Two millennia ago, Marcus Tullius Cicero declared that “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
In the 20th century, Ernest Hemingway maintained, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
The narrative of humanity is recorded on the pages of books, whether in print or digital format. We turn to books because they challenge, motivate, entertain and educate. Best of all, they connect us in ways that circumvent the constraints of time and location. Which is why book clubs have become ubiquitous in our age of technology. After all, doesn’t everyone belong to a book club?
Welcome to CFAME Connection’s new column, “What are you reading now?” a result of a telephone discussion with Rick Nason a few months ago. We lead busy lives with full agendas and competing interests and responsibilities; reading often becomes relegated to in-between spaces of time. As Frank Zappa mused, “So many books, so little time.”
Books stimulate conversations, as demonstrated by the responses from CFAME Connection contributors:
Rick Atherton: I have two books on my desk, which are focused on Operational Excellence: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and What To Do When Machines Do Everything by Malcolm Frank, Paul Roehrig, & Ben Pring
Michael Ford: I am balancing Dr. Rick Nason’s book It’s Not Complicated: The Art and Science of Complexity for Business Success with a biography on Leonardo da Vinci.
John Luchetti: Since finishing my MBA in 2015, with no assignments, no required reading, no virtual classes to attend, no exams – what to do? I’ve been buying books. I have biographies to read from Alexander the Great to Elizabeth Smart – Clinton, Da Vinci, Jobs, Lama, Mandela, and Malala.
Steen Madsen: Currently I am reading an older science fiction book, Consider Phlebas: A Culture Novel by Iain M. Banks. I had heard that Elon Musk is a big fan of Iain Banks and used the book’s title as one of the names for his remote-landing-drones for the Falcon9 rocket-returns to earth. If you like science fiction, this is a must read. Very well written and the work holds up well through time.
Jim Spitali: Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, by Jeffry Pfeffer. So far, it is an interesting read and highlights some of the myths of leadership. I also enjoy many Harvard Business Review articles. I find them quite insightful.
Yvonne Thevenot: I just finished reading The Millionaire Next Door Thomas J Stanley, William D Danko. A group of colleagues at work decided we would all read the same book and chat about it. While I would not have ever chosen this book to read myself, I enjoy the community sense of trying something new by tagging along with someone else’s suggestion. It takes me outside my comfort zone and exposes me to ideas and opportunities I would not have had otherwise. Now, that being said, I can’t say I found the book particularly engaging, but I did finish it, learned some interesting things, and had fun in sharing the ideas with my colleagues. The next book on my list is The Gift of Mentoring, by Doug Lawrence and Emily Hunter. I have had the privilege of meeting Doug through my mentoring certification and have a world of respect for what he is doing for the professionalization of mentoring and so am eager to see how his views and values are captured in print!
Binod Sundararajan: I am currently, slowly, plowing through a book called The Society of Mind, by Marvin Minsky. It is heavy reading, but it is brilliant.
Dr. Carolan McLarney: This past summer I read Tolstoy, Dante, Elizabeth George and Tom Robbins. My reading list has moved on to my Christmas gifts: The Art Thief (N. Chaney), The Economic Consequences of the Peace (J.M. Keynes), Finding Piglet (adapted from A.A. Milne), The History of Bees (M. Lunde) and In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin (Berenbaum & Silva)
Dr. Rick Nason: To find out, stay tuned for the next post, on “What are you reading now?”
We invite you to join the conversation and share books that have inspired your journey.
P.S. I’ve been reading, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben and have discovered that trees communicate as communities. I continue to learn…