ACA Summer Reading and Listening List 2023/24

11 December 2023

Our Reading and Listening List is back to see you through long days by the pool! It’s eclectic and representative of the diverse interests of our committee members and staff at the ACA. We hope you enjoy dipping into our recommendations as you relax this summer.


Emma Brain

Emma Brain, WA EO + National Communications Coordinator is a fan of pithy writing. Writing for Busy Readers – Communicate more effectively in the real world reveals simple ways to ‘write effectively in today’s hyper-interactive world’. This is a must-read for those of you juggling a website, social media and client communications – all the while trying to do your job as an architect. We know you’re out there!

Felice Burrows

Felice is a co-director of Architects&Co and WA Committee Member. Her recommendation is timely as we head into the dreaded fire season and reveals how much we must learn from First Nations people – Fire Country: How Indigenous Fire Management Could Help Save Australia by Victor Steffensen.

Justine Money

Justine Money is the Director of NOHO Architecture and a valued NSW Committee Member. These are her recommended books to shift your business mindset:

10X is Easier than 2X: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less by Dan Sullivan and Dr Benjamin Hardy
After five years of intensive business learning, I consolidated all my work and changed my mindset to focus on the end game, which now informs my decision-making.

Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork by Dan Sullivan and Dr Benjamin Hardy
A spin-off from 10x is easier than 2x. As a business owner who always thinks “I can do this quicker and better”, this book really spoke to me. Shifting my focus on the WHO has allowed me to have more time to work on the business instead of just in it.

Rocket Fuel:  The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters
I have read this about five times. As a visionary, this helped me realise all the areas of the business I really shouldn’t be working in. Finding my Integrator shifted the business to a new level.

How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets by Felix Dennis
It’s a terrible title, but it sold books. What I loved about it was that it was British, and secondly, that I learned a lot about holding on to business ownership.

Emily Van Eyk

Emily is the Director of Mt Eyk, a university lecturer and WA Committee Member. These are her recommendations:

My First Architecture Job by Sarah Lebner
This book helped me understand what it’s like to be a graduate again, something that I think could benefit many in leadership.

Happy By Design: A Guide to Architecture and Mental Wellbeing by AMWF UK Founder Ben Channon
This is one I keep coming back to lately, deceptively simple.

Susie Ashworth

Susie is our National Editorial Manager and queen of the red pen. We’d be lost without her.

Amy Edmonson interview, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd
I’ve been listening to lots of interesting podcasts on flexible and hybrid work, managing different personalities in the workplace, and psychological safety. This one is a fascinating conversation once you get through the opening banter. Amy discusses how her engineering undergraduate degree informs her current work, why she was drawn to studying organisational learning, what psychological safety is, and how important a sense of belonging is to the workplace and to society as a whole.

David Gulland

David Gulland is a Principal at Hassell and WA Committee Member. This is what he recommends you get stuck into this summer:

A couple of examples that are possibly not architectural enough!  They are more focused on the nature of people, which is a sometimes-neglected part of architectural discourse. Being architects on holidays, the best book to recommend is, of course, a sketch book, accompanied by some analogue drawing equipment.

The Psychopaths Among Us, ABC Conversations
This podcast, while not specifically architectural, does look at neurological research into why some people are physically unable to empathise – a group that is over-represented in senior leadership positions. 

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
To balance this with a more positive note, Humankind has a focus on communal spirit and human cooperation. It is a couple of years old now and debunks the ‘Lord of the Flies’ theory on the thin veneer of civilisation.

Michael Lewarne

Michael is an architect, leadership coach and always a rich source of material to improve your business nous. These were his favourites from 2023:


Masters of Scale: Do things that don’t scale with Brian Chesky of AirBnB

Brene Brown, Adam Grant and Simon Sinek in conversation:
What’s Happening at Work; Two Bits of Optimism Part 1 & Part 2; and the leadership skills we need to build.

Work Life with Adam Grant: Is it Safe to Speak Up at Work?

Rethinking with Adam Grant: How to set boundaries with therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab

A Slight Change of Plans with Dr Maya Shankar: Let’s Agree to Disagree More with Bo Seo


Architect, verb: The new language of building by Ranier de Graaf

Noise: A flaw in human judgment by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony & Cass R. Sunstein

Influence is Your Superpower: How to Get What You Want Without Compromising Who You Are by Zoe Chance

Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making by Tony Fadell



Two of our NSW/ACT Committee Members strayed from the brief with suggestions outside the typical business remit. We love it!

Harry Hamor

Harry recommends Daryl’s House by Daryl Hall of ex-Hall and Oates fame. Daryl has a farmhouse, (with music studio, as you do) somewhere in country USA, to which he invites (very) accomplished musos to perform, and they deliver!

Playing for Change is a channel started and administered by Robbie Robertson’s son (Robbie R. being ex-The Band, ie. Dylan’s backing). This interesting assembly of musos hail from all over the world including the Congo, Tibet, Japan and Adelaide, even! They all play the same number and then it’s being knitted together for a single performance. Amazing!

Steve Pearse

Lastly, once you’ve flopped on the couch at night, Steve Pearse from the NSW/ACT Committee recommends that you tune into The Bear, a two-season television show on streaming service Disney +. Steve liked its subtle reflection on leadership and saw parallels between the concept of a celebrity chef and feted architect.

Lucy Mangan in The Guardian said this: “It’s still frenetic and funny, but the second slice of the incredible kitchen drama broadens into a deeply moving look at what makes a life worthwhile. There’s nothing I’d rather devour.”