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Literaire suggesties voor een zonnige zomer

Marketing: zo oud als… lijstjes publiceren! Wij mensen vinden het heerlijk om lijstjes af te gaan. Vooral rangordes.

Met een rangorde ga ik je niet vervelen. Wel met een willekeurig lijstje van vijf boeken die het lezen waard zijn deze zomer. Zelf kom ik veel te weinig aan lezen toe, zo tijdens de weken van het gewone leven. Maar tijdens de vakantie verslind ik graag een aantal boeken.

There is no present, let alone a future, without the past. This holds true for humans as individuals and humans as a species. I love biographies, personal histories so to speak.

Using music, visual art, film and literature, Maarten guides the reader through the history of the painful relationship between Germany and France over the past century and a half. In retrospect, leaders − single individuals − prove to have been of crucial influence on developments time and again. Leaders and leadership, one of my favourite topics.

'The Perfection Trap disucsses our insecurity about what we don't have, how we don't look and what we have not achieved. The deeper we fall into our culture's perfection trap, the more perfectionism will drain the life from our lives. A must-read from the world's leading expert.' according to Nicolai Tangen, CEO of the Norwegian Oil Fund, one of the world's largest investment funds. I have nothing to add to that.

Timothy Garton Ash, a great writer on Europe, has made a life of studying Europe. This book is full of vivid experiences: from his father's memories of D-Day and his own memory of being searched by the Stasi to the interviewing of Albanian guerrillas in the mountains of Kosovo and angered teenagers in the most impoverished neighbourhoods of Paris, as well as the advising of prime ministers, chancellors and presidents.I've said it before, I'm a fan of history. 'Homelands' is an excellently written book − a real page-turner. With great pace and enthusiasm, Garton Ash writes both a wonderful sketch of Europe as well as an urgent appeal to us Europeans to understand and defend our collective achievements.

The life of a wealthy Icelandic family is upended when a lifeless body is discovered on the lava fields near the hotel where they are celebrating a reunion. As the storm rages, people fall prey to a sinister figure. A stunning synthesis of a modern Nordic noir and a Golden Age mystery. And, no, it is not about one of my daughters!

When going to work each day, we carry with us our insecurities, misconceptions and many other things that are shaped by our upbringing. Naomi Shragai's excellent book 'The Man who Mistook his Job for his Life' reveals how to leave all that baggage behind.

Have fun with the list and have a great summer.

Warm regards,



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