Summer: a time for books…

Books for summertime

This summer I can also recommend some books. But unlike last year I am not focusing on coaching. Allow me to suggest just three books that I recently read and which are worthy of your time! Two essays and a novel that is just as inspiring as a novel:

  • "Antifragile" – a theme I will be developing in the coming months
  • "The new geography of jobs" – jobs, my common thread
  • "La tresse" – women, always and regardless on the side of women.

"Antifragile" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This book offers a new vision of the world. A perspective that will change our ideas about society and will inspire our daily choices. It will help us to understand how our body protects itself from disease and how all living species evolve, how free enterprise creates prosperity and how genius turns into innovation. The key to everything is antifragility. We know that our inability to fully understand human and natural phenomena exposes us to the risk of unexpected events. But uncertainty is not just a source of peril from which to defend oneself: we can take advantage of volatility and disorder, even mistakes, and thus be antifragile. Medicine, nutrition, architecture, technology, information, politics, economics, managing finances: these are just some of the practical applications Nassim Nicholas Taleb accompanies on, with the same irony and
polemical verve that made him famous. Drawing from an endless range of historical events, biological and natural phenomena and curious personal experiences, he combines this logic with the skeptical wisdom of ancient civilizations and the practical spirit of the average man on the street, and succeeds in creating an eclectic, light-hearted and iconoclastic guide on how to navigate an unpredictable world dominated by chaos, the world of The Black Swan.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has dedicated his life to the study of (perceptive, social and cognitive) processes of uncertainty, probability, and knowledge, first as a trader and a businessman, then as an essayist, empirical philosopher, and researcher.
Although he prefers to spend most of his time studying in solitude, he is currently a Distinguished Professor of Risk Management at New York University.
His books "Fooled By Randomness" and "The Black Swan" have been translated into 33 languages. Taleb is convinced that awards, honorary degrees, and academic ceremonies are an obstacle to knowledge, and have turned it into a sporting competition.

My opinion

The notion of resilience - despite my being a female engineer - has never fully convinced me.

Therefore I found in the concept of antifragility something that goes beyond resilience and is also a good omen for the issues I deal with, the job world.
After a sacking, you can implode, you can survive or you can change your life.
Since I wish for my clients to achieve the third option and I would like to accompany all of them in this direction, I can’t but recommend this book.

It has several pages ... but I read it like a novel, perhaps because I am fascinated by the topic! I know I'm not the only one.

"The new geography of jobs" by Enrico Moretti

In the United States, the post-industrial economy based on knowledge and innovation is profoundly changing the labour market, both in terms of the type of goods produced and for the methods used and, above all, the locations in which they are made. This creates huge geographical disparities in terms of school education, life expectancy, and family stability. In fact, for some regions and cities, globalization and the spread of new technologies mean an increase in the demand for work, more productivity, more employment and higher incomes.

For others it represents factory closures, unemployment, and lower wages. And since this radical redistribution of jobs, population and wealth is a process destined to spread over the coming decades to every corner of the Old Continent, including Italy, the dynamics taking place overseas also offer important lessons for European countries. Enrico Moretti draws a detailed map of this "new geography of jobs" : he visits cities on the up, where there is a virtuous interweaving of great jobs, talent, and flourishing investments, as well as cities in decline; he strolls through the streets of Pioneer Square, a trendy Seattle neighborhood, and those of Berlin, Europe's most attractive capital, but also a surprisingly poor metropolis; and he discovers that every job created in these centres of excellence and innovation generates at least five jobs in other productive sectors, all of which are paid better than elsewhere.

Enrico Moretti, professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, has received numerous international awards including the Young Labour Economist Award in 2006 from the German research institute Iza and, in 2008, the Carlo Alberto Medal, a prize awarded every year to an Italian economist under the age of 40 for the results achieved in their research . His writing often features on the
pages of major American newspapers such as the "New York Times" and the "Wall Street Journal". In 2013, Mondadori published the essay "The new geography of jobs".

My opinion

I deal with work issues, with the dynamics of the labour market. This book was recommended to me and - even if Moretti is an Italian who has emigrated to the USA and writes about the environment in which he now lives - his concepts are valid everywhere, even in Italy. I traced it back to the testimony from a Sicilian that I had interviewed for my first book "It's easy to change jobs if you know how" where amongst other things he said that “only Milan is Milan”.

What he meant to say was that there are places - that differ according to one’s area of interest - that are authentic "hubs", vital centres that allow people who live there to flourish. Even if they are not a proverbially short-tempered Milanese person.

"La treccia" by Laetitia Colombani

INDIA. Smita is an untouchable; to get by she collects excrements with her bare hands. Hers is a profession that is handed down from generation to generation, and that she has accepted and endured in silence. But her daughter will not follow in these footsteps. No, she will go to school, she will learn to read and write, she will do great things. In order to offer her a better future, Smita will challenge the world.

ITALY. Giulia loves working for her father, the owner of the last workshop in Palermo where wigs are made with real hair. One day, he has an accident and Giulia discovers that the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. She won’t be discouraged. To save the workshop, Giulia will lead a revolution.

CANADA. Sarah is a successful lawyer. At the peak of her career, she sacrificed everything: two marriages, time with her children and especially time for herself. However, in the middle of some closing arguments, Sarah faints and nothing will be the same again. To win the battle, Sarah will have to decide what is worth fighting for.

Smita, Giulia, and Sarah do not know each other, yet they share the same strengths, the same determination in rejecting the cards fate has dealt them. Like invisible threads, their destinies will intertwine inextricably, giving them the
opportunity to live with pride, trust, and hope.

Laetitia Colombani was born in Bordeaux in 1976. She studied cinema at the École Louis-Lumière and directed her first film at just twenty-five years of age. In a short period of time, she has established herself as a director, screenwriter, and actress. She has worked with actresses such as Audrey Tautou, Emmanuelle Béart, and Catherine Deneuve. La Tresse (NORD 2018) is her debut novel and has been at the top of the French book charts for several months and won the prestigious Prix

My opinion

I wanted to give a present to a colleague who was about to retire. I have books I love and if a woman is special I usually know what to choose. This book is very successful at the moment. I initially found a few excerpts in a magazine. I bought it in a supermarket and read it in just a couple of days. I could not help but giving it as a gift and warmly recommend it! I recommend it to you too. These are tales of women who have led a difficult life - just like our own lives can be tough for us in certain moments - but they push on ... This offers the topics of both antifragility and work but in the form of a novel. Wonderful!

... And if

You want to reflect on yourself from a professional point of view in order to feel "recharged" when returning to work in September don’t forget to bring these books:

"It's easy to change jobs if you know how", in high-street and digital bookstores as well as on bookabook as well as "Connecting dots - networking, this unknown quantity" for now on Bookabook, and soon in bookstores as well.

About the author
Cristina Gianotti
For more than a decade I have been working in Coaching - Career, Executive and Business Coaching – supporting managers, professionals and entrepreneurs that are interested in investing in themselves and their own professional development. I come from a management consulting, management and entrepreneurial background. In 2016 I published my fisrt book "E' facile cambiare lavoro se sai come fare" (It is easy to change job if knowing how) with bookabook. In 2018 the second one "Connecting Dots: il networking questo sconosciuto" (Connetting dots: the unknow professional networking").

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