Each January I pose the question: What book are you reading now? My experience is the best leaders always have a book they are reading. Lifelong learning is essential to our growth. A habit of reading books is important for lifelong learning.
What role do books play in your life? In your learning? Making time to read books is important. I usually have several books in my study that I am working through. On long trips I enjoy audio books. I have friends who like audio books best.
The most amazing book I read in 2019 was Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Booth. Celestial Bodies is the first Arabic novel to win the Man Booker International Prize. The story of three daughters and their very different lives in a changing Oman, it is a very creative story with beautiful prose and poetry. It took a few chapters to get into the flow of the book but it was worth it. Intriguing and surprising, it expanded my awareness to a time and place unknown to me. Not an easy read but a rewarding read.
I also enjoyed very much David McCullough's latest, The Pioneers, about the settling of Ohio, the land where I now live. McCullough has a tremendous talent for making history real.
As we begin 2020, here are a few of the books on my reading list:
- The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck
- The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstein
- The Vision: A Novel of Time and Consciousness by Stephan Schwartz
- A Year with Peter Drucker by Joseph Maciariello
- Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger
- Henry David Thoreau: A Life by Laura Walls
“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them”, Mark Twain.
Or as the comedian Groucho Marx said,
“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
What are you reading?
Image, my photo.
© John Ballard, PhD, 2020. All rights reserved.
Decoding the Workplace “deals with principles and practices that are timeless . . . Is this a must-have for managers and would-be managers? Yes.” Academy of Management Learning & Education, June, 2018. Now also available as an audiobook and paperback.