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Moscow X by David McCloskey. A brilliant, wonderful spy thriller, one of the best I’ve read for a long time. The CIA want to get close to Putin’s banker – a man named Vadim and his wife, Anna, and devise a cunning plan whereby they will send in a couple of operatives and play to the Russian couple’s love of horses. Max owns a thoroughbred ranch and he and Sia are thoroughly debriefed by the agency before they begin their mission, but the one thing they don’t know is that Anna loathes her husband and has her own agenda. The author clearly knows his way around the CIA – he used to work for them – and this book has a brilliant premise, lethally executed and compellingly readable. Five stars from me.
Feel Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal. As a young doctor, Ali Abdaal worked really hard to be as productive as he possibly could but became overwhelmed by the realities of working in a health system which made the lives of its staff so difficult. He had a light bulb moment when he realised that you can apply all the willpower and discipline you like to a situation, but actually you’ll get the best results when people are happy and love what they do. Sounds like common sense to me – but he has tips and tricks, lots of examples of people living their best lives through following his simple steps, and it has a lot of resonance at the start of a New Year when we’re all knuckling down going back to work and beating the post – holiday blues.
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