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Reading list

10 books to read for “the days after”

We’ve selected 10 must-read books for this post-lockdown period. The key words in this selection: dream, disruption, innovation, transformation, hope, movement, anticipation, simplicity, frugality, and efficiency. Many questions are gnawing away at you right now; these works will help you find answers. Happy reading!

Black Swans

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Random House Trade Pub, 2010).

Climate challenges, robots, inequality, natural catastrophes, societal U-turns… The last decade has seen unpredictable events multiply exponentially, making the world even harder to understand. Can we make prepare ourselves? Accepting the unpredictable is the first step – preparation and resilience are two more.

Frugal Innovation: How to do More with Less

by Jaideep Prabhu and Navi Radjou (Diatéino, 2019).

As the world wonders what the fallout will be from the Covid-19 epidemic, let’s remind ourselves of the frugal innovation suggested by Navi Radjou: an enlightened movement of co-creation and values. This book offers a concrete response to an emergency that is both ecological and societal, with six key principles for doing more with less, 100 best practices, and 50 case studies.

Vous allez redécouvrir le management ! (You’re about to rediscover management)

by Olivier Sibony (Flammarion, 2020).

Faced with the uncertainty of daily decisions, what can you rely on if not your own common sense, your experience, and your judgment? Yet such thinking is the source of countless errors, claims Olivier Sibony. He offers 40 concrete and surprising illustrations to back this claim, each of which provides keys to improving your everyday decisions.

Think Like a Rocket Scientist

By Ozan Varol (Virgin Digital, 2020)

According to Ozan Varol, rather than being a triumph of the latest technology, rocket science is all about a certain thought process – a way of imagining the unimaginable, and solving the unsolvable. Those who know how to get down to business without clear directives or a readymade tool kit, even when up against a deadline, will know how to come up with solutions in today’s unpredictable environment.


by Vivek H. Murthy (Harper Wave, 2020).

Vivek H. Murthy’s main message in these challenging times point to the importance of human connections and the power of community to fight the hidden impact of loneliness on our health. Evolution has trained us to build lasting bonds with others, to help each other, and to share our life experiences. Quite simply, we are better together.

Life Is in the Transitions

by Bruce Feiler (Penguin Press, 2020)

Following a personal crisis, Bruce Feiler set out on what became an epic journey to harvest the life stories of hundreds of Americans. Drawing on an extraordinary trove of insights, he offers a new transition toolkit with unique strategies for coping with difficult, painful, or unsettling situations. He believes that each of us has a chance to write our own story.

Do Nothing

by Celeste Headlee (Harmony, 2020).

The modern world has exceeded our ability to manage it and function effectively. Do you feel like you’re drowning? This has nothing to do with how smart you are, but with how you make sense of the world. Stop sabotaging your well-being, and begin living instead of doing. Learn to make time for yourself, and redefine what is important.

The Biggest Bluff

by Maria Konikova (Penguin Press, 2020).

Maria Konikova learned to play poker to improve her understanding of behavioral science. Recounting her international travels, she’s produced a delightful, discerning behavioral science analysis. It probably won’t make you an international poker champion, but it will do something better. It will teach you to think like she does.

Leadership by Algorithm

by David De Cremer (Harriman House, 2020).

Everyone’s buzzing about artificial intelligence. Will your next boss be a robot? If so, perhaps he’ll display the human qualities that define a good leader: compassion, empathy, imagination, ethics, and strategic awareness. De Cremer describes how algorithms will change leadership – and who is most likely to be replaced by a machine.

Sleight of Mind

by Matt Cook (MIT Press, 2020).

A paradox is a sophisticated magic trick, performed without rabbits or hats, but with words, concepts, and symbols, to create the illusion of contradiction. So make the most of the summer break to explore more than 75 well-known paradoxes in math, philosophy, physics, and social science, showing how reason and logic can dispel the illusion of contradiction.

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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.