What books have top people been reading?

Often in January I attend a conference with French and British businessmen and women, officials and politicians, and am always fascinated by the books these important people cite when they speak. With 50% French participation, there is always far more intellectual crunchiness than you would get in a solely Anglo-Saxon conference. Anyway, this year I heard people referring to:

Andre Malraux, Outlines of a Psychology of the Cinema

[amazon_link id=”2867466008″ target=”_blank” ]Cyber China[/amazon_link], Xiaolong Qiu and Adélaïde Pralon

[amazon_image id=”2867466008″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Cyber China[/amazon_image]

Raghuram Rajan, [amazon_link id=”0691152632″ target=”_blank” ]Fault Lines[/amazon_link]

Bossuet, [amazon_link id=”0521368073″ target=”_blank” ]Politics Drawn From the words of Holy Scripture[/amazon_link]

Martin Heidegger, [amazon_link id=”1438432763″ target=”_blank” ]Being and Time[/amazon_link]

Emmanuel Levinas, [amazon_link id=”0820702455″ target=”_blank” ]Totality and infinity[/amazon_link]

Pierre Bourdieu, [amazon_link id=”B00AA8LPL0″ target=”_blank” ]The Social Structures of the Economy[/amazon_link]

Robert Caro’s [amazon_link id=”1847922171″ target=”_blank” ]The Passage of Power[/amazon_link]

[amazon_image id=”1847922171″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Passage of Power[/amazon_image]

In general when I hear people citing, say, Heidegger’s Being and Time I permit myself some doubt as to whether they’ve really read the book. For myself, the [amazon_link id=”034080324X” target=”_blank” ]Beginner’s Guide to Heidegger [/amazon_link]was tough enough going.

[amazon_image id=”034080324X” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Heidegger (Beginner’s Guides)[/amazon_image]

But in this crowd, the probability of the book mentioned having been read is pretty high, although there was of course a bit of a read-to-impress quotient: nobody was talking about the thrillers they read for relaxation.

On the train to and fro I started reading [amazon_link id=”0099563835″ target=”_blank” ]Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest[/amazon_link]. So far, absolutely superb.

[amazon_image id=”0099563835″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest[/amazon_image]