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Pere Aragonès, President of the Government of Catalonia

Recommends: Decisive Moments in History, by Stefan Zweig

Pere Aragonès, President of the Government of Catalonia

Pere Aragonès’ recommendation is almost surely the most well-known book by Stefan Zweig. It is a collection of fourteen fascinating miniatures relating historical events like the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Turks, discovering the Pacific Ocean, Händel writing The Messiah, Napoleon’s defeat, the mock execution of Dostoevsky, Lenin’s visit to Russia in 1917 and more. “Throughout Zweig’s work, you see parallels between the events, stories and lives he relates and what is happening today,” the President of the Government of Catalonia explains.

Carolina Aguilar, CEO and co-founder of INBRAIN Neuroelectronics

Recommends: Chips War, by Chris Miller


It was The Economist’s book of the year. It explains the end of globalization and the biggest geopolitical battle since the Cold War, written by Chris Miller. The book also looks at the efforts various countries have made to promote their technological independence in the face of growing insecurity in the global supply chain. “With the announcement that the Spanish and Catalan governments will be funding INNOFAB, we have the opportunity to accelerate disruptive semiconductor technology in Barcelona,” says Carolina Aguilar. “The book was very inspiring!” 

Carlos Buesa, CEO of Oryzon

Recommends: Lessons, Ian McEwan


This latest novel from the British author looks back on international political events in the second half of the 20th century through the life of Roland Baines, a character who could be the author’s alter ego in some cases. “A biography full of emotions that spans childhood to old age. Emerging into adulthood, with desires and passions marked by an illicit affair that could be considered abusive,” highlights Carlos Buesa.

Josep M. Campistol, CEO of Hospital Clínic de Barcelona

Recommends: La llamada, by Leila Guerriero


Journalist Leila Guerriero tells the true story of Silvia Labayru, a former member of Montoneros who was tortured, raped and used. With her simple writing style, Guerriero creates an intimate profile that stops to look at small details that reveal Labayru’s surroundings. For Josep M. Campistol it is “an important book, inspiring and, obviously, a lesson on the issues of dictatorships, beyond dealing with gender-based violence.” 

Manuel del Castillo, CEO of Hospital Sant Joan de Déu

Recommends: Putinistán: Un país alucinante en manos de un presidente alucinado, by Xavier Colás 


Putinistán is a work of journalism and literature, quite intimate, on Russia’s drifting in recent years, from the fall of the Soviet Union and the hopes for democracy to Vladimir Putin’s rise to power. In light of the West’s blindness or collusion, Xavier Colás clearly lays out what is really at play in the war in Ukraine, as well as the practical consequences of the advance of authoritarian nationalism. For Manuel del Castillo, it is an “extremely timely book that is highly unsettling.” 

Joan Comella, Director of Innovation, Research and Knowledge Management at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu

Recommends: Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, by Steven Pinker


Cognitive scientist and intellectual Steven Pinker urges readers to look at scaremongering headlines and prophecies of our downfall that play on our psychological prejudices. Instead, using empirical data, he shows how life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge and happiness are all increasing. Not just in the West but around the world. 

Elena Cuatrecasas, partner at Cuatrecasas

Recommends: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë


A classic, ahead of its time, both in terms of the writing and the themes. It transcends typical romanticism to delve into autobiographical and ideological topics. Jane Eyre is a portrait of a woman who fights to be recognized as a person, just as worthy as any other. “Infused with a dark yet magical aura,” says Elena Cuatrecasas. 

Àngel Font, Corporate Director of CaixaResearch Institute

Recommends: The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson


Walter Isaacson tells the story of Jennifer Doudna, the 2020 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, and the most important scientific advance of the past century: CRISPR. Even though her high school teachers told her that girls can’t be scientists, her passionate research into the hidden mechanisms of life led her to take part in the most important advance in biology since DNA was discovered. 

Frederic Llordachs, CEO of Llamalítica

Recommends: De vulnerables a poderosos, by Jordi Varela.


When we talk about healthcare, there are many situations we take for granted. But that wasn’t always the case and, in fact, it still isn’t in most of the world. Jordi Varela brings us a universal, humanist look at humans’ long battle to be healthy and avoid things that pose a threat to our lives.

Lidia Martín, General Manager of Almirall

Recommends: Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, by Adam Grant 


This book is about the value of reconsidering. We often think intelligence is the ability to think and learn. But in a world that changes as quickly as ours today, there are more important cognitive abilities: rethinking and unlearning. 

Aline Noizet, Digital Health Connector

Recommends: Crossroads, by Hicham Naim 


Using scientific research and expert predictions, healthcare strategist and co-founder of Health Tech Without Borders Dr. Hicham Naim shows us two possible futures: one, a utopia of social progress supported by universal access to holistic healing and personalized preventive medicine; the other, a hellscape of our own creation. Which path will humanity choose? For Aline Noizet, “the book is easy to read and includes lots of personal stories and references that make it even more relatable.”  

Lluís Pareras, founder and Managing Partner at Invivo Capital

Recommends: Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence, by James Lovelock


Critics say that at the age of 100, James Lovelock has produced the most important and compelling work of his life. It is crucial, Lovelock argues, that the intelligence of Earth survives and prospers. He does not think there are intelligent aliens, so we are the only beings capable of understanding the cosmos. Maybe, he speculates, the novacene could even be the beginning of a process that will finally lead to intelligence suffusing the entire cosmos. 

Núria Pastor, general manager and co-founder of HumanITcare

Recommends: The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz. 


Horowitz not only shares his own experiences, but also offers practical wisdom for tackling the most difficult parts of starting and scaling up a company. Situations they often don’t teach you in business school, but have to be learned from experience.  

Josep Ll. Sant Feliu, Managing Partner and co-founder of Asabys

Recommends: The MANIAC, by Benjamín Labatut


“The book is a direct, easy to read collection of real and imagined lives of people who try to change the world and, in this case, is closely tied to artificial intelligence, nuclear power and physics, among others,” adds Sanfeliu. 

Valerie Vanhooren, CEO and co-founder of Ona Therapeutics

Recommends: Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak 


Elif Shafak is a Turkish-British novelist, a “fervent defender of women’s rights, minority rights and freedom of expression,” describes Valerie Vanhooren.

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