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Book synthesis

10 books for the summer (and to take stock)

We picked 10 books we recommend you take with you to the beach or the mountains, or wherever you are going this summer 2022 to get some perspective on these last few months, and the Brownian questions, and digital (and other) fatigue that they engendered. A mix including some everyday BS, some humor, the unexpected, cool-down, debates about ideas and the war on polarization, ecology, and stopping the apocalypse-spirit … great ideas for a grand summer.

Happy reading!

Chief Bullshit Officer

by FIX
(Diateino 2022)

This is our #1 “must read” of the year. The more I read it, the more I laugh. This is a comic strip tale of Léonce, a manager, who has amazing adventures every day with a boss who hasn’t a clue what is going on and is completely out of his depth, and with share-holders: “All-powerful, mythological creatures who some claim to have actually met”. With biting humor and unfailing lucidity, FIX picks out every single absurdity in the business world – from the stereotypes we might come across to the Californian jargon slipped haphazardly into the French language at every turn. Nothing and no-one is spared. This is the very best summer reading for taking stock of just how your team can come adrift and, what’s more, it is really funny!

Humor Seriously

by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, Currency 2021
(Currency 2021)

Yes, we might have overlooked this somewhat last year, but we’re making up for it now, quite simply because, in a brilliant and serious way, Aaker and Bagdonas have us hooked. Not only because light-heartedness and humor are ways of letting off steam in these rather troubling times, but also because they give our humanity free rein when it needs it most. ANOTHER MUST READ!

Don’t Trust Your Gut

by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Dey Street Books 2022
(Saint-Simon 2021)

How do you see data usage: as a threat to your gut instinct, or a resource for testing your intuition? Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is more than a data-scientist; his book redefines how we tackle the most important choices we make. The book is full of surprising and useful ideas for using information at hand to make the best decisions.

I Didn’t Do the Thing Today

by Madeleine Dore
Avery 2022

In praise of procrastination? No. But this book does give you permission to not feel guilty if you don’t cross off absolutely everything on your to-do list today. For those who suffer under the weight of pressure to always do more, be more, and accomplish more, this book is an antidote to this obsession with “doing” and questions the real meaning of “productivity”.

How minds change

by David McRaney
(Portfolio 2022)

Do you struggle to get “others” to change their ideas, and does their inability to take a fresh look at things irritate you? This book will force you to rethink your own view on how to get others to rethink theirs. Sure, it’s a little complicated, but this is a good read on how to open minds you thought were closed – perhaps beginning with your own!

Good Arguments

by Bo Seo, Penguin
(Press 2022)

In the same vein, because it’s so important at a time of extreme polarization, two-time world champion debater Bo Seo offers up a veritable user’s manual. This book teaches you how to sharpen your critical thinking skills and speed up your reflexes in our divided world – for more effective and persuasive communication.


by Marcus Buckingham
(Harvard Business Review Press, 2022)

Did you enjoy every day you spent at work last week? If your answer is no, beware! Accumulated dissatisfaction – not stress – leads employees to drop out and even burn out. Is this inevitable in today’s environment? Marcus Buckingham argues that we love our jobs when we feel we’re making a unique contribution. His latest book offers a guide. A must read.

Radically Human

by Paul Daugherty and H. James Wilson
(Harvard Business Review Press, 2022).

AI is increasingly managing to imitate powerful human cognitive characteristics. The convergence of vocal and visual recognition technologies, natural language processing, and deep learning is making AI more intelligent, more human-like, and more accessible. This is helping reshape jobs, business models, and the outlook for innovation.

Beyond Collaboration Overload

by Rob Cross
(Harvard Business Review Press, 2021). 

Unconscious self-inflicted imperatives, contemporary organizational structures and the health crisis have increased collaboration without making it more effective. Collaborating more often, more quickly and using more and more tools to do so is not a panacea. How can you stem this outbreak of “acute collaborationitis” and free up time for more vital cooperation that is genuinely constructive? 

Future Tense

by Tracy Dennis-Tiwary
(Harper Wave 2022)

Or how evolution in neurosciences is helping us understand anxiety and, most importantly, find an approach other than that of a rabbit caught in the headlights. This is also a good summer read, to learn how to worry the right way, instead of trying not to worry so much. We shouldn’t be tackling anxiety, but how we live it – and that should be as a gift, not a calamity.

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Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.