HWC Book Club – A Year in Review

Are you looking to grapple with some great new reading material for 2020? Here you’ll find a list of the inspirational, informative and motivating reads that we loved last year. It’s a real mix – from traditional business reads to a book for babies to inspirational tales in a personal memoir.

Rounded up just for you, our 2019 Book Club Reads, month-by-month. Take a look!


January is always a tough month to get back into the swing, but this awesome how-to guide on being a great manager was some welcome light!

Whether you’re new to the job, a veteran leader, or looking to be promoted, this is the handbook you need to be the kind of manager you wish you had.


From the time we learn to speak, we’re told that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. When you become a manager, it’s your job to say it–and your obligation.
Learn how to Care Personally and Challenge Directly to transform this obligation into something productive and positive.


If you know us at Harbour West then you know that we LOVE Michelle Obama. Her story is empowering and inspirational. We even saw her when she spoke in Vancouver. Read. This. Now.


Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.


Oprah means a lot to our team. Her strength is admirable, her empathy is heartwarming and her courage is inspiring. This book is perfect for little ones (or us!) or gifting to new parents. Author Alison Oliver also has written a Michelle Obama edition of Be Bold Baby (just sayin’).

Oh and we saw Oprah speak in 2019! #BraggingRights


Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present. Illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world this book is an extraordinary read for all ages. What’s not to love? 


It’s easy to be somewhat skeptical of books which promise so much with a grand title… but we eased into this one through the conversational writing style of Sincero. With somewhat of a cult following, we mainly enjoyed the in-your-face tone and humor in Sincero’s writing. 


Kahneman discusses two modes of thought: “System 1” is fast, instinctive and emotional; “System 2” is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Thinking Fast & Slow shows how the mind works, and offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and personal lives. Dive in!


This month, in honour of back to school, we featured Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2 by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo (@rebelgirls). Just as impeccably illustrated and filled with biographies of extraordinary women as the original, Rebel Girls 2 is here to inspire fans of all ages.


A recommendation from placed candidate Hanne Madsen, this book seeks to explain and describe the “mysterious” sociological changes that mark everyday life. The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. We were captivated by this read from the very start!


Brought to you by a recent placed candidate book recommendation: ‘I just finished reading a really interesting book called Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, which provides a brief history of mankind. It is a bit of a slow read to get into but I found it really interesting. The author delves into the creation of society, religion and economics.’


Diverting from our usual business read, Tara Westover’s Educated took our office by storm. The true story of a woman who didn’t set foot into a classroom until she was seventeen and went on to graduate with a PhD from Cambridge, we cannot recommend this book more. Cozy up by the fire and dive into Educated.

Full List of Titles and Links

Making a Manager by Julie Zhuo

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Be Bold Baby: Oprah by Alison Oliver

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavello

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavello

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Educated by Tara Westover