My 2023 Summer Reading List

Written by: Ron Scheese

As the saying goes, “readers are leaders,” and one of my most popular blogs each year is my summer reading list. I’m always happy to share the books inspiring me and my leadership journey, and I love that these blogs get a lot of interaction. So, if you’re looking for an interesting read while you stock up on sunscreen, hit the pool or beach, and enjoy the fun from Memorial Day to Labor Day, here’s a list of what I’ll be reading this summer.


And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle
by Jon Meacham

At least one biography always makes my summer reading list, and Jon Meacham is one of my favorite historians. A few Lincoln aficionados I know highly recommended this examination of our 16th President, focusing on the complex moral dilemmas of his leadership. Covering the full life of this enigmatic but familiar figure in U.S. history, this book provides an intimate and uncompromising view of a president both revered and reviled in his time, from failures to successes and the personal to the professional.


The Power of Positive Leadership: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World
by Jon Gordon

I enjoy how Jon Gordon’s books balance captivating stories with practical ideas and implementable actions. After spending time with this author, I always feel inspired and ready to take on leadership challenges. In this book, Gordon shows us why positivity is essential in leadership and how it creates the foundation of a winning company culture.


Win Every Argument: The Art of Debating, Persuading, and Public Speaking
by Mehdi Hasan

My daughter began her journalism career working with the Mehdi Hasan Show on Peacock, and I quickly became a fan of the show and the host. This fast-rising New York Times bestseller promises to be a training manual for better communication, blending personal anecdotes with time-tested oratory practices.



The Satisfied Introvert: A Memoir About Finding Safety in an Extroverted World
by Benjamin Plumb

This book was recommended to me by an actuary who worked with the author.

A memoir that begins with the author’s childhood attempt to run away from his chatty mother, Benjamin Plumb describes his experiences as an introvert in a world that seems to require extroversion. Beginning by building a framework of behavior to appear more outgoing, the author eventually learns to lean into who he is and work with his natural strengths as an introvert. This is a perfect read for introverts to learn how to leverage their strengths or extroverts who want to understand introverts better.


Golfing with Lewis and Clark: My Rediscovery of America
by Lex McMillan

When one Albright College President retired, he set out on a journey to follow the Lewis and Clark trail, playing rounds of golf at some of the highest-rated public courses along the way. His conversations with those he met along the way provide insight into the aspirations and perspectives of America. While Golfing appears prominently in the title, anyone can appreciate this American travel memoir.



The 5 Practices of Highly Resilient People: Why Some Flourish When Others Fold
by Dr. Taryn Marie Stejskal

If the past several years taught us anything, it’s that perseverance and resilience are necessities. In her newly released book, the author lays out the research on the science behind resiliency, the critical behaviors which help some navigate difficult circumstances, and the practical tools to capitalize on life’s unavoidable challenges and bounce back better.


The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward
by Daniel Pink

I always enjoy how Daniel Pink lays out a framework for thinking about old ideas in new ways, and this 2022 latest bestseller promises to be an enjoyable mind-bender. He typically provides a thorough examination of the scientific research to build his case and then offers practical counsel on how to make improvement changes for your journey. In this book, Pink looks at the core regrets common to human beings and how those regrets reveal more about how we live and how to live better. Self-reflection is a powerful tool, so I am excited to better understand regret and learn from looking back.


The Company I Keep: My Life in Beauty
by Leonard A. Lauder

How do you build an Evergreen company? By learning from others on the journey. This is the story of the Estée Lauder company, a classic family business success story, and the life of the man who helped transform the mom-and-pop business that began in his mother’s kitchen into the globally recognized company it is today. I’m looking forward to digging into this memoir, a gift to me from the Tugboat Group.


Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
by Adam Grant

This one has been out for several years, but a young leader recently recommended it. Adam Grant explores how new ideas that go against the grain are necessary and how to get your potentially novel ideas heard using stories from all areas of life, including business, sports, and entertainment. Given our company’s employee-ownership model and desire to last over 100 years as a private company, I’ll be looking for some insights and inspiration from one of the leading minds on motivation in this book.


As always, I hope to have room to squeeze in a couple more books this summer and should certainly start thinking about an autumn reading list. I would love to hear your latest recommendations, so please share.

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