Recommended reading for summer 2018

4 min. reading
Culture / 17 July, 2018


Summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere and the holidays are about to begin. Some people are already enjoying a well-earned rest to recharge their batteries in preparation for the coming winter. For the first time, we'd like to suggest to our customers, collaborators and friends a collection of books recommended by the great team of people and professionals here at BBVA in Switzerland. But we don't want to overlook those of you who live in the southern hemisphere, so we're also urging you to enjoy the winter in the company of any of these books, and in the second half of the year we'll be publishing another collection of books for you to read when your summer holidays come around. We hope you enjoy them. "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth Taking examples from successful people in several fields and even speaking from her own personal experience, the author describes how to achieve whatever you propose by finding what you're passionate about and then working to achieve it. Talent + Effort = Skill. Skill + Effort = Achievement. Something's missing from my diet: myths about nutrition you've been made to believe, by Aitor Sánchez As he himself explains, these tend to come from the lack of rigorous information and the manipulation of the advertising message by the food industry.  This book is easy to read and highly recommended for anyone interested in following a genuinely healthy diet. "Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2018 His central thesis is that many of the people who "run" the world today are not running any personal risk if their decisions have a negative impact, and brush off all responsibility. Taleb sees true equality as meaning equality of probabilities.  Readers may or may not agree with the author, but they are certain not to remain indifferent. Navigating between icebergs: lessons from the Titanic applied to leadership, by Juan M. Serrano This is an easy-to-read book on a practical case that the author has used on numerous occasions in his courses for executives and leadership at several international business schools. Overconfidence, lack of perspective, efficacy without efficiency etc. may lead to the most abject failure despite having the best technology and the best team. "The perfect storm: Navigating the sustainable energy transition" by Alexander Van de Putte and Kairat Kelimbetov & Ann Holde Production, trade, the development of infrastructures and their funding and urban mobility, among others.  The authors define the most important aspects for navigating the transformation and achieving the goal of energy transition in the 21st century in benefit of the whole of the world's population. "Being happy in Alaska", by Rafael Santandreu The author uses methods from cognitive psychology to invite his readers to perform an exercise to reprogram their mind. When used on a daily basis and with perseverance, these three steps can achieve spectacular results. An easy and entertaining read packed with first-hand experiences. "Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood", by Trevor Noah His origins and his birth were forbidden under apartheid, and this affected his childhood and adolescence forever. Noah never loses his characteristic sense of humour, and tells his life story in a playful and guileless way from the point of view of a child growing up under the scourge of apartheid. The book includes original texts on the regulations applied in this system of racial segregation which included the prohibition of marriage or sexual relations between blacks and whites. So Trevor Noah was born a crime.  Undoubtedly a gripping story. "The cycle of enthusiasm and disappointment", by Lucas Llach and Pablo Gerchunoff The authors draw constant parallels with other large and very rich countries like Australia or Canada, and steer the reader towards the conclusion that the secret of progress is not to get stuck in a loop. This requires productivity that really invests in society, thus reducing the price of education and healthcare until the point of making it free.   This book has become a bestseller in Argentina, but is a highly recommended read in a period of social and political instability such as the one we are currently undergoing. "Beyond the Map" by Alastair Bonnett In a globalised and apparently invaded and conquered world, he uncovers new territories practically unknown to humankind, such as islands where strangers are not welcome, bunkers containing art treasures and cigar collections, states founded and declared on arms platforms in the middle of the ocean, and a sea brimming with life which in less than one century has now become a desert. And much more. As you read it you'll begin to doubt whether the places described really exist. "TED Talks. The oficial TED Guide to Public Speaking" by Tim Hardford Learning to communicate and transmit with genuine impact is the key to success and to ensuring that our messages are not simply stored as a memory, but trigger a change in focus in our audience.