I have just finished Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography (full text here), a short and entertaining read written in 18th century English. Once you get used to the prose, it becomes very enjoyable to read. I learned a lot about the founding father, his life and travels (including that he started writing the autobiography just across the Seine, in 1784), his views, skills, inventions and various projects as a public servant.
I’ve recently written about my first years as a manager, the satisfactions and difficulties, the doubts and achievements that come with it. I’m pretty open about it for 2 reasons. First: I’ve always liked sharing and writing, so why shun this subject? Second, I believe I can learn from those who read – and will react to – it both online and offline.
So let me write about this book I just finished, that I found absolutely brilliant. Those who have MBAs and/or are versed to management literature probably know it already; those who don’t (like me) should. And here’s why. Continue reading →
Butzi is a friend, a magician, a keynote speaker and (now) an author. I’ve just finished his first book, in which he introduces a concept he’s quite passionate about: “crazitivity.” Take it as a mantra, a way of looking at life; not as a theoretical concept or method (even though Butzi says it’s a brainstorming technique) to come up with better ideas.
Butzi – real name Johannes Alinhac – uses the 150 pages of his book to make a point about the importance of creative self-confidence and the value of following one’s instincts. What makes the book powerful and interesting is that he is a living proof of what he writes. He shares many anecdotes about ideating for his magic tricks and freaking out when he first presented them to his audiences, from his parents to major corporate clients… This is what I found most impactful to bring his message across. Continue reading →
I originally started this blog to share thoughts, reads and conferences that I found worthwhile writting about. It turns out that my last book review dates almost 2 years back, so it’s time to write about books again! Just came back from 2 weeks of really relaxing holidays in Cambodia, a beautifull country that has much more to offer than the magnificient temples of Angkor.
I have spent quite some time reading – as I do under that palm tree on the picture – and I ended up wanting to write a blog post about 4 of the books I have enjoyed most during our holidays, 2 of which are about Cambodia’s tumultuous history. Continue reading →
Exactly 112 years ago, on January 6th 1905, a Breton peasant neamed Jean-Marie Déguignet wrote the last words of the story of his life, and died shortly after. He ended over 4,000 pages with these words : “I wish humanity the power – even the willpower – to become truthfull and good people, able to understand and get along with each other, in a worthy and happy social life.” His own life has been neither happy nor worthy, which is why this best-selling autobiography is such a fascinating account of rural life between 1834 and 1905. I’ll try to make this review worth reading. Continue reading →
Are we becoming lazier and dumbing ourselves down with silly content on the internet? Should we be scared that most of us look like sleepwalking zombies when walking while staring at our smartphones? Many believe it, and countless articles are written around that narrative. Not much room for optimism. Kenneth Goldsmith, a poet and artist from New York City, believes that more good than bad stems from our increased connectedness – and he wrote a book about it: “Wasting Time On The Internet.” Continue reading →
I love maps, I could stand hours in front one, whether it represents my city or the entire world; whether it hangs on a wall or it twist at my fingertips on my tablet. It is quite a creative and cheap way to travel! I just finished a fascinating book: A History of the World in 12 Maps, written by a British professor, Jerry Brotton. He explains how humans have always been driven to represent the world around them, and how each of these representations is shaped by cultural, political or commercial interests. Google Earth is no exception.