More Books

More … from my bookshelf

Some binge reading this month: three books on the American Revolution; three books by John Kotter; some racial justice reading and some beach reads. Each with a brief note about what I found compelling.


How to Be an Antiracist

by Ibram X. Kendi  | Aug 13, 2019

Compelling book about racism that currently tops the best seller lists.  Author outlines authors journey toward understanding racism.  He describes several stages of his development and hoped for development for America.  Ultimately, he says, race is about power, policy and self-interest. Those who hold power make policies that benefit themselves.  Therefore, it is not enough to not be a racist.  If we are not actively working to overturn the racist policies – as an anti-racist – we are complicit in maintaining the grossly unfair and inequitable policies that exist today.


The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

by Robert Iger 2019

As one might expect from CEO of a giant entertainment empire, the book is well written and entertaining.  Informative on the finer points of films, mergers and acquisitions.  And forthright about leadership lessons learned and mistakes made along the way.

Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions

by John P. Kotter and Holger Rathgeber 2016

Companion book to Kotter’s eight step model for change.  Told in allegory format.  Great training format. Allows us to talk about the story; which is easier than talking about tough issues in our organization.

Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World

by John P. Kotter 2014

John Kotter is famous for his leadership books.  Leading for Change and Heart of Change advocated an eight step process for successful change.  Since then, Kotter has been studying the increasing pace of change by looking at the top 1% of successful companies.  Needed he says is a “dual operating” system.  Management for efficiency; Leadership for innovation.  And he outlines a process to make it happen.

That’s Not How We Do It Here!: A Story about How Organizations Rise and Fall–and Can Rise Again

by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber  2016

A story version of Acceleration.  An analogy to meerkat colonies in Africa tells how, in the words of the subtitle, organizations can rise, fall, and rise again by reclaiming their innovative spirit.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

by Chip Heath and Dan Heath  | Feb 16, 2010

Their analogy is that decisions are made by:  a rider (logical); elephant (emotional); and pathway.  Too often we work only on convincing the rider.  Needed for successful change is a way to address emotions and a way to make the pathway simpler.


John Adams Under Fire: The Founding Father’s Fight for Justice in the Boston Massacre Murder Trial

by David Fisher and Dan Abrams  | Mar 3, 2020

John Adams was the public defender for the British troops that killed Boston patriots.  He ardently believed that the soldiers deserved the best defense whether he agreed with their presence and purpose or not.  He succeeded in getting them acquitted – and lost half his business as a result.  However, most recognized his principled stand and they kept electing him to office – eventually electing him President of the US.  Book reads like todays tension in our streets, tension between justice and might.

Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution (The American Revolution Series Book 1)

by Nathaniel Philbrick  (Author)  2013

Author does well at telling the story behind the story.  We know the stories of the founding fathers.  Here is the story of Boston under siege and the leadership and impetuous passions that stirred the rebellion.  Without these early, largely unsung leaders, the revolution may never have happened.

Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution (The American Revolution Series Book 2)

by Nathaniel Philbrick 2016

The down and dirty years of the revolution where there were more losses than wins.  George Washington’s initial impatience to seize the moment to fight it out; the more temperate views of others that kept us alive to fight another day.  How Benedict Arnold, one our best military leaders, was passed over again and again until he finally sought to cast his fortunes as a traitor with the British.  Arnold’s action, the author says, did more to unify the divided colonies than any thing else.

Then Sings My Soul Special Edition: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymns Stories

by Robert J. Morgan  | 2010

Author has 4.5 million books in print.  A very good writer and story-teller.  And an interesting look at the genre of hymn writing in the time when sheet music, home gatherings and church/crusade performances were the major focus of community gatherings.


Riviera Gold: A Novel (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Book 16)

by Laurie R. King  June 9, 2020

The setting is early 1900s in Monaco on the French Riviera, playground for the rich, the Americans, the Russians and an infamous arms dealer.  Sherlock Holmes and his wife, Mary Russell, use their skills on behalf of their former housekeeper who, inexplicably, is connected to a murder and the arms dealer.

Camino Winds

by John Grisham  | Apr 28, 2020

Sequel of a sort to Camino Island.  A hurricane hits Camino Island.  An author dies … or was he murdered?  The bookstore owner and his friends are entwined in the investigation and the subsequent publication of the author’s last work which is an exposé of unethical nursing home facilities.  As always a good page turner and you learn something along the way.


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