Each quarter, I post a quick round-up of everything I have read during the quarter. Below is Q3’s reading along with a few pithy thoughts on each book.
- Fortune’s Children – The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt by Arthur T Vanderbilt II – Fascinating look at the rise and fall of the Vanderbilt clan. Anderson Cooper just published a new book on the same topic that I look forward to reading.
- The Beneficiary: Fortune, Misfortune, and the Story of My Father by Janny Scott – This was an interesting profile of a wealthy, Philadelphia area family.
- Beyond Survival by Leon Danco – Danco was one of the earliest advisors to family business. This book is a tremendous look at the challenges that wealth creators / entrepreneurs face in successfully stewarding their business on to future generations.
- Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford – It is very much en vogue to celebrate craftsmanship. Crawford makes a broader point about the value of all kinds of work, even the messy maintenance kind.
- Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan – A deep dive on the art of building something that customers will care about.
- The Nordstrom Way by Robert Spector – Lots of great stories about Nordstrom’s legendary service
- Art’s Principles by Arthur Gensler – The founder of the eponymous architecture firm. Not a ton of new insights, but a greater chapter or two on building a strong team based firm, rather than having 1 star architect
- Be Our Guest by The Disney Institute – Fantastic – even if you think you know a lot about Disney, there’s a ton of interesting stuff in this
- The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker – A must read about how best to design and structure any and all meetings.
- The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building by Matt Mochary – This was super pragmatic about how best to lead and manage
- The Practice: Shipping Creative Work by Seth Godin – A few good insights
- Mission Drift by Peter Greer – An interesting look at how organizations evolve from their founding mission
- Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin – Godin hits the nail on the head about differentiation in a crowded marketplace
- Light’s Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric by Thomas Gryta – A must read about the total insanity that is the GE story
- The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit by Seth Godin – Didn’t love this
- Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover – It’s a best seller for a reason. Reminded me a lot of The Glass Castle
- Eat Like a Fish: My Adventures Farming the Ocean to Fight Climate Change by Bren Smith – This was really interesting look at farming and aquaculture
- Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay – A helpful understanding about the philosophical underpinning of today’s hot button issues. Opinionated but not polemic.
- Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi – A masterful reflection
- No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox – I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Fox’s reflections
- Year One: How Young Professionals (And Their Managers) Can Thrive in Their First Job After College by Allison McWilliams and Katherine Laws – This was an interesting quick look about the changes new college grads face when they enter the workforce
- Death of a Guru: A Remarkable True Story of One Man’s Search for Truth by Rabi Maharaj – This was also exceptionally interesting