Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Gordon Livingston

our passage through life consists of an effort to get the maps in our heads to conform to the ground on which we walk.” “Much of our difficulty in developing and sustaining personal relationships resides in our failure to recognize, in ourselves as well as in others, those personality characteristics that make someone a poor…More

Religion for Atheists: Alain de Botton

“it must be possible to remain a committed atheist and nevertheless find religions sporadically useful, interesting and consoling – and be curious as to the possibilities of importing certain of their ideas and practices into the secular realm.” “we invented religions to serve two central needs which continue to this day and which secular society…More

Get to the Point!: Joel Schwartzberg

A point is a contention you can propose, argue, defend, illustrate, and prove. A point makes clear its value and its purpose. And to maximize impact, a point should be sold, not just shared or described. A surefire way to know if you have a real point—and successfully create one—is to apply a simple three-step…More

Algorithms to Live By: Brian Christian

Look-Then-Leap Rule: You set a predetermined amount of time for “looking”—that is, exploring your options, gathering data—in which you categorically don’t choose anyone, no matter how impressive. After that point, you enter the “leap” phase, prepared to instantly commit to anyone who outshines the best applicant you saw in the look phase. 37% Rule: look…More

The Conquest of Happiness: Bertrand Russell

I enjoy life; I might almost say that with every year that passes I enjoy it more This is due partly to having discovered what were the things that I most desired and having gradually acquired many of these things Partly it is due to having successfully dismissed certain objects of desire – such as…More

Four Thousand Weeks: Oliver Burkeman

The spirit of the times is one of joyless urgency,” writes the essayist Marilynne Robinson If I could get enough work done, my subconscious had apparently concluded, I wouldn’t need to ask if it was all that healthy to be deriving so much of my sense of self-worth from work in the first place the…More

Escape from Freedom: Erich Fromm

Human nature is neither a biologically fixed and innate sum total of drives nor is it a lifeless shadow of cultural patterns to which it adapts itself smoothly; it is the product of human evolution, but it also has certain inherent mechanisms and laws. There are certain factors in man’s nature which are fixed and…More

How Brands Grow: Byron Sharp

1. Growth in market share comes by increasing popularity; that is, by gaining many more buyers (of all types), most of whom are light customers buying the brand only very occasionally. 2. Brands, even though they are usually slightly differentiated, mainly compete as if they are near lookalikes; though they vary in popularity (and hence…More

Smarter Investing: Tim Hale

In a nutshell:– Invest in index funds– Use a platform like Vanguard (lowest fees I’ve found so far)– Pick an index you want to track e.g. FTSE (by national economic index), by sector (fashion, Tech, energy), by geography (Europe, US, emerging markets)– Choose the stocks and shares ISA– Decide how risky you want your portfolio…More

The Untethered Soul: Michael Singer

Summary A simple but profound insight into how to improve your inner life Favourite Lines The best way to free yourself from this incessant chatter [of your monkey mind] is to step back and view it objectively In fact, the only way to get your distance from this voice is to stop differentiating what it’s saying.…More