Our favourite festive picks to read or listen to this holiday season

Once again we close the year with a festive favourite, our round up of the books and podcasts that the team at Obelisk Support have been enjoying this year. Read on for some inspiration for your holiday reading, gifting – and to learn a little bit more about some of the colleagues who make it all happen in our central team.

Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe


Chosen by: Chloe Cook, Client Projects Manager

Celebrating her first year with Obelisk this week, Chloe is responsible for organising the project work that we deliver for our clients around the world.

“They explain questions about the universe and the science in a fun and easy to understand way.”, says Chloe of why this is her pick of the year. “They also have special guests who are experts in the relating fields.” Listening to podcasts is a great way to unwind at the end of the day.

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

Elif Shafak (Viking Press, 2019)

Chosen by: Dana Denis-Smith, Obelisk Support founder and CEO

It’s been a busy year for Dana, who has not only been recognised by the likes of the FT for her work with Obelisk but has also led a busy year of campaigns from the Next 100 Year Project and been appointed to the Law Society Council. There’s still time for reading though, and Dana told us she why she chose this book.  “It’s set in Istanbul, a city I love, it has a really good pace but also asks a really difficult question around the moments just before someone’s life ends (in this case, violently) but also the role of women in Turkish society and how their lives are affected by old social norms.”


Every Family Has a Story

Julia Samuel (Penguin, 2022)

Chosen by: Jane Leader, Recruitment Manager

As our Recruitment Manager, Jane is often the first person that our consultants meet when they join the Obelisk community. Having spent the last seven years with the business, Jane is sought out for her career advice and knowledge of the market.

Written by Julia Samuel, a leading British psychotherapist, the focus of this book is family relationships: what we inherit and how we can change. Through eight case studies, she explores issues relating to loss, children leaving home, step-relationships, and separation amongst many other things. She emphasises that no family tree is perfect, and most, in truth, are messy and complex.  Jane highlights, “There is some reassurance around the fact that sometimes we must accept that not everything can be fixed, and she offers some helpful pointers for general family well-being.”

​Miss Dior: A Story of Courage and Couture

Justine Picardie (Faber & Faber, 2021)

Chosen by Laura Vosper, Head of Talent

Laura joined Obelisk in 2019, after time spent working in the legal and education sectors. As well as looking after our consultant community and related operations, she also oversees recruitment and development for our central team.

Miss Dior is a history of fashion and resistance in France before, during and after the Second World War. Says Laura, “This book tells the stories of some of the incredible bravery of the men and women who stood up to the Nazis in France, with a particular focus on the life of Christian Dior’s sister, Catherine. It’s a powerful record of heroism, particularly on the women’s part, that may otherwise too easily be forgotten.”

Fierce Fairytales: & Other Stories to Stir Your Soul

Nikita Gill (Orion Publishing, 2018)

Chosen by Naz Khanom, IT & Operations Manager

Naz looks after all things IT and tech-related for the Obelisk team and our community. Having developed through various roles with the business, she also helps to organise our various community get-togethers and retreats.

A collection of reimagined traditional tales, this anthology takes delight in turning the expected upside down. Says Naz, “This was gifted to me and I have enjoyed reading these empowering short stories before bed. It’s a reminder that in life there are different perspectives to our day-to-day struggles and to take a moment to pause & think.”

​The Rice Mother

Rani Manicka (Viking, 2002)

Chosen by Reef Moghul, Client Account Manager

Reef works tirelessly to help our clients match with the best freelance lawyers and paralegals for their projects. With a background in law and professional services, Reef has been with the Obelisk team for almost a year.

A book set over a variety of countries starting in Ceylon, Sri Lanka, The Rice Mother is the first novel from Malaysian author and economics graduate Rani Manicka. Reef chose it as, “It covers war, but from the view point of generations of family stories as well as history.”

​The Buddha of Suburbia

Hanif Kureishi (Faber and Faber, 2009)

Chosen by Will Stephens, Obelisk Support CFO

Our CFO Will has been with Obelisk Support since 2018 and works closely with Dana and the rest of the team to set the strategy for the business and run the finance operations. When he’s not working, Will is a keen musician, who also makes his own guitars.

Described by Salman Rushdie as ‘Utterly irreverent and wildly improper, but also genuinely touching and truthful. And very funny indeed!’, the Buddha of Suburbia is a modern classic. Says Will, “For me, it was a great read with laugh out loud moments! Very entertaining.”

Read (or listen) and relax

We hope you enjoy this sneak preview into the books and podcasts our team have been inspired by this year, and there’s something here that you can relax with over the festive break!


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