I read because I just do. I read to be entertained, I read to become informed on matters where I have gaps in my thinking. During any given month, sometimes I strike gold or I lay a big goose egg. March 2019 was part gold, part goose egg.
The March 2019 Reading List
To keep this simple, I’m just going to go in order.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. I believe financial leaders need to be reading good fiction for reasons that are hard to explain. Remains of the Day was my fiction read for March. I didn’t love it. I didn’t dislike it. My biggest takeaway is that the owners can make really poor decisions, and employees can regret having not done the right thing at the time (that’s a theme in one other part of the plot in this classic).
The next book I completed was Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy. I love marketing (not to be confused with the great podcast by Joe Polish and Dean Jackson). I like reading books about copywriting and advertising too. That’s why this book was hard to put down.
Next in line was The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I’m betting you’ve read at least one of Larson’s books. I had mixed feelings about starting this book. I like Larson’s writing, but I wasn’t sure I could emotionally handle the beast in one of the parallel stories he wrote about. Yeah, that part was brutal, but I enjoyed learning about the Chicago World’s Fair. I’m still not sure how the organizers pulled it off.
My goose egg was a P.T. Barnum biography by the folks at
I read Michael Goodman’s Rasputin for Hire a second time. I loved it so much, that I called him for an interview. Great call, great meeting, great guy. If you want to try your hand at consulting, start with this 2003 book.
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover was so good, I was having trouble finding a good bounce back book. I’m probably late to the party for this book as it seems like everyone and their brother and dog have read it. So far, this is easily my favorite book in 2019.
The One Sentence Persuasion
I had no idea what to expect from Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Stevenson is a defense attorney who helps men and women to get off death row. This book is moving–you’ll find yourself getting angry with the injustices that the author brings to light. A powerful book, and one where I need to figure out what I’m going to do with this information. I have ideas, but I’m all ears.
I’ve read 2 and one-half books by Guy Kawasaki. I loved The Art of the Start when Guy released the first version. I never completed his Google Plus book. But I definitely finished Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life. This is a book you give your kids and young employees if you are a manager.
What’s On the April 2019 Bookshelf?
I’ve already finished Kitchen Confidential. I didn’t like it. Then again, I have a picky palate with taste buds of the sophistication of a five-year-old.
My fiction read for April will be The Catcher in the Rye. Remember, be reading good fiction.
I like reading at least one book from by a CEO each month, and while she’s only a COO, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg is in the April queue.
It’s your turn. What did you read in March? Have those books made a difference in your life? What will you be reading this month?