Not Too Late for Summer Reading Lists
There’s still enough summer left to consult the numerous summer reading lists that suggest the most interesting titles. My favorite annual list for the past ten years is the one compiled by JP Morgan. This is my favorite list for three reasons.
First, JPM partners with Barnes & Noble so books bought there using the JPM Summer Reading site generate commissions that JPM donates to Room to Read, the nonprofit dedicated to making education and books available to some 120 million children worldwide not currently enrolled in schools.
Second, the list always works for me. It is produced after a global review committee culls through some 500 books each year looking for those most likely to “capture interest, spark imagination and take readers to worlds we had not known.” Consider the wide variety of stimulating books chosen this year.
This year’s book list is led by Michael Lewis (Panic) and Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers) along with illuminating works on philanthropy (Lisa Endlich, Be the Change), agriculture (by Rowan Jacobsen), the generational digital divide (by John Palfrey and Uris Gasser), Twitter (Joel Comm and Ken Burge), Cambridge crew (by Mark De Rond and Steve Sir Regrave), contemporary cooking (of the local, sustainable sort, by chef David Tanis), Clicquot champagne (by Tilar Mazzeo) and architecture (of Grosvenor Atterbury, by Peter Pennoyer and Anne Walker).
Third, a point of vanity and no doubt a reason, but I hope the least important, one of my books made the list in 2001 and, this year, in a 10-year retrospective featuring one author from each year’s list, I was chosen to write my reflections on the art of writing. I was flattered to be among the following group of authors chosen to participate in this retrospective:
Mohamed El-Arian, When Markets Collide (2008)
John Wood, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World (2007)
George Taber, The Judgment of Paris (2006, on the great battle between California and French wines at a tasting in 1976)
Tom Friedman, The World is Flat (2005, an amazingly and characteristically insightful work)
Julie Salamon, Rambam’s Ladder (2004) (on generosity and giving)
Hersh Shefrin, Beyond Greed and Fear (2003, a personal favorite on behavioral finance)
Jim Collins, Good to Great (2002, a runway bestseller still selling well)
Lawrence Cunningham, How to Think Like Benjamin Graham and Invest Like Warren Buffett (2001)
Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point (2000)