Index of useful Books : Read more in less time

As I said in my presentation, I like reading.

But reading takes time and more than often I was disappointed by the lack of quality or utility of a “promising” book.

Worst, there are a lot of interesting books, but you must read a lot of pages to find what you want.

Thus, I create this topic to index useful books about specifics themes, do not hesitate to take part.

I do not create this topic for generics exchanges about our favourite readings. If you want to talk about that please send me a PM.

Index (in alphabetical order)

  • DIY (Do-It-Yourself)

“Froissartage” by Michel Froissart (wood work for beginner)

  • History

“Histoire de la pensée chinoise” (History of chinese thought) by Anne Cheng (Chinese History and Philosophy)

  • Philosophy

“Enchiridion” by Epictetus (Stoicism)

“Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Stoicism)

“The Fundamentals of Ethics” by Russ Shafer-Landau (Ethics)


The Fundamentals of Ethics

By Russ Shafer-Landau

Since all of us wants to better themselves in English, I chose to present you a book written in English.

The book is about ethics also known as moral philosophy, the study of “right” and “wrong” in a moral sense.

All of us tend to think in the good and evil way, it is unavoidable.

So, by studying it you learn how to articulate both, how to structure your moral philosophy in a useful way by discovering what is important for you, where does your motivations take roots, what values do you want to pursue.

This book can help for the process by presenting you the most know moral theories with theirs advantages and limits.

The book is also very useful if you want to learn how to construct a logical reasoning.

In around 350 pages 13 moral theories are summarized:

  • Hedonism
  • Desire theory
  • Morality and Religion
  • Natural Law
  • Egoism
  • Consequentialism (my favourite)
  • Fairness and Justice
  • The Social Contract Tradition
  • Ethical Pluralisms
  • Feminist Ethics
  • Ethical Relativism
  • Moral Nihilism

The Plus:

  • Short for the subject, a good summary.
  • A solid academic work (edited by Oxford University Press).
  • With a glossary and references if you want to know more.
  • Made for students so in an accessible English and easily understandable.

The Less:

  • Not pleasant to read.
  • Very politically correct.
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When I saw the title of your topic I thought you wanted to talk about speed reading, which is techniques and a state of mind (relaxed, focus, etc) to read [the same] text in less time, without sacrificing the understanding.

But apparently you want to talk about reading interesting books, not spending time on reading shitty ones - which in my opinion is more important. Arthur Schopenhauer said : “One can never read too little of bad, or too much of good books: bad books are intellectual poison; they destroy the mind.:bomb: When we read, another person thinks for us, we repeat his mental process. So we won’t let a random person do it.

My trick is to see what books are recommanded by the people I want to be like, people who are ahead of where I want to go, or simply the greatest in their fields.

For example JeanMa recommended “Utoya” by “Obertone Laurent” Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Nassim Taleb, etc recommended “Zero to One” by “Peter Thiel” Naval, Tugan Bara & almost everyone recommend “Influence & manipulation” by “Robert Cialdini” …

I think you get it. And of course I have to be interested in the subject.

There’s another good indicator, books that have stood the test of time. For example: Marcus Aurelius (emperor of Rome at its peak) and Epictetus (a slave who freed himself)… They are still there after 2000 years. #timeless_insights. It worked, it works and it will work.

One last thing, I read only people who create things, who are risk takers, entrepreneurs, not the “academics” / “professors” / “experts” who write to establish their reputation or uniquely to sell.

I hope it was useful to you, and that from now you won’t come across boring books or books that lack quality or utility.

Some quotes on the subject: “If you can read if fast, it is not worth reading” - Naval. “A book that is not worth re-reading is not worth reading” - Nassim Taleb.


Thank you for your participation.

I like a lot the books you’re proposing (those I readed) especially “The Black Swan” from Nassim Taleb who is an excellent book about the hazard and how to deal best with it.

I tend to agree about reading active people (and not lazy elite or eternal talker) BUT I still think you can find a lots of useful books in the academic sector if you’re selective enough (unfortunatly for choosing the right book you often need to know the sector).


I had the pleasant to suprise to heard about this topic on the last DBL live, but it’s seem I wasn’t clear so I will correct that.

The point is to share useful books about specific subjects (and not books on general themes), thus gaining time by reading recommended books by the community about the subject you want to learn more.

I will present more books as time go on, but they all will be on my hobbies and interests so feel free to participate to enrich the topic

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By Michel Froissart

A do-it-yourself book written by a WW2 french veteran. This book explain how to make a lots of useful things (chair, table, fence, small bridge and various furniture) by using wood and a minimum of tools.

It is a book to read if you like to spend time in nature or if you want to be more self reliant.

At the beginning it is a book for kids and young men so if you are a parent it can be a good way to occupy your children on weekends.

The Plus:

  • Concise (less than 200 pages) and clear

  • Illustrated

  • For natures lover and parents

  • Pratical

The Less:

  • More an instruction manual than a book

Take a look at this topic : Bookographie DBL livres data base


Thank you for sharing, since the old topic is in french I think I will keep this one and continue to improve it over time


Histoire de la pensée chinoise (History of chinese thought)

By Anne Cheng

If like me you think that the power of tomorrow is in Asia and especially in China this book is for you, after all it is better to know how your future conquerors think^^

More seriously we heard a lots of negative (and often wrong) things about china, it’s a pity because it’s an old and very interesting civilization with a rich history. I firmly believe that we have a lot to learn from China contrary to our current (and more southern) interests. And since a lot of business (and the global economics well being) depends on china today we have every interest in knowing them.

The book was published for the first time in 1997, you will find in it :

  • How the divinatory aspect of ancient Chinese created a different thought process than the European

  • The evolutions of Chinese thought from antiquity to the beginning of the 20th century

  • Explanations of concepts poorly understood in the West such as Confucianism and Daoism, if you heard our supreme leader JMC talk about the Dao (=Tao) and you want to know what its means spiritually you will find answers in that book.

  • At the beginning a short guide on how to pronounce westernized Chinese words with Pinyin transcription (a good way to begin to learn chinese).

About Anne Cheng, she’s a French Sinologist who reminds us that we once had an intellectual elite, her work is fascinating and comprehensive, she popularizes difficult and distant notions.

The Plus:

  • Four thousand years of chinese thought history in one book

  • Extremely solid academic work with deep roots in history, philosophy and linguistic, Anne Cheng is a genius who know the subject inside out

  • Well sourced and referenced

  • Finaly a real objective book about china

The Less:

  • Too bad its ends at the beginning of the 20th century
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