ISOLATION – our teams favourite books, magazines & albums to get you through

It will come as no surprise to many but staying in-doors is not actually that good for creativity. If you have read any of our recent blog posts, you will know we are an outdoorsy bunch – with runners, cyclists, surfers and windsurfers making up our team – we know what people mean when they say this lock down is making people feel confined, uninspired, anxious… don’t worry we hear you.

So we thought we would tell you what we are reading, watching and listening to which is getting us through our mornings, lunch breaks and evenings. We would welcome some new suggestions, so if you know anything you think we may like – let us know.


Some of our team read a lot, some read a little and some like to be read to. Whatever it is, whether you like Audible (which is currently free during the lock down) or the real thing (Sophie has a thing about smelling pages of books at the end of chapters) we would recommend the below to get you thinking.

Let My People Go Surfing – one of Tom’s favourites. This is all about a reluctant businessman (the man behind the brand Patagonia – Yvon Chouinard) If you like stories that make you feel good and also inspire you to run a business which does better then this is a good read for you.

Do/Purpose – Josh is a big fan of David Hieatt and everything he writes. This is one of many from the DO collection but it is one we continue to go back to. David is definitely someone who is interesting and who inspires our team at Aetha Design. We all own a pair of Hiut jeans and believe that David’s approach to writing these books really offers readers something to inspire them. We know this time is helping people at home think about what is important to them, what side hustle they feel would be aligned to them and if you are thinking of starting a business – we recommend you read this book first.

Whatever You Think Think The Opposite – Sophie brought this book back in 2018 from the gift shop when the team visited the Design Museum. Paul Arden gives readers the confidence to go bigger, take more risks and turn logic and common sense on its head.

Company of One – This book is Sophie’s recent read. Aetha Design is a small business and we intend to stay that way. We want to nourish the talent we have and grow but not in the normal way of growing a team/a massive office. Paul Jarvis looks at what drives us as people and what our obsession with growth in terms of people and money is actually linked to. Sophie has been really inspired by it and it has made her rethink some of our old decisions in terms of the business. We have never been more grateful to be a small business with small outgoings especially during this time. If you are thinking of running a business, or have a business and Covid19, has made you question everything, this book may offer you some insight into a different path.

MAGAZINES & JOURNALS – there is something so refreshing about them

Breathe – This magazine has become a regular read at our team’s lunch table. Not only is the artwork and style beautiful but there are also some really relevant pieces in there about wellbeing, mindfulness, escaping and creativity. It is like they knew that we would all be on lockdown before they wrote it. From self massage techniques to make you feel less anxious, to advice on mindfulness. Whether you are an aspiring creative, a designer or simply appreciate the artwork in this magazine it has something for everyone. They sell it in some Sainsbury’s too so you could pick up a copy online easily or through the website.

Wavelength – We are lucky to be based by the sea so we can get there either walking or running during our daily exercise. We know that not everyone is so lucky and we really believe seeing the water can balance you. Tom is an avid water sports enthusiast and he has made the decision not to windsurf or surf during lockdown for safety reasons and putting unneeded pressure on the NHS in case he had an accident. Wavelength is a great read, even if you aren’t a surfer so we would 100% recommend it and the pictures of the ocean are bound to make you feel good.

A USER MANUAL FOR CREATIVITY – Now this user manual for creativity is available to download absolutely free on the Hiut Denim website and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have. David Hieatt has put into this manual everything he has learnt along the way and it is really interesting. So much can relate back to the reader personally or in a sense of work. At this time where we need to be inspired without the chance of travel or the great outdoors, we 100% recommend this user manual. What have you got to lose…it’s free!


BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB / EVERYTHING ELSE HAS GONE WRONG – The Aetha Team went to see BBC in January when they played the 02 in Boscombe. It now reminds us of a time before social distancing and “everything going wrong”.

MARIBOU STATE / KINGDOMS IN COLOUR – Back when Aetha was based in a garage and it was 20 degrees outside we used to put on this album and really annoy our neighbours. Still one of our favourite albums and we will never get bored of it.

ODESZA / A MOMENT APART – no words needed. Running to “Loyal” on the beach during this lockdown has been something we won’t forget in a long time.

FLEETMAC WOOD – Sophie is obsessed with Fleetwood Mac and so when she was introduced to the Australian DJ set who only remix FM, it changed her life. Tom & Dan don’t share the love so she mainly listens to it in her headphones but 100% worth a listen. You can find their remix albums on Soundcloud… if you like Fleetwood, you won’t be disappointed and ideal to run long distances with too.

LOYLE CARNER / NOT WAVING BUT DROWNING – We love how this guy writes his songs. We often listen to this in the studio in the background. Coyle-Larner’s voice is really relaxing and smooth. It may not be for everyone but we like him.

We trust the above should give you enough to keep going for a week or two. If you share a passion for any of the above and think you have a good book, magazine or album that we would like then please message us and let us know.

Next week, we will talk about what Podcasts we have been listening to, what board games we have ordered and how the new coffee machine Sophie ordered is working out. We know this time is rough on everyone and really the only way we can all get through it is by giving in and just going with the flow. There is zero point in trying to take back control of something that to an extent is out of our control so just be kind to yourself, read some good books and listen to music which makes you feel good and trust that this time will pass.

Read more News