Pedro Gomes, author of Friday is the New Saturday: How a Four-Day Working Week Will Save the Economy recommends a fascinating list of books! Before jumping into the interview, please check out Pedro's book:
Q. Do you have a favourite smart thinking book (and why that book)?
The two smart thinking books I find more fascinating are Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. Both are impressive because of their broad scope and academic power, allied with an admirable flow in writing.
Q. What's the most recent smart thinking book you've read (and how would you rate it)?
This summer I read three books. The Profit Paradox: How Thriving Firms Threaten the Future of Work by the economist Jan Eeckhout. Anyone interested in Economics should read this book. Competition between firms is vital for capitalism to function well, but since the 1980s, large firms with too much market power are asphyxiating our economies. A lighter and funnier reading is How to Read Numbers: A Guide to Stats in the News (and Knowing When to Trust Them) by Tom Chivers and David Chivers. It is probably the easiest, most accessible guide to interpret basic statistics I have read. Anyone who wants to dive into statistics and data analysis should start with this book. I also read Game Changers: How a Team of Underdogs and Scientists Discovered What it Takes to Win by João Medeiros. It is a brilliant story of how coaches and sports scientists revolutionized how sport is understood, improved athletes, and created winning teams - an excellent book for anyone who likes sports and science.
Q. Do you have a favourite childhood book?
When I was young, I devoured all the Calvin & Hobbes books, by Bill Watterson. I still love them. They are hilarious and often very profound. It is hard to select a favourite but I would probably pick Scientific Progress Goes "Boink".
Q. Do you prefer reading on paper, Kindle or listening to an audiobook?
Paper, paper, paper! I never tried Kindle and the only audiobooks I listened were A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin. I listened to them while training in the swimming pool. It was quite an immersive experience, but I still prefer paper.
Q. Do you have a favourite bookshop (and why that shop)?
I loved The Economists' Bookshop at the London School of Economics. When doing my PhD, I spent hours in that bookshop, especially around their second-hand collection. I was heart-broken to hear that it closed after 74 years, a victim of the pandemic.
Many thanks to Pedro for some fascinating book recommendations! Please don't forget to check out Pedro's book Friday is the New Saturday: How a Four-Day Working Week Will Save the Economy.
Image Copyrights: The History Press Ltd (Friday is the New Saturday), Princeton University Press (The Profit Paradox), Orion Publishing Co (How To Read Numbers), Little, Brown Book Group (Game Changers, Scientific Progress Goes "Boink").