Books are meant to be shared

Reading List

2024

“Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol by Mallory O’Meara
Name an alcohol industry leader: Don Julio, Jose Cuervo, Johnnie Walker…when exactly did drinking (and the industry) become so gendered? Take a global history tour with Mallory O’Meara and you realize that without women, alcohol as an industry might not even exist. Which is why I’m now invested in a female-run sustainably-produced vodka distillery in Rwanda (Virunga Mountain Spirits).

“Infectious Generosity: The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading ” by Chris Anderson
Kindness and generosity are my two favorite things. Authored by the founder of TED (another of my favorite things), the book asks if generosity can become infectious. I’m already a believer that it is. It also debunks the idea that motivations to generosity (as simple as reputation) are a bad thing. This book will bring you a bit of optimism, inspiration and new ideas.

“Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better With Age” by Chip Conley
As a stage, midlife has grown–let’s call it 40s, 50s and 60s. As one who’s squarely in it, it feels like everything is in transition. But it’s not a crisis–it’s a beautiful opportunity to be true to who we really are and share our collective wisdom. Chip’s book outlines how. I read this book and put a library card in the front, sent to a friend and hope it keeps getting passed on.

“From Monk to Money Manager” by Doug Lynam
Doug Lynam entered the monastery trying to avoid money, and two decades and one bankruptcy later he realized no one can escape it. His unique story is the backdrop for a guidance on how to become a little bit wealthy. Based in Santa Fe, Doug’s next book connects my favorite topics: money and the Enneagram.

2023

“Don’t Count the Kilometres, Make the Kilometres Count” by Joao Perre Viana
In 2023, I walked the Camino de Santiago. The first week of my adventure was with João Perre Viana, founder of Walking Mentorship. On the second week, I read his book. There’s advice on walking  the Camino, fun stories, but really it’s a guide for leading a more intentional and fulfilling life.

“The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship” by Nate and Kaley Klemp
We know marriages take work. I’m always looking for help. When I saw that Kaley Klemp, co-author of one of my favorite books, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, I had to read it. She and husband Nate outline a whole new marriage model, pushing us beyond the idea of 50/50 fairness toward a new model grounded on radical generosity and shared success.

“Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things” by Adam Grant
Adam Grant is one of my favorites—Wharton professor and expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, rethink assumptions, and live more generous and creative lives. This is his sixth book. To personalize your read, do the Hidden Potential Assessment afterward.

“India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking” by Anand Giridharadas
I’m a huge fan of Priya Parker’s husband (sorry, couldn’t help myself) Anand Giridharadas and his provoking books. After listening to his back story on Brene Brown’s podcast, I went back to his first book where he chronicles his return to the land of his ancestors as an American while a new generation reconciles tradition and with new ambitions. Listening to the personal stories feels like virtual Venture Travel.

“The Portfolio Life: How to Future-Proof Your Career, Avoid Burnout, and Build a Life Bigger than Your Business Card” by Christina Wallace
Upon leaving the investment management industry in 2014, I decided to design a Portfolio Career.  Really, it’s a Portfolio Life. I continually share what I learn. Christina Wallace is one of the many who’ve made the same transition. She masterfully makes the case for why and how to lead a portfolio life—from setting your strategy to self-management to the practical. It’s the book I wish I would have read (or written)!

“Walking With Sam: A Father, A Son and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain” by Andrew McCarthy
I read a number of books before walking the Camino de Santiago. This was my favorite. Andrew McCarthy (yep, the Brat Pack actor) is an incredible storyteller. This is the tale of walking with his teenage son, tracing his solo walk of 25 years earlier. I recommend the audio version, where you can hear Sam’s occasional eye rolls.

2022

“Africa Is Not a Country: Notes on a Bright Continent”  by Dipo Faloyin
Africa is often depicted as a uniform land of famines and safaris, of poverty and strife. There’s no nuance, no context, no individual identity. Nigerian Dipo Faloyin (listen to this McKinsey Author Talk) offers a much-needed corrective. The book is bold and opinionated—a vibrant tapestry of stories that brings a diverse (54-country) continent to life. A new must-read if embarking on Venture Travel.

“Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience”  by Brené Brown
Brené hates being labeled a self-help expert—she’s a psychology research professor. Using science-backed facts and research, she thoughtfully categorizes and explores 87 human emotions and offers tools for expressing them. With graphics and quotes, it’s a beautiful coffee table book you’ll want to keep handy for future reference.

“The Dragons, The Giant, The Women: A Memoir” by Wayétu Moore“
Wayétu Moore‘s exhilarating memoir tells of her family’s harrowing escape during Liberia’s civil war through the eyes of a five-year-old (Tutu). Echoing the chaos of war, the book creatively jumps across decades, continents, and even narratives. In the individual heroism of Mam and Satta, I felt the heroism of Liberian women who stood in solidarity for peace and were key in bringing the brutal 14- year war to its end.

“Freezing Order” by Bill Browder
There were several times in this real-life tale that reads like a John Grisham novel that I yelled out “Nooooo!” In this follow-on to his 2015 “Red Notice,” I remain convinced that Vladimir Putin will stop at nothing to remain in power, and am utterly grateful that Bill Browder is still alive to tell the tale needing to be told.

“The Girl with the Louding Voice” by Abi Daré
Abi Daré‘s debut novel stars a teenage girl (Adunni) born into a traditional family in rural Nigeria who dreams of getting an education so she can better use her “louding voice.” Her life circumstances are unfortunately all too real; her spunk, courage and determination makes me wish I could meet her in real life.

“Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women & Their Adventures in the American Southwest” by Lesley Poling-Kempes
You’ve heard of the men of the Southwest, and Georgia O’Keefe. You likely haven’t heard the stories of four intrepid women who left the comforts of genteel Victorian society to explore and make their mark on the Southwest. When you do, you’ll scratch your head wondering why they’ve been largely left out of the historical record of the West.

“Lessons from the Edge: Memoir by Marie Yovanovitch
We don’t often use the descriptives “hero” and “rule follower” together. Most of us know Marie Yovanovitch as the former U.S. ambassador for Ukraine who bravely testified in the first impeachment of the 45th U.S. President. This is the broader story behind that chapter. I’m so happy she’s reclaimed her own narrative.

“Surrender: Forty Songs, One Story” by Bono
Could one love U2 and Bono even more? Yes, after getting to know him for over 20 hours and 40 chapters, each of which opens with a U2 song (choose the audiobook!). He humbly leads you through his life roles as a son, a husband, a father, a man of faith, an activist, and a global rock star. You might even learn his real name.

“Will” by Mark Manson & Will Smith
I read Will’s memoir before “The Slap” (I wouldn’t have otherwise). His childhood stories lay the groundwork for the fear and insecurities he brings to adulthood. When you hear his repeated braggadocio, preachy anecdotes, and obsession with being THE world’s top actor, you know where it’s coming from. It still doesn’t make it easy to tolerate. But I couldn’t stop listening—it’s a wild ride, narrated only the way one claiming to be the world’s top actor can.

2021

“American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America” by Colin Woodard
Forget the idea of 50 (United) States. Colin Woodard weaves the stories of 11 North American “nations” and how the ideals of small groups from generations past mold our present and future in a thought-provoking read. Is there truth to the statement “we’ve never been more divided?” Seems we’ve been so all along.

“Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents”  by Isabel Wilkerson
Simply one of the most thought-provoking books of our time. Do you know who the Nazis turned to when seeking ways to institutionalize racism? They studied the United States’ suppression of blacks. This was among the historical truths I was never taught. Read this one with a friend or book club for needed discussion.

“Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most”  by Greg McKeown
As a corrective to burnout culture, Greg McKeown argues that the more essential the task, the more effortless we should make its completion. I liked-but-didn’t-love this follow-up to Greg’s blockbuster book Essentialism. But I love his What’s Essential podcast.

“ The Lost Art of Connecting”  by Susan McPherson
People do business with people, and choose people with whom they feel aligned and comfortable. Serial connector Susan McPherson shares a host of great tips for building meaningful business relationships. In short, be yourself and ask how you can help. Doesn’t that take the “work” out of “networking?”

“Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World” by David Epstein
As an Enthusiast by Enneagram type, David Epstein’s thesis about the triumph of generalists is music to my ears. We not only juggle, but crave, multiple interests; we don’t think linearly but make connections many of our specialized peers can’t see. Don’t know if generalists triumph, but we definitely need them in the mix.

“ Think Again”  by Adam Grant
When did changing your opinion become a negative?  Intelligence is seen as the ability to think and learn, but what if the opposite was true? Adam convinced me that mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity are the new prize. Also check out Adam’s WorkLife podcast, with people who’ve figured out “how to make work not suck.”

2020

“ 109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos”  by Jennet  Conant  Knowing nothing about the Manhattan Project and Los Alamos, I felt transported into the lives of one of the most complex and secret world-changing projects. Told primarily through Dorthy McKibbin, the right-hand of director Robert Oppenheimer who was responsible for settling the scientists upon arrival in Santa Fe, it’s clear New Mexico had a magnetic pull on both of them. Robert Redford reportedly has plans to bring the story to the big screen.

“Brick By Brick: Building Hope & Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere” by Karen Sherman Leveraging her decades of work in global development, Karen shares stories of resiliency of women around the world. In doing so, she discovers her own. It’s a search for balance and acceptance, a look for what to take from the past as you chart a new future. With navigating transition suddenly every person’s number one challenge, Karen’s tale of transition is a useful guide.

“Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
I first heard of Glennon as Abby Wambach’s wife. A friend recommended “Untamed” as a must-read.  But it was Brené Brown who introduced me to Glennon the author and her wild book during her Unlocking Us podcast. “Is it possible I’m not crazy, I’m a GD cheetah?” 

“We Need to Talk: A Memoir About Wealth” by Jennifer Risher
We all have a money story. Yet it’s the topic we hate to talk about. Having had little money and a lot of it in the same lifetime, Jennifer spent years wrestling with her own money story. She’s passionate about sharing her journey as a means to get us all more comfortable talking.

2019

“The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity” by Amy Webb
I never thought a book on artificial intelligence (AI) would be a page-turner. When we think of AI in terms of “killer robots” and leave it in the hands of a commercial giants instead of considering it a “public good,” we’re deciding our future. Amy will walk you through three scenarios. You’ll want to hear them.

“Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover
Thank goodness Tara journaled. As she chronicles her unbelievable childhood as the youngest of seven in a survivalist family in a Mormon pocket of southern Idaho, we’re reminded how loyalty, guilt and shame can twist family members’ versions of the same reality. Another testament to how education and sponsorship change everything.

“The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey Into Manhood” by Kevin Powell
I met Kevin at after he gave a keynote titled “What is a Man? A Message for Us All.” He’s an inspirational male ally that I wish women and men everywhere could hear speak. He got there by coming to terms with his own identity. He hinted that it was an imperfect path; his book took us down quite the winding road.

“The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek
You can’t “win” at marriage or business. Unlike football, both are infinite games we need to play with an infinite mindset. In Simon’s latest book, you learn the difference between the “why” and the “just cause,” and why the most successful leaders run a business and their life as a journey without a final destination.

“Invested: Changing Forever the Way Americans Invest” by Charles Schwab
I’m a long-term client and business partner of Charles Schwab, the company, but longed to hear the story of the man whose name is on the door.  I knew of his penchant for golf and innovation.  But his secret sauce was his empathy for employees, who passed it on to clients. He exemplifies Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last.

“The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg & John David Mann
Go-Givers authentically give their time, talent & treasure to connect people and ideas and make to make them better. They are magnetic. Who doesn’t want to be a go-giver? This short story embodies the principles leading to a wealthier life–in every way.

“The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes The World” by Melinda Gates
Melinda brought me into the fold. Her and Bill’s marriage. Her religion. Her work as a philanthropist and a technologist. Through her research, she proves family planning is key to poverty alleviation. Through her personal stories, she connects us all. I’ve been on a first-name basis with Melinda since chapter one.

“Red Clocks” by Leni Zumas
Page-turning novel that takes us into the interconnected lives of women of five women living in a world where the Personhood Amendment grants the rights of life to every embryo, abortion is illegal, IVF banned, and adoption is limited to “traditional” two parent households. Often compared to The Handmaid’s Tale, it tests your thinking.

“Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World” by Anand Giridharadas
It’s the book everyone’s talking about, growing from Giridharadas’ provoking 2015 speech at the Aspen Institute where he asked if members’ work to change the world was instead protecting the system at the root of inequality. When he says “we,” he actually means “you.” You’ll start to question your own beliefs and your own role in the system.

2018

“The Art of Gathering: How We Meet & Why It Matters” by Priya Parker
We’re busy. Shouldn’t our gatherings be as purposeful as possible? Priya guides us to flip our focus from the what to the why—more focus on people, less on things. Whether your gathering is a board meeting, non-profit fundraiser, birthday party or company offsite, Priya will change how you think, and your experience as host or attendee (how it did for me).

“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
Sometimes you just want the escape of a good novel suggested by Oprah. While this creatively delivered tale enthralled me, I found myself further educated in the intersection of race and criminal justice in the U.S. South.

“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I was reminded to read this 2014 release upon seeing Chimamanda’s TED Talk and reading this New Yorker article in the same week. Through her story and those of Americanah‘s fictional characters, I learned more about two things I know little about being black and an immigrant in America.

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
You think you know the story, but I didn’t know all of herstory. Michelle explores the tensions…having nothing to prove, and everything. Having a childhood with little, and at the same time abundance. It’s all how you look at it. It’s all part of our never-ending growth journey of becoming.

“The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich & Poor in an Interconnected World” by Jacqueline Novogratz
Never has a book been so regularly recommended to me. The founder of highly-esteemed Acumen Fund, Jacqueline’s memoir weaves Wall Street, youthful naïveté and idealism, and Rwandan genocide. A long-time believer in bridging investment and philanthropy, Jacqueline is a pioneer in what is now commonly called impact investing.

“Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone” by Brené Brown
“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” As we spiral in a crisis of disconnection, Brené introduces four paradoxal practices in the classic style of her best selling books and TED Talks.

“Brotopia” by Emily Chang
The idea that Silicon Valley is a bro-culture isn’t new. Neither are a number of the characters or stories (though the regular secretive sex parties was fully new to me). But like #MeToo, when all of the stories are pulled together, the broader issue and its implications are hard to ignore.

“Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team” by Simon Sinek, David Mead & Peter Docker
Apparently I’m not the only student of Simon Sinek wanting to go from believing in the power of WHY to helping individuals and teams find their WHY. The book is now one of my coaching and facilitation tools; and don’t miss the resources at Start With Why.

“A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership” by James Comey
Let’s be honest, if most former FBI directors wrote a book on ethical leadership, it wouldn’t be flying off the shelf. Like many, I bought this for the back story on both political events and a man I have both disliked and admired in the span of two years. Read and judge for yourself.

“Purpose, Incorporated” by John Wood
John argues that you don’t need to be Leaving Microsoft to Change the World (his first book, where he leaves the corporate world to found Room to Read). This is an inspiring but very practical guide–data, interviews & case studies of companies of all sizes—which proves that purpose is good, but also important to the bottom line.

“Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice” by Bill Browder
A page-turner that reads like a modern-day thriller, you’ll need to keep reminding yourself it’s all real. I now understand the back-story to the (Sergei) Magnitsky Act, and why Vladimir Putin mentioned Bill Browder by name in his 2018 Helsinki press conference.

“A Village With My Name” by Scott Tong
In researching my family history, I’ve learned a lot about Poland.  So I appreciate Scott Tong’s journey into his own family story. Yes, it helped me better understand recent Chinese history; but more importantly, I’m more empathetic to the complicated and mixed emotions many Chinese have with the West and their history.

2017

“Gender Lens Investing: Uncovering Opportunities for Growth, Returns, and Impact” by Joseph Quinlan & Jackie VanderBrug
Looking for the best under-recognized Smart Investment? This is the first book to explore, in depth, the advantages of integrating gender into investment analysis. There should be a second book on the risks of not doing so. Here are more Gender Lens Investing Resources.

“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance
I read J.D.’s struggle-filled story as a means of better understanding the people of the disenfranchised Rust Belt that rallied behind Donald Trump. As one who grew up and out of hillbilly culture, J.D.’s viewpoint is bold and insightful: economic insecurity is less the issue; the larger one of is hillbilly culture itself.

“Impact With Wings: Stories to Inspire and Mobilize Women Angel Investors and Entrepreneurs” by Suzanne Andrews, Jagruti Bhikha, Karen Bairley Kruger, Christine Emilie Lim, Wingee Sin, Hana Yang, and contributions from Geri Stengel and Susan Preston
My wish is for every woman to own the title of “investor.” Angel investing is one way we can impact the future. By sharing stories of their own individual angel investing journeys, these women hope to impact yours. We should all be Investing With Impact.

“Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, & Finding Joy” by Sheryl Sandberg
I’ll never forget reading Sheryl’s Facebook post 30 days after the sudden death of her husband. It was like viewing an open wound, beautiful in its honesty. This book fills in the rest of the story. It’s pure Sheryl Sandberg, in the most important kind of leadership.

“The Seventh Day” by Yu Hua
A satirical novel which tells the life story of character Yang Fei in life and death. Through a blend of darkness and humor, it’s a critique of the government corruption and obsession with consumerism that is contemporary Chinese society.

“The Ultimate Gift” by Jim Stovall
What would you be willing to do in order to inherit one billion dollars? You’ll finish this light novel and take in its lessons in little time. Having received the book as a gift myself, I’ve found it makes the ultimate gift for recipients of any age.

“Wonder Girls: Changing Our World” by Paola Gianturco & Alex Sangster
Less a book to read through than a piece of art to continually admire, Paola and (11-year-old granddaughter) Alex document the work of girl (10-18 years old) led advocacy groups in 13 countries. Prepare to be dazzled; these girls are changing our world.

“Yes, Chef” by Marcus Samuelsson 
An Ethiopian born, Swedish raised, Harlem residing chef, I fell in love with Marcus’ food at Red Rooster. Having heard his story through Anthony Bourdain, in person and through his memoir, I’m reminded that passion, hard work, and honesty are always ultimately rewarded.

2016

“Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese
Whenever I told someone I would be traveling to Ethiopia, the most common question was “Did you read Cutting for Stone?” This 650 page novel is not a quick read, but it weaves Ethiopia’s history into the lives of memorable characters who will always remain with me.

“Changing My Mind” by Margaret Trudeau
Inspired by the true leadership of Justin Trudeau as the Prime Minister of Canada, my Canadian friend lent me the memoir of his mother, Margaret. I now have context for Justin’s upbringing, but also a deeper understanding of the struggles of mental illness.

“Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t” by Simon Sinek
In his follow-up to Start With Why (read that book first), Simon credits leaders’ building of a “Circle of Safety” to being the secret to stable, adaptive, confident teams. By sharing stories of leaders from all walks of life, you’ll start to recognize leaders who eat last when you see them–and don’t. Here’s one example.

“My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth” by Wendy Simmons
I relate to Wendy: travel obsessed, curious, sarcastic, and business minded. She had to get to North Korea “before it changed.” No worries, it’s not changing anytime soon. Now you don’t have to go at all. Just read Wendy’s hilarious tales of “Sh– That Might Be Real.”

“Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek
Simon shares the Start With Why “Golden Circle” of WHY, HOW, and WHAT in this book and TED Talk. It’s now part of my everyday thinking and language. In fact, my WHY is connecting people and ideas towards finding their WHY so that they lead an impactful life. I encourage people broaden their perspectives through global experiences. I coach, write, invest, travel. But those are my HOWs and WHATs. What’s YOUR WHY?

“Strength in What Remains” by Tracy Kidder
Deo’s story weaves together what I understand of the Rwandan genocide, what I didn’t know about related events in Burundi, and New York City in the mid-1990s. An incredible and inspirational tale.

“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown
In reading this book, I realized that there was a name to a philosophy I’ve been practicing. Essentialism is about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Here’s my look at this book.

2015

“The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict” by the Arbinger Institute
Said my friend struggling with a workplace conflict, “Reading the book has completely changed my perception and I am hopeful that I can get the others to read it as well.” Similar ideas from Conscious Leadership (below), taught in a different way.

“Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity” by Katherine Boo
Through a beautiful narrative, one meets colorful characters and is reminded that there is one incentive we all have—to provide a better life for our families.

“Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown
Vulnerability is not weakness. In fact, it’s our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. Even if you don’t read the book, check out her TED Talks.

“Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa” by Dambisa Moyo
A Zambian-raised economist, Dr. Moyo asserts that structural aid from developed Western governments to Africa has actually diminished African countries’ economic growth rate. While conclusion-supporting data is always time-period dependent, I agree with Dambisa on the disincentives caused by repeated handouts (emergency and NGO aid is a different story).

“In Defense of a Liberal Education” by Fareed Zakaria
My favorite quote: “The central virtue of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to write, and writing makes you think.” Fareed is one of my favorite thinkers and writers.

“The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success” by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman & Kaley Warner Klemp
Jim is one of several coaches who’ve made a profound impact on my life. While none of the book’s concepts were new for me, the book allowed me to appreciate my growth and identify where I still want to improve. If you are truly committed to being a better leader, employee, partner, parent and friend, start here.

“Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum” by Kennedy Odede & Jessica Posner
It’s the most unlikely of love stories–Kennedy is from Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya, and Jessica is from Denver. Individually and together, they defy conventions. Their story of fighting hopelessness and transforming the lives of Kenya’s most vulnerable girls is one you’ll never forget.

“Left to Tell” by Immaculee Ilibagiza
I wanted to understand the Rwandan genocide from a personal account. Immaculee’s tale was harrowing and honest; her ability to forgive will forever inspire me. A must read if visiting Rwanda.

“A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
You don’t need to be Bill Gates to make the world a better place. There are many innovative ways that each of us can make a difference. Through inspirational examples, be forewarned that an idea will likely hit you.

“The Path Between the Seas” by David McCullough
Read in conjunction with our adventure trip to Panama, this tale put the feat of French and American efforts to build a canal through a jungle into context. One of the many books I’ve read as an adult that fill in the holes from high school history.

“Running for My Life – One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games” by Lopez Lomong 
From a barefoot lost boy of Sudan’s civil war to the U.S. Olympics, Lopez’s tale feels more inspirational novel than true story. An easy-to-read page turner, one can’t help being inspired to dream, work hard, and never give up.

“The Soul of Money” by Lynne Twist
My husband gave a signed copy of this book to me years ago, and I was thrilled to finally read it before seeing Lynne speak. Our “money culture” trains us in the scarcity mindset, and the belief that we never have enough. Similar to Lynne, I believe a healthy relationship with money is key in self-awareness and acceptance.

“A Thousand Hills to Heaven” by Josh Ruxin
An inspiring memoir that makes me wonder “could my husband and I do that?” while returning me to the remarkable people that are Rwanda. Hearing Josh and wife Alissa’s backstory, the memories of our tree tomato cosmopolitans and entrees at their Kigali restaurant Heaven are even sweeter.

“Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder” by Adrianna Huffington
A friend invited me to see Adrianna speak in San Francisco in March 2014. It was the launch of her book tour, and the day that crystalized what success really means for me (hint: it’s beyond money and power). Reading this book a year into my “third metric” exploration made it even more meaningful.

2014

“The Big Leap” by Gary Hendricks
Gary is regularly referred to by Jim Dethmer and his partners at the Conscious Leadership Group. The idea that we often hold ourselves back by subconsciously setting “upper limits” is worth exploring.

“The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed up to Win Sailing’s Greatest Race, the America’s Cup” by Julian Guthrie
Having become obsessed with the 2013 America’s Cup (and Emirates Team New Zealand) during its San Francisco run, I was curious as to how “the greatest comeback in sports history” by Oracle Team USA came to be.

“Creating Room to Read” by John Wood
Following “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World,” John continues the story of how education non-profit Room to Read scaled globally. With many great lessons, I’ve gifted this book to several corporate and non-profit leaders. Room to Read is my favorite non-profit, and John and CEO Erin Ganju are among my favorite leaders.

“The Dream Manager” by Matthew Kelly
This book is not about companies adding an org chart box titled “Dream Manager.” A clever parable, this quick-read will make you think differently about your life, your role as a leader, and the productivity of your organization.

“The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time” by Bob Harris
A travel writer takes the earnings from a plump magazine assignment, lends them to deserving entrepreneurs through Kiva.org, and travels the developing world to tell their stories. A primer in micro-lending mixed with feel-good inspiration.

“Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg
I didn’t think I’d have much to learn from this book—I was already leaning in! But there was something about knowing that a superstar like Sheryl struggled with some of the same inane issues as a senior woman that I did that made me feel less alone.

“The Paradox of Success: When Winning at Work Means Losing at Life” by John R. O’Neill
John lives over the Golden Gate Bridge from me in Sausalito, CA. When a friend described John as his mentor and recommended this book, I ordered it immediately. For me, it was an important book, at a critical time.

“Son Of A Postman: Delivering Straight Talk on Managing Fluffers, Bullies and the Rest of the Team” by Kevin R. Alger
Having overlapped for 12 years in our division of JPMorgan, Kevin and I met on a magical June morning in New York and bonded over visions of post-investment industry life. If you’ve managed people, especially in investment management, particularly at JPMorgan, this is a fun read.

“State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett
The New York Times described this novel as “a kind of reverse ‘Lord of the Flies.’” Several fictional pharmaceutical executives pulled me deep into their drama in the Amazon basin, and I had a hard time putting this book down.

“Tomorrow’s World: A Look at the Demographic and Socio-Economic Structure of the World in 2032” by Clint Laurent
I saw this Australian demographer speak at a global CFA conference. Appealing to my love of humor and analytics, Clint points out that policy and social changes can quickly impact demographics. This means that some of the global trends that we take as givens may, in fact, not be.


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