Summer Reading

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Summer Reading

Category : Recommended Reading

After a quick straw poll we’ve chosen some recently read books we’d happily re-read. So, if you’re in need of some inspiration for holiday reading, please try any from this somewhat eclectic list of 20 books that should all be relevant and interesting for business people.

John F. Kennedy on Leadership: The Lessons and Legacy of a President by John A. Barnes

Beautiful insight into the thinking and strategies and decisions making processes of a (democratic) global leader

Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Beautiful insight into the thinking and strategies and decisions making processes of a (despotic) global leader

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
A ‘must read’ on decision making – see our previous blog ‘One bad decision begets another’

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond
Comparisons of primitive tribal ways of life, problem solving and leadership with those of our own ‘civilised’ methods – brilliant

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C Mann
An interesting review of the first round of globalisation

The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward by Benoit B. Mandelbrot and Richard L. Hudson
An exposé on the weaknesses in the financial markets from before the crash – a bit mathematical and ‘geeky’, but brilliant nonetheless

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Paul Tudor Jones, Edwin Lefèvre and Jon D. Markman
An old classic from the 1920s with additional recent commentary showing how little has changed

This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff
Some of the statistical analysis has subsequently been questioned, but it’s hard to disagree with the thrust of the narrative – a bit heavy going at times, but worth the effort

Compassionate Capitalism: How Corporations Can Make Doing Good an Integral Part of Doing Well by Alan G. Hassenfeld, Marc Benioff and Karen Southwick
How companies can improve profitability by becoming more egalitarian and compassionate

A Nietzsche Reader by R.J. Hollingdale
Now said to be surpassing both ‘The Art of War’ and ‘The Prince’ on CEOs’ bookshelves – scary in some ways, but revealing

Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond by Gene Kranz
Central to this entertaining memoir is a tale of great management and teamwork under pressure

Beside the Bulldog: The Intimate Memoirs of Churchill’s Bodyguard by Walter H Thompson
Biography of Churchill’s body guard – a total ‘Rashamon’ view of the great man

Power Plays: Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership and Management by John Whitney and Tina Packer
Learn about management from Shakespeare’s plays – great idea, but slightly stretches the point

New Europe by Michael Palin
How we are all so different and yet so similar – in shorthand

Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Diversity in Global Business by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner
How we are all so different and yet so similar – a more academic view

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry and Invention by William Rosen
An economic history of the industrial revolution with the focus firmly on invention and innovation

The Art of Being Brilliant: Transform Your Life by Doing What Works For You by Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker
One of the better ‘self-help’ books – very optimistic but much of the advice is actually viable and useful

Answers to Rhetorical Questions by Caroline Taggart
Light and humorous, yet surprisingly thought-provoking – a great help in debunking the ‘cliché’

Putting the One Minute Manager to Work by Kenneth Blanchard and Robert Lorber
Companion to the famous ‘One Minute Manager’ with practical advice about putting the techniques into practice

The Times Great Lives: A Century In Obituaries
100 concise and insightful obituaries of the 20th Century’s good, bad and great – from the Times


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