One Sentence Summaries of my favorite books.

Lars Crama
5 min readJan 26, 2021

So many books. So little time. Here’s my attempt to summarize the ones I really loved in one sentence. Hope it provides you with inspiration.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

These books I really enjoyed:

On the road — Jack Kerouac

Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — Stephen Covey

In order to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.

The Alchemist — Paulo Coelho

Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World and it will one day return there.

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance — Robert M. Pirsig

Because we’re unaccustomed to it, we don’t usually see that there’s a third possible logical term equal to yes and no which is capable of expanding our understanding in an unrecognized direction.

How will you measure your life? — Clayton M. Christensen

Focus not just on money and your career, but your family, relationships and personal well-being, to sustain motivation at work and in life to spend your time on earth happily and fulfilled.

Doughnut Economics — Kate Raworth

Humanity’s 21st century challenge is to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet.

The 4-Hour workweek — Timothy Ferriss

Escape the 9–5, live anywhere, and join the new rich by figuring out where you add value and outsourcing the rest.

Building on bedrock — Derek Lidow

High risk “Silicon Valley” entrepreneurs base their decisions on maximizing personal gain — money, status and networks, while self-made bedrock entrepreneurs like Sam Walton and Walt Disney believe money is something that’s easy to lose and time is something that’s easy to waste.

The Big Leap — Gay Hendricks

As you move towards greater success, love, abundance and creativity in your life, you will encounter The Upper Limit Problem: the universal human tendency to sabotage ourselves when we have exceeded the artificial upper limit we placed on ourselves.

The Serendipity Mindset — The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck — Christian Busch

Once we realize that serendipity is not just about a coincidence that just happens to us but is actually the process of spotting and connecting the dots we start to see bridges where others see gaps.

Essentialism — The Disciplined Pursuit of Less — Greg McKeown

To discern what is truly essential we need space to think, time to look and listen, permission to play, wisdom to sleep, and the discipline to apply highly selective criteria to the choices we make.

Think and Grow Rich — Napoleon Hill

Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time.

The Good Anccestor – How to think long term in a short-term world – Roman Krznaric

While the future is being held to ransom by a whole economic system bent on short-term gains and instant gratification, we need to grasp the insignifcance of our own transitionary existence compared to our descendants aka futureholders, start develop a sense of deep-time humility, and identify a transcendent goal for mankind that is rooted in deep democracy as our current political systems have little capacity to take the long view.

The Five people you will meet in heaven — Mitch Albom

All lives and experiences are interconnected in some way, and even the little things you do can affect other people’s lives and experiences dramatically.

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire — Rebecca Henderson

“Yes, the planet got destroyed, but for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for our shareholders” — The key to prosperity for both business and society at large is to understand free markets and free politics as complements rather than as adversaries; free markets need free politics and it is time for the private sector to play an active role in supporting them.

The Serendipity Mindset — Christian Busch

While blind luck plays a major role in life, there are ways in which we can shape our own destiny and create conditions, that can make “smart” luck more likely over time and with better outcomes, by establishing a core motivation, seeing and connecting the dots, turning them into opportunities and (potentially) accelerating and amplifying them.

These are on the good side of crazy:

The Rise and fall of D.O.D.O. — Neal Stephenson

What if we could travel back in time to rewrite history so that magic doesn’t disappear?

When we Cease to Understand the World — Benjamin Labatut

Physics in its contemporary state contains false doctrines that exercise a dark influence on our imagination — methods from classical physics can not be used to explain the quantum world and science can no longer confront reality in the same way.

Sapiens — Yuval Noah Harari

Homo Sapiens came to dominate the world because it is the only animal that can cooperate flexibly in large numbers.

Books in Dutch:

De Fundamenten — Ramsey Nasr

Our behavior over the past decades will go down in history as irrational, amoral, self-centered, irresponsible and utterly criminal and modern multinationals will be considered like the VOC: they brought us prosperity, but at what cost?

De Meeste Mensen Deugen — Rutger Bregman

For a long time we have assumed that man is an egoist, a beast, or worse and that civilization is a thin film that would burst at the slightest sign, but this view of humanity and this reading of our history turns out to be totally unrealistic.

Omarm de chaos — Jan Rotmans

If we destroy nature, we ultimately destroy ourselves; it is up to us to save our lifeline.

De Blauwe Fabel — Ties Joosten

As long as we fail to see that Royal Dutch Airline KLM is dependent on us rather than the other way around, the required structural reforms will not happen and the company will continue to live on the tax payers’ wallet (and wellbeing) like it did for the past 100 years.

Hoe overleef ik de moderne wereld — Alain de Botton

While the modern world brought us several advantages, it can also be seen as the disease of our times — we need to break free from media, technological advancement and career progress through secularism, rest and a renewed relationship with nature.

Also worth reading:

(Come back soon for the summary)

Emotional Intelligence
The One Thing
Scaling up
The Back of the napkin
The Hard Thing about Hard Things
Zero to one
Thinking Fast then Slow

Currently on my reading list:

(Wait for it…..)

The Dawn of Everything — David Graeber
The Artist’s Way — Julia Cameron
Principles — Ray Dalio
The Changing World Order — Ray Dalio
Socrates op sneakers — Elke Wiss
The Solutions are already here — Peter Gelderloos
Underland — Robert MacFarlane
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World — Anand Giridharadas
The Founder’s Mentality — Chris Zook
The Boiling Frog — How Complacency and Ignorance Created our Leadership Crisis and What We Can Do About It — Michael Darmody
Business Adventures — Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street — John Brooks
Moonwalking with Einstein — Joshua Foer
The Ride of a Lifetime — Bob Iger
Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell
Liked this? The algorithm loves claps! 👏



Lars Crama

I help bold leaders grow future proof businesses. Former fortune 500 & scale-up Director. Lived in Shanghai, Cape Town, London. Home in Rotterdam.