Bookworm Friday: Five Books Recommendations from Riccardo Palumbo


In this series, we ask our William Hill colleagues to share their favourite book recommendations and tell us what specifically they learned from them. Today we present 5 recommendations from Riccardo Palumbo, Senior Compliance Manager from William Hill office in Malta. Have a good read! 

When I was a kid, I used to read lots of narrative books but now I am 33 years old and I have developed a passion for non-fiction books, especially science, politics, and history. I recommend the below ones as they left me with some important lessons one way or another. 

1. Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari – one of the best books ever written, which describes the entire human journey in a way never done before; Q: What makes Homo Sapiens so different from the rest of the animal kingdom, and why are we so dominant? A: Our ability to create and share our Fictions. The word “fiction” (aka common myths) describes the concepts that enable a large number of strangers to cooperate across space and time: “There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings.” This is kind of terrifying, but also quite true if you think about it. An absolute must-read book (despite the length) 
2. Surrounded by Idiots, Thomas Erikson – It is important to understand and comprehend the others before judging them too quickly. The book will change your perspective of people and give you insight into certain key personality types so you can understand why they think, speak, and act the way they do. This book can make you more patient with others and allow you to let others just “be themselves” without you trying to change them. If you’ve ever looked at a person and thought “Why are they like that? That doesn’t make any sense,” this book will explain it all. 

3. Animal Farm, George Orwell - timeless example of how great ideas can become the worst nightmare; Animal Farm shows the perfect example of how the unhealthy idea of cheap Socialism began to take root to become a dictatorial Communism, as it happens in North Korea today. 

4. Factulness, Hans Rosling - because it gives you a simple example of why things are better than we think and to stay positive. In the current environment where lies and fiction are just as often believed as facts, Hans Rosling’s book is a practical guide using facts, data and reason to become a more well-informed (global) citizen. The foundation of the book is that despite all the images and articles consumers in the developed countries hear, the world is getting better. One of the first things Rosling looks to dispel us of is the categorization of the world into emerging, developing, and developed countries. He proposes a classification based on four levels and after absorbing his argument, I couldn’t agree more and plan to use this terminology in my own way to think and consume information going forward. 

5. Prisoner of Geography, Tim Marshall - A truly fantastic book and very easy to read. The author breaks it down and relates geography and history to current discussions in our media. It made me understand the reasons for the choices countries make in politics and with the environment. You can also appreciate where each country is going and what might be most important to them in the future based on their geography. I found it to be an excellent book and recommend it to everyone