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Three books I’ve read this year and recommended — a lot!

This year, I read a lot — 38 books! Most likely a personal record.

I enjoy reading since I was young. First, reading science fiction and fantasy books — French ones that you never heard of. And as an undergrad student, reading business books was my thing. I saw each of them as a chance to accumulate some experience and opinion that I was lacking.

For 2018, I set myself an ambitious goal of 36 books and reached it in the last week of the year. Curious about what I read -> the full list is available on goodreads. Traveling so much this year had something to do with achieving this number!

Three books stood out and that I have been recommending to friends and founders.

Principles: Life And Work

by Ray Dalio

We follow principles as we make decisions and interact with friends and colleagues. This book is helpful to identify your own beliefs (and your team’s).

I have started this introspection work and found six principles for myself so far. It has been valuable to assert myself better and be clear with “my mission”.

While most others seem to believe that learning what we are taught is the path to success, I believe that figuring out for yourself what you want and how to get it is a better path.

Principles: Life And Work

Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

by Charles T. Munger

This book is not new (published in 2006) but gives plenty of anecdotes and stories on Munger’s extraordinary life. The concept of “Models” is what stood up for me. This idea that you have hundreds of mental models that can be applied in any situation. These models come from a wide range of fields, from philosophy to macroeconomics, to chemistry. You would use these familiar models to assess and break down a situation, so you understand it better.

Similar to the work I’m doing with Principles, I have started a list of Models that keeps growing.

Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.

Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order

by Kai-Fu Lee

The presentation of Artificial Intelligence, its opportunities/limits, is excellent. The book explains the origins of the current business mindset prevalent in China very concisely. It outlines a scenario on how the US and China might gain extra advantages via AI. Book strongly recommended!

The messy markets and dirty tricks of China’s “copycat” era produced some questionable companies, but they also incubated a generation of the world’s most nimble, savvy, and nose-to-the-grindstone entrepreneurs.

These entrepreneurs will be the secret sauce that helps China become the first country to cash in on AI’s age of implementation.

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order

And a fourth one you shouldn’t miss:

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think — by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund

I reckon that reaching 36 was challenging — for 2019; I’ll aim at 40! If you’re up to join the GoodReads Reading Challenge, join me here.

Author:

Matthieu Bodin is an entrepreneur and community builder. As the International Growth Director at XNode (thexnode.com), he works with startup founders, corporations, and ecosystem players to innovate in China. He is on a mission to identify the relevant model that will help organizations stay ahead of the competition. Previously, Matthieu worked for Techstars as the Regional Manager for Greater China where he supported community leaders to nurture their local tech communities. He has spent 12+ years in Greater China: Beijing, Hong Kong, and now Shanghai. He is on Twitter and Instagram with @maboxiu.

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