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October 30, 2008

Jack Covert Selects: A Time to Read

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 4:31 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The inherent purpose of any business book is to be useful to the reader. It is a genre of tools and solutions, with business practitioners, consultants, professors and journalists all adding to the stew of ideas and insight. Not many of us can sit down with Warren Buffet for the weekend, picking his brain on matters of business and life, but all of us can curl up on the couch with a copy of The Snowball by Alice Schroeder and have an intimate, 976 page conversation with the man. Mr. Peter Drucker has passed on, but you can still sit across the table from him at an Italian Restaurant with a copy of Inside Drucker's Brain. Because books follow reality, though, there has been a flood of titles released recently to cover, assess, dissect and capitalize on the current economic crisis, tinting our economic lenses a little (a lot) darker. Publishers are currently scrambling to release even more, and release them ever more quickly (Time just had a great piece on this phenomenon). A lot of those already released are wonderful reads, such as David M. Snick's The World is Curved and Charles Morris's The Trillion Dollar Meltdown, and there are equally fascinating titles on the way, like Micahel Lewis's Panic. These kind of books fascinate me, but they're not going to help you solve any of the day to day problems you might be facing. (Unless, of course, you're the President of the United Stated or head of the IMF, in which case, read these books now!) The fact is that the problems in the economy are above most of our paygrades. The solutions, on the other hand, are not. Each of us can make our companies and communities better. And there have been just as many books published on these issues this year as any other. If you're exhausted by the bad news glaring back at you from the nightly news, shut off the television and pick up one of the following books:
  • Saving the World at Work by Tim Sanders, Currency
  • The Necessary Revolution by Peter Senge, Bryan Smith, Nina Kruschwitz, Joe Lauer & Sara Schley (Jack Covert Selects)
  • We Are the New Radicals by Julia Moulden
  • Creating a World Without Poverty by Muhammad Yunus (Jack Covert Selects)
  • The Tactics of Hope by Wilford Welch
  • Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki (Jack Covert Selects)
  • Reality Check doesn't necessarily seem to fit with the other titles, but I included it because Guy believes that if you start a busines, you should start one that's going to change the world, and because the book is hilarious which will keep the reader in a positive state of mind. And finally... now, as always, is also a time to focus on family, and Patrick Lencioni's new book, The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family, can help with that. Lencioni was interviewed about the book by LA Times' book blog, Jacket Copy, yesterday. Any other sugggestions?

    About Dylan Schleicher


    Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.