I find myself trying to teach to leaders have their parallels in our personal and working lives - including mine. In a time of great uncertainty about the future, we all must take time out to picture where we’re going, make choices about our direction, and invest in ourselves to achieve our dreams.


I wrote...

Future-Proof Your Business

By Tom Cheesewright,

Book cover of Future-Proof Your Business

What is my book about?

The Financial Times called this book “a survival manual for managing a successful business in an increasingly complex landscape.” 

Future-proof Your Business is for anyone leading or managing a business. It will help you to plan better, make decisions faster, and restructure your organisation for agility in challenging times. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Usborne Book of the Future: A Trip in Time to the Year 2000 and Beyond

Tom Cheesewright Why did I love this book?

This is the book that made me a futurist! And I know many other people it has inspired as well.

The Book of the Future offered a vision of life in the year 2000 and beyond, covering cities, space, robots, medicine, farming, energy, and more, with incredible illustrations and rich information. It was my favourite book from the age of three and it has stayed with me ever since. 

When I became a professional futurist I wrote to Usborne to tell them how important this book was to me, and ten years later, they agreed to reissue it.

Read it for an optimistic view of the future from the 1970s.

By Kenneth W. Gatland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Usborne Book of the Future as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

First published in 1979, the Usborne Book of the Future is a fondly-remembered book from a time when people dreamed of the future as a place filled with wonder and amazing new technology. After more than 40 years of science fiction focussing on dystopias and doom, it's time to remind readers young and old that, in fact, the Future is STILL a place that holds hope and excitement.

The book is built in three sections. The first explores all kinds of robots, the jobs they will do on land, sea and in space, and where they will get power from.…


Book cover of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Tom Cheesewright Why did I love this book?

I’m not a great fan of self-help tomes, but this one spoke to me.

I’m a sucker for saying ‘yes,’ which always leaves me with too much on my plate and not enough time to focus on the things I really love.

Building a better future is about focus, and Essentialism is a great guide to focusing on those things that will really make a difference in your life.

By Greg McKeown,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Essentialism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The life-changing international bestseller that started a global movement - now updated with the new 21-Day Essentialism Challenge and an exclusive excerpt from EFFORTLESS

Have you ever found yourself struggling with information overload?

Have you ever felt both overworked and underutilised?

Do you ever feel busy but not productive?

If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is to become an Essentialist.

In Essentialism, Greg McKeown, CEO of a Leadership and Strategy agency in Silicon Valley who has run courses at Apple, Google and Facebook, shows you how to achieve what he calls the disciplined pursuit of…


Book cover of How to Have a Happy Hustle: The Complete Guide to Making Your Ideas Happen

Tom Cheesewright Why did I love this book?

People are re-evaluating work right now, and looking for something beyond the salary.

This book is one of the best guides to help you find something that might both make you money and make you happy.

It’s clear and helpful, upbeat but also very honest about what is required to turn a passion into a business.

By Bec Evans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Have a Happy Hustle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**WINNER OF THE STARTUP INSPIRATION CATEGORY OF THE 2020 BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS**

'It's impossible to read this book without being inspired and energised ... Essential reading for any start-up or entrepreneur, at any stage of the journey.' - Alison Jones, Host of The Extraordinary Business Book Club podcast and author of This Book Means Business

'Genuinely fresh and jargon-free' - Financial Times

How to Have a Happy Hustle shares the secrets of innovation experts and startup founders to help you make your ideas happen.

If you're looking for fulfilment outside the day job, have an idea but don't know where…


Book cover of A New History of the Future in 100 Objects

Tom Cheesewright Why did I love this book?

Sometimes as a futurist, my challenge is to make people imagine a world that is very different from today. To help them look beyond the horizon. Science Fiction is great for that but novels take us into a whole other world: we replace one set of blinkers for another, descending - however pleasurably - into a fictional universe. It’s unlikely I can get my clients to read many novels to imagine many different futures. Which is where short and micro stories come in. Sometimes my clients commission me to write them, but sometimes it’s a pleasure to read them from other people. I can’t pay Adrian Hon’s collection any greater compliment than to say it reminds me of reading Asimov’s short stories and opens my mind in the same ways.

I can’t pay Adrian Hon’s collection any greater compliment than to say it reminds me of reading Asimov’s short stories and opens my mind in the same ways.

By Adrian Hon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A New History of the Future in 100 Objects as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imagining the history of the twenty-first century through its artifacts, from silent messaging systems to artificial worlds on asteroids.

In the year 2082, a curator looks back at the twenty-first century, offering a history of the era through a series of objects and artifacts. He reminisces about the power of connectivity, which was reinforced by such technologies as silent messaging—wearable computers that relay subvocal communication; recalls the Fourth Great Awakening, when a regimen of pills could make someone virtuous; and notes disapprovingly the use of locked interrogation, which delivers “enhanced interrogation” simulations via virtual reality. The unnamed curator quotes from…


Book cover of Exploratory Writing: Everyday magic for life and work

Tom Cheesewright Why did I love this book?

When examining the future, you’re always dealing with lots of different sources of information.

Trying to understand how they align, interact, and compete is complex. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working as a futurist, trying to plot out a new business plan, or just thinking about your personal life.

One thing that has always helped me is writing. Getting it down on paper is a powerful way to structure your thoughts, to share them, and kick off collaboration.

If you want help using writing to explore your mind and your world, then this is the book. It’s in many ways quite simple, but it’s no less powerful than that.

By Alison Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Exploratory Writing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** Business Book Awards 2023 Finalist **

'A really powerful book.' - Bruce Daisley

Simple tools, extraordinary results.

Everything we're learning about how we function best as humans in the digital age is pointing towards one of our oldest technologies: the pen and the page.

Exploratory writing - writing for ourselves, not for others, writing when we don't know exactly what it is we want to say - is one of the most powerful and lightweight thinking tools we have at our disposal. It's also been, until now, one of the most overlooked.

But the world's most influential leaders are…


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Alpha Max

By Mark A. Rayner,

Book cover of Alpha Max

Mark A. Rayner Author Of Alpha Max

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Human shaped Pirate hearted Storytelling addict Creatively inclined

Mark's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Maximilian Tundra is about to have an existential crisis of cosmic proportions.

When a physical duplicate of him appears in his living room, wearing a tight-fitting silver lamé unitard and speaking with an English accent, Max knows something bad is about to happen. Bad doesn’t cover it. Max discovers he’s the only human being who can prevent the end of the world, and not just on his planet! In the multiverse, infinite Earths will be destroyed.

Alpha Max

By Mark A. Rayner,

What is this book about?

★★★★★ "Funny, yet deep, this is definitely worth venturing into the multiverse for."

Amazing Stories says: "Snarky as Pratchet, insightful as Stephenson, as full of scathing social commentary as Swift or Voltaire, and weirdly reminiscent of LeGuin, Alpha Max is the only multiverse novel you need this month, or maybe ever."

Maximilian Tundra is about to have an existential crisis of cosmic proportions.

When a physical duplicate of him appears in his living room, wearing a tight-fitting silver lamé unitard and speaking with an English accent, Max knows something bad is about to happen. Bad doesn’t cover it. Max discovers…


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