My 2020 Not Quite Summer Reading List


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One of my most-read blogs each year is my Summer reading list.  With so many staying at home to prevent coronavirus spread, reading is a nice break from the routine.  Reading has the power to take us away from our current surroundings to worlds far away.  And if our quarantine, self-directed or otherwise, ends early, we still have Summer 2020 to enjoy so many books.   So rather than wait until my traditional Memorial Day list release, I’ve accelerated some suggestions for your consideration based on my book list.  Here goes:

The Beatles: The Biography

by Bob Spitz

A biography usually makes my annual list and the story of the four lads from Liverpool promises to be rich. Find myself humming “Ob-la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra, La-la, how the life goes on” quite a bit these days. New York Times bestselling biographer/author is a fellow alum of Albright College which adds to my interest.  His autograph of my copy reads “Rock On”!!  I certainly plan to.

What You Do Is Who You Are

by Ben Horowitz
Recommended to me by our Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) implementer Steve Smolinsky, What You Do Is Who You Are provides lessons from both history and organizational management with practical advice to help executives build cultures that can weather both good and bad times, something applicable to our current situation.

The Cleveland Clinic Way: Lessons in Excellence from One of the World’s Leading Health Care Organizations

by Toby Cosgrove

Albright College Business Professor, Bonnie Rhode, provided me a couple of gifts when her classes visited Andesa’s offices last Fall. I recently completed one book on lessons from the Mayo Clinic.  Given my background and experience in healthcare administration, lessons contained in these books connect with how to deliver world-class, high-touch service to unique customers.  Many of the lessons directly apply to our work at Andesa.

The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War   

by David Halberstam

The first day I had to work remotely, I pulled one of the thicker books from my shelf.  Within the first 20 pages, I quickly realized how little I know about the Korean War. Halberstam’s research is deep and his writing is engaging.  The Coldest Winter promises to be a terrific escape and informative of a pivotal moment in our country’s history.


The Genius Habit: How One Habit Can Radically Change Your Work and Your Life

by Laura Garnett
Ever since her 2016 Andesa Forum presentation “Be the CEO of Your Own Career”, I have been following the performance, purpose and passion teachings of author Laura Garnett.  Her debut book The Genius Habit provides reflections and advice to help the reader think about work as challenging, fulfilling and rewarding.


by Ray Dalio

I enjoy reading about successful people and the methods and models they applied to achieve that success.  This best-seller by Ray Dalio, hedge fund manager and philanthropist, is part-biography, part success wisdom. This highly regarded bestseller has sat on my shelf for too long.


The Splendid and The Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz 

by Erik Larson

One of my favorite non-fiction authors is out with a new bestseller. In times of struggle and challenge, many leaders draw from stories of Churchill for inspiration. Larson has a unique way of weaving a historical story together to inform and engage the reader.  Some lessons on perseverance are certainly to jump off the pages of The Splendid and the Vile.

No Man’s Land: Where Growing Companies Fail

by Doug Tatum

I’ve heard Doug Tatum speak twice at Tugboat Institute events. His well-researched book discusses the challenges of navigating that period in a company’s history where they are too small to be big and too big to be small – “No Man’s Land”.  Through case studies, research and nuggets of wisdom, Doug provides techniques to help cross the gap and help the company reach its full potential.


Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

by Dr. Henry Cloud

I always enjoy reading a classic business/leadership book and coach, consultant and best-selling author Dr. Henry Cloud’s Integrity makes my 2020 list. More than honesty and transparency, the congruence of actions, words and behaviors is the key to success in business and life.  Integrity is one of Andesa’s corporate values so I am eager to crack open Dr. Cloud’s book on the subject.

The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work

by Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon provides a source of positivity and inspiration on my social media feeds. His faith-based perspective challenges and inspires me to be a better leader. As a best-selling author, his works provide inspiring stories and practical guidance to implement, influence and make an impact.



As always, I might have room to squeeze in a couple more books as the calendar turns to summer. Would love to hear your latest recommendations – so please share.





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