Last year I set out to read at least one book a week on leadership and current events.
That seemed like a lot until I read an article “Caution: Reading Can Be Hazardous” by Charles McGrath, who read over 450 books last year as a judge for the National Book Award.
At the other extreme, in his book “The Universe Within” Neil Shubin cites Scottish paleontologist James Croll who would spend an entire year reading a single book, often lingering on one page for a day or more to digest each idea.
Most of us are somewhere in between, a lot closer to Croll than McGrath.
When I don’t seem to retain as much as I would like I take comfort from the advice I read this year in Montaigne’s Essays – “read a lot, forget most of what you read.”
Here are my 5 best leadership book for 2013
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm Gladwell
Power does not exist where we think it does.
What Keeps Leaders Up At Night, by Nicole Lipkin
Leaders often lose sleep over the wrong things.
Give and Take, by Adam Grant
Success comes from helping others with no expectation of return.
Quiet, by Susan Cain
Some of our best leaders are introverts.
“Evangelii Gaudium” (the Joy of the Gospel), by Pope Francis
A bold challenge for reform and renewal.
Five more 2013 nonfiction books I’ve read and recommend.
The King Years, by Taylor Branch
Upon the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, a summary of civil rights history.
The American Way of Poverty, by Sasha Abramsky
How poverty ruins lives and how to prevent it.
Voices in the Night, by Jim Copple
A first-hand look at global injustice particularly gender violence.
Baseball as a Road to God, by John Sexton
How baseball illustrates the elements of a spiritual life from a popular course taught by the president of New York University.
The Unwinding, by George Parker
The U.S. is coming apart at the seams.
Unfinished, by Richard Sterns
The president of World Vision US challenges believers to engage in social action.
What good books will 2014 bring? The challenge is to decide what to read.