Now Reading

If we’re talking about #management, I’m likely to ask if you watch The Walking Dead, or if you’ve read The Age of Innocence.  Here’s How I Read About #Management. tl;dr:  whatever literature or media I’m consuming may wind up in a workplace discussion.  Also, there’s a lot of crappy “content” out there.

When I read something really, really good — and here I mean, true and useful in practice — I may share it with clients, or more broadly in my (nearly) monthly newsletter.

In early 2018, I decided to stop updating this page. Partly because it was an admin time-suck, and for more inchoate reasons, too.

After a few months of not-updating the page, I realize that I didn’t miss anything about it.

I continue to read and consume an eclectic mix of new fiction, 20th and 21st century mysteries and police procedurals (they’re usually about workplaces!), the occasional business book, and deep dives into research and and behaviors that make people effective at their work of leading people.

It’s possible that I may come back to this at some point in the future…or not.

January, 2018

  • My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George (library) – re-reading this YA classic
  • Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer (library) – re-reading

November, 2017

  • The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life, by Marci Alboher (library)
  • Future Home of the Living God, by Louise Erdrich (library)
  • A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life, by John Kralik (library)
  • Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud:  The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, by Anne Helen Petersen (library)

October, 2017

  • The Clockwork Dynasty, by Daniel H. Wilson (library)
  • The Best Kind of People, by Zoe Whittall (library)
  • Earthseed:  The Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Talents, by Octavia Butler (library)
  • North of Boston, by Elizabeth Elo (library)
  • Priceless:  The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) by William Poundstone (library)
  • Be Fierce:  Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, by Gretchen Carlson (galley)
  • Nomadland:  Surviving America in the 21st Century, by Jessica Bruder (library)

September, 2017

  • The Perfect Stranger, by Megan Miranda (library)
  • All the Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda (library)
  • Electric Arches, by Eve Ewing (library)
  • Fifty-five, Unemployed, and Faking Normal: Your Guide to a Better Life,* by Elizabeth White (library)
  • Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, by Richard Rohr (library)
  • Great on the Job:  What to Say, How to Say It.  The Secrets of Getting Ahead, by Jodi Glickman (library)
  • E is for Evidence, by Sue Grafton (library)
  • Sulfur Springs, by William Kent Krueger (library)
  • Tropic of Kansas, by Christopher Brown (library)
  • Men Without Work:  America’s Invisible Crisis*, by Nicholas Eberstadt (library)

*Read these two consecutively, chilling

August, 2017

  • Grace Period:  A Memoir in Pieces, by Kelly Baker (Amazon — I don’t find a library link for it on WorldCat, weird?)
  • “D” is for Deadbeat, by Sue Grafton (library)
  • The Peripheral, by William Gibson (library)
  • Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion, by Paul Bloom  (library)
  • Miss Manners Minds your Business, by Judith Martin; Nicholas Ivor Martin (library)
  • Hamilton, the Revolution: Being the Complete Libretto of the Broadway Musical, with a True Account of its Creation, and Concise Remarks on Hip-hop, the Power of Stories, and the New America, by Jeremy McCarter; Lin-Manuel Miranda (library)

July, 2017

  • Hunger:  A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay (library)
  • Camino Island, by John Grisham (library)
  • The Force, by Don Winslow (library)
  • C is for Corpse, by Sue Grafton (library)
  • B is for Burglar, by Sue Grafton (library)
  • A is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton (library)
  • Savages, by Don Winslow (library)
  • The Dawn Patrol, by Don Winslow (library)
  • Way Down on the High Lonely, by Don Winslow (library)
  • The Trail to Buddha’s Mirror, by Don Winslow (library)
  • Sea Power:  the History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans, by James Stavridis (library)
  • Out of Bounds, Val McDermid (library)
  • Make Your Bed:  Little Things That Can Change Your Life, by William McRaven (library)
  • You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. (eAudiobook), by Jen Sincero (library)
  • The Fact of a Body: a Murder and a Memoir, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (library)
  • Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris (library)*
  • Formative Years in Business: A Long-Term AT&T Study of Managerial Lives (library)
  • A Cool Breeze on the Underground, by Don Winslow (library)

*summer reading about work

June, 2017

*summer reading about work

May, 2017

  • American War, by Omar El Akkad (library)
  • The Assistants, by Camille Perri (library)*
  • Originals:  How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant (library)
  • Marathon, by Brian Freeman (library)
  • The Manager’s Legal Handbook, by Lisa Guerin (library)**
  • The Employer’s Legal Handbook, by Fred Steingold (library)**
  • Employment Law:  The Essential HR Desk Reference, by Lisa Guerin (library)**
  • Your Rights in the Workplace:  An Employee’s Guide to Fair Treatment by Barbara Kate Repa  (library)**
  • Do What You Love And Other Lies About Success and Happiness, by Miya Tokumitsu (library)
  • American Hookup:  The New Culture of Sex on Campus, by Lisa Wade (library)
  • The Manager’s Path:  A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change, by Camille Fournier (library)

*summer reading about work

**reference books; I did not read them from cover-to-cover.

April, 2017

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman (library)
  • See You in the Cosmos, by Jack Cheng (library)
  • Startup, by Dorree Shafrir (library)*
  • Liars’ Club, by Mary Karr (library)
  • A Deadly Thaw, by Sarah Ward (library)
  • In Bitter Chill, by Sarah Ward (library)
  • Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon (library)
  • Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, by Austin Kleon (library)

*Disclosure:  I received a free review copy; it’s also one of my summer reading recommendations, about work

March, 2017

  • The Fever, by Megan Abbott (library)
  • Dare Me, by Megan Abbott (library)
  • Sister Outsider:  Essays and Speeches, by Audre Lorde, audio version read by Robin Eller (Library)
  • Lower Ed:  The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, by Tressie McMillan Cottom (Library)

February, 2017

  • Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris (Library)
  • Outline, by Rachel Cusk (Library)
  • Transit, by Rachel Cusk (Library)
  • Shift by Hugh Howey (Library)
  • Dietland, by Sarai Walker (Library)

January, 2017

  • Dust, by Hugh Howey (Library)
  • Idaho:  a novel, by Emily Ruskovich (Library)
  • Feminist Fight Club : an Office Survival Manual (for a Sexist Workplace), by Jessica Bennett, Saskia Wariner, Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (Library)
  • The War of Art:  Winning The Inner Creative Battle**, by Steven Pressfield (Audio – Library) (Book – Library)
  • The Artist’s Way:  25th Anniversary edition**, by Julia Cameron (Library)
  • Out on the Wire:  The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio, by Jessica Abel (Library)
  • Becoming Wise:  An Inquiry Into the Mystery and Art of Living, by Krista Tippett (Audio – Library)
  • Changeology:  5 Steps to Realizing your Goals and Resolutions, by John C Norcross, Kristin Loberg, Jonathon Norcross (Library)
  • Wool, by Hugh Howey (Library)


December, 2016

  • Much of my reading time for rest of this year will be finishing — or formally giving up on — some books I’ve half-read.  Or so I say on December 1; there’s always the lure of the new!
  • The Three-Body Problem, by Cixin Liu (Library) (Amazon)
  • Written in the Stars, Aisha Saeed (Library) (Amazon)
  • Homecoming (podcast)
  • The Mothers:  A Novel, by Brit Bennett (Library) (Amazon)

November, 2016

October, 2016

  • Time Travel: A History, by James Gleick (Library) (Amazon)
  • Never Can Say Goodbye:  Writers on Their Unshakeable Love for New York, Sari Botton, editor (Library) (Amazon)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood (Library) (Amazon) (I actually re-read a yellowing 1980s Fawcett Crest paperback I had on a shelf at home)

September, 2016

  • How to Be a Person in the World:  Ask Polly’s Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life, by Heather Havrilesky (Library) (Amazon)
  • Out on a Wire, Jessica Abel’s excellent podcast series on stories.
  • Talking from 9 to 5: how women’s and men’s conversational styles affect who gets heard, who gets credit, and what gets done at work, by Deborah Tannen.  (Library) (Amazon)

August, 2016

  • First, Break all the Rules, What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, by Gallup Press, Marcus Buckingham  (Library) (Amazon) (NB: I’m reading the library version, via NYPL; it’s is an earlier version than the Kindle edition.)
  • Surrender, New York, by Caleb Carr (Library) (Amazon)
  • Missing, Presumed, by Susie Steiner (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Hillbilly Elegy:  A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance  (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The Happiness Project:  Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
    by Gretchen Rubin (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Thanks for the Feedback:  The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The 8th Habit:  From Effectiveness to Greatness, by Stephen R. Covey (NYPL) (Amazon)

July, 2016

June, 2016

  • The Zombies Are Coming!  The Realities of the Zombie Apocalypse in American Culture, by Kelly J. Baker (Amazon)
  • Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Disrupted, by Dan Lyons (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, by Sarah Vowell (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth (NYPL) (Amazon)

May, 2016

April, 2016

  • Consequence:  a Memoir, by Eric Fair (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The Turnaround Kid: What I Learned Rescuing America’s Most Troubled Companies, by Steve Miller (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Managing Oneself, by Peter Drucker (audio) (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Managing Oneself, by Peter Drucker  (article, HBR, requires subscription)
  • Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, Barbara Ehrenreich  (NYPL) (Amazon) (h/t Casey Gollan)

March, 2016

  • Black Cloud, directed by Ricky Schroder (Amazon, DVD) (stream on YouTube)
  • Coach, Michael Lewis (audio) (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Coach, Michael Lewis (ebook) (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession, Allison Hoover Bartlett. (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Eat the Document, by Dana Spiotta (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Everyday Bias:  Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in our Daily Lives, by Howard Ross  (NYPL) (Amazon) (h/t Jeremy Sierra and this list)
  • Ashley Milne-Tyte’s podcast The Broad Experience. Episodes 19, 24, 42, 52 and 77, came up when Ashley and I talked about “expertise.”  Audio of this conversation will be available to my newsletter subscribers on March 5!

February, 2016

  • The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood  (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy, by Judd Apatow (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Girl Through Glass:  A Novel, by Sari Wilson (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The Fog of War [videorecording]:  Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, produced/directed by Errol Morris (NYPL) (Amazon) (recommended by Gary Chou)
  • The Unknown Known, directed by Errol Morris (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (audiobook), by Elizabeth Gilbert (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built, by Stewart Brand (NYPL) (Amazon)  (Recommended by Jason Li)
  • Citizen:  An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The Children Act, by Ian McEwan (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Forgive and Remember: Managing Medical Failure, 2d edition, by Charles L. Bosk (Library) (Amazon)
  • Deep Work:  Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport (NYPL) (Amazon)

January, 2016

  • The Rabbit Back Literature Society, by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen; translated from the Finnish by Lola M. Rogers (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: a Memoir, by Haruki Murakami; translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel (NYPL) (Amazon) (Recommended by Alex Li.)
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, (audiobook) by Cheryl Strayed (NYPL) (Amazon) (Gah, the Kindle ebook has highlights with Oprah’s comments.  A Visit From The Goon Squad comes to mind.   Save us.)
  • The Girl on the Train:  a Novel, by Paula Hawkins (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The Passage: a Novel, by Justin Cronin (NYPL) (Amazon) (h/t Jeremy Sierra)
  • The Twelve:  a Novel, by Justin Cronin (NYPL) (Amazon) (h/t Jeremy Sierra)
  • The Children’s Crusade: A Novel, by Ann Packer (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Not That Kind of Girl:  A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned,” by Lena Dunham.  (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Jerry Useem’s Atlantic “back catalogue” (Atlantic)
  • The Half has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, by Edward E. Baptist (NYPL) (Amazon)

December, 2015

  • Mother Night, by Kurt Vonnegut (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The Dead Zone, by Stephen King (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Mindwise: How we Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want, by Nicholas Epley (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Destined to lead : executive coaching and lessons for leadership development, by Karol M. Wasylyshyn. (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Becoming an Exceptional Executive Coach: Use Your Knowledge, Experience, and Intuition to Help Leaders Excel, by Michael Frisch, Robert Lee, Karen L. Metzger, Jeremy Robinson, Judy Rosemarin (Amazon) (Not currently available at the NYPL)
  • The Whites : a novel, by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel, by Lee Child (NYPL) (Amazon)

November, 2015

  • The Grownup, by Gillian Flynn.  (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, by Amanda Palmer (audio recording) (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, by Raymond Williams (NYPL – onsite use) (Amazon)
  • New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society, by Tony Bennett, Lawrence Grossberg, Meaghan Morris (NYPL – onsite use) (Amazon)
  • The One-Straw Revolution:  An Introduction to Natural Farming, by Masanobu Fukuoka (NYPL) (Amazon)  (Thanks to my unnamed client for the recommendation.)
  • The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, by Philip Zimbardo  (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing, by Marie Kondo.  (NYPL) (Amazon)
  • In July, I decided to read every one of Lee Childs’ Jack Reacher books before year end.   I’m on target.  Currently on book 19:  Personal.  (NYPL) (Amazon)

The NYPL has an amazing ebook and audiobook catalog.  If you’re a New Yorker, you can read much of what I’ve read here — from your sofa, for free.  Tip the NYPL here!