Book suggestions for students

I was asked by a student – for the purpose of a school newspaper – to suggest to students “A BOOK THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE and WHY.”

Tricky question indeed.

I answered with the following :

Dear Student,
I have not one, but three (four) books in mind, none of them being a Finance book unfortunately 😉
The order is not important. If I were to advise only one, I would choose #3 The Mind Gym, but that would be a shame not to mention the others.

1) David Allen – Getting things done – the art of stress-free productivity
(in French :
S’organiser pour réussir )

David Allen presents and helps devise a system to organize yourself at work. Know what to do, in which order. How to access data, how to deal with projects, how to make sure nothing is forgotten. A very practical book that can save you hours in organizing yourself by finally focusing on the one important thing : doing things. Surprisingly enough, this is not taught in Business Schools…

2) Stephen Covey – The 7 habits of highly effective people
(in French :
Les 7 habitudes de ceux qui réussissent tout ce qu’ils entreprennent )

Bestseller. This book is a more profound version of the Getting Things Done book. Here, focus is made on Principles and Values, not on operational effectiveness. This is a very useful complement of the preceding book, not asking “what should I do next”, but “what is important for me to do, and how to identify it”. It takes more time to digest, but it is definitely worth a read.

3) The mind gym (collectif)

Devised in 22 independent chapters, and based on research in neuroscience and sociology, the Mind Gym helps you “re-train” your brain to be more effective. Themes include the effects of optimism, the impact of visualization, the reduction of stress, how to be listened to, how to announce bad news, how to be more creative / do brainstorming… Every chapter is filled with real-life illustrations and ends up with exercises to “muscle up” your spirit. A must read for future executives.

4) I have other books in mind, but I feel they are more oriented for older people (35-40 years). Based on Carl Jung’s theories, they deal with personality type, and help to better understand how our personality is constructed, and how to deal with other personalities (e.g. at work, in teams). The operational tool is the MBTI test of personality type. The best book, but somewhat hard to digest, is Gifts differing, by Isabel Briggs Myers, . A much easier book (in French) is Deviens qui tu es, by Cauvin and Cailloux, .

Christophe Thibierge

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2 réponses à Book suggestions for students

  1. christian dit :

    And nothing on the real life changing books ??
    – East of Eden, Steinbeck
    – The Three Musketeers, Dumas
    – The Count of Montecristo, Dumas
    – The Roots of Heaven, Romain Gary
    – The Great Gatsby or Tender is the night ?
    (without claiming to be exhaustive)

  2. Docthib dit :

    hey, Pal, you’re right !
    Actually, I figured this student asked for “business” books, this is how I narrowed down my selection – trying not to mention any finance textbook.
    If I were to quote “novels” that changed my life, or at least, greatly influenced me, there would be indeed John Steinbeck’s name, along with Jack London, Richard Brautigan, Rudyard Kipling, Jorge-Luis Borges, Paul Auster… (the extensive list would be… a nice idea for a blog post ! 😉 )

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