Trending Now

Books I’ve Been Reading


I hope you, your families, and your friends are all well and safe as we continue to navigate the COVID surge and increasingly restrictive containment measures.

I thought I would start the year with a recap of the great books I read over my break. I will be back next week with our regularly scheduled content and programming. I wish you all health and peace during these continuing trying times.


“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” – Logan Pearsall Smith


The Lessons of History: “A concise survey of the culture and civilization of mankind, The Lessons of History is the result of a lifetime of research from Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Will and Ariel Durant.

With their accessible compendium of philosophy and social progress, the Durants take us on a journey through history, exploring the possibilities and limitations of humanity over time. Juxtaposing the great lives, ideas, and accomplishments with cycles of war and conquest, the Durants reveal the towering themes of history and give meaning to our own.”

[KJ – this book had been anchoring my nightstand for a while. I finished it as the events in Washington DC were unfolding last week. The lessons are still relevant and, sadly, very timely.]

There Will Be No Miracles Here: “Casey Gerald comes to our fractured times as a uniquely visionary witness whose life has spanned seemingly unbridgeable divides. His story begins at the end of the world: Dallas, New Year’s Eve 1999 when he gathers with the congregation of his grandfather’s black evangelical church to see which of them will be carried off. His beautiful, fragile mother disappears frequently and mysteriously; for a brief idyll, he and his sister live like Boxcar Children on her disability checks. When Casey–following in the footsteps of his father, a gridiron legend who literally broke his back for the team–is recruited to play football at Yale, he enters a world he’s never dreamed of, the anteroom to secret societies and success on Wall Street, in Washington, and beyond. But even as he attains the inner sanctums of power, Casey sees how the world crushes those who live at its margins. He sees how the elite perpetuates the salvation stories that keep others from rising. And he sees, most painfully, how his own ascension is part of the scheme.

There Will Be No Miracles Here has the arc of a classic rags-to-riches tale, but it stands the American Dream narrative on its head. If to live as we are is destroying us, it asks, what would it mean to truly live? Intense, incantatory, shot through with sly humor and quiet fury, There Will Be No Miracles Here inspires us to question–even shatter–and reimagine our most cherished myths.” [KJ – an outstanding memoir that is incredibly well written and as thoughtful as it is thought-provoking.]

Principles for Success: “Principles for Success distills Ray Dalio’s 600-page bestseller, Principles: Life & Work, down to an easy-to-read and entertaining format that’s acces­sible to readers of all ages. It contains the key elements of the unconven­tional principles that helped Dalio become one of the world’s most suc­cessful people—and that has now been read and shared by millions worldwide—including how to set goals, learn from mistakes, and collaborate with others to produce exceptional results. Whether you’re already a fan of the ideas in Princi­ples or are discovering them for the first time, this illustrated guide will help you achieve success in having the life that you want to have.” [KJ – I originally bought this for our daughter and ended up reading it first myself (I did give it to her and she read it!). The story arc and illustrations are well done.]

Zone To Win: “Over the last 25 years, Geoffrey Moore has established himself as one of the most influential high-tech advisors in the world…Following up on the ferociously innovative ESCAPE VELOCITY, which served as the basis for Moore’s consulting work to such companies like Salesforce, Microsoft, and Intel, ZONE TO WIN serves as the companion playbook for his landmark guide, offering a practical manual to address the challenge large enterprises face when they seek to add a new line of business to their established portfolio. Focused on spurring next-generation growth, guiding mergers and acquisitions, and embracing disruption and innovation, ZONE TO WIN is a high-powered tool for driving your company above and beyond its limitations, its definitions of success, and ultimately, its competitors.

Moore’s classic bestseller, CROSSING THE CHASM, has sold more than one million copies by addressing the challenges faced by start-up companies. Now ZONE TO WIN is set to guide established enterprises through the same journey.” [KJ – a short bundle of interesting perspectives and analytical frameworks + two use cases re his work with Salesforce and Microsoft.]

The Searcher: “Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.

[Tana French] weaves a masterful, atmospheric tale of suspense, asking how to tell right from wrong in a world where neither is simple and what we stake on that decision.” [KJ: A surprise Christmas present, I devoured French’s latest novel. Outstanding! She is an American by birth who now resides in Dublin and has written a series of excellent crime novels (The Dublin Murder Squad.]

David Sedaris: The Best Of Me: “…Now, for the first time collected in one volume, the author brings us his funniest and most memorable work. In these stories, Sedaris shops for rare taxidermy hitchhikes with a lady quadriplegic and spits a lozenge into a fellow traveler’s lap. He drowns a mouse in a bucket, struggles to say “give it to me” in five languages, and hand-feeds a carnivorous bird.

But if all you expect to find in Sedaris’ work is the deft and sharply observed comedy for which he became renowned, you may be surprised to discover that his words bring more warmth than mockery, more fellow-feeling than derision. Nowhere is this clearer than in his writing about his loved ones. In these pages, Sedaris explores falling in love and staying together, recognizing his own aging not in the mirror but in the faces of his siblings, losing one parent, and coming to terms—at long last—with the other.

Taken together, the stories in The Best of Me reveal the wonder and delight Sedaris takes in the surprises life brings him. No experience, he sees, is quite as he expected—it’s often harder, more fraught, and certainly weirder—but sometimes it is also much richer and more wonderful.” [KJ – I am, as will become exceedingly obvious, a big fan. At the outset of the pandemic, I re-read some of his earlier work and finished a chunk more following the Best of Me.]

David Sedaris: Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls: “In Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Sedaris delights with twists of humour and intelligence, remembering his father’s dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants) his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant) and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered pygmy.”

David Sedaris: Naked: “A riotous collection of memoirs which explores the absurd hilarity of modern life and creates a wickedly incisive portrait of an all-too-familiar world. It takes Sedaris from his humiliating bout with obsessive behaviour in ‘A Plague of Tics’.”

David Sedaris: Barrel Fever: “…Sedaris’s collection of essays and stories is a rollicking tour through the national Zeitgeist: a do-it-yourself suburban dad saves money by performing home surgery; a man who is loved too much flees the heavyweight champion of the world; a teenage suicide tries to incite a lynch mob at her funeral; a bitter Santa abuses the elves. With a perfect eye and a voice infused with as much empathy as wit, Sedaris writes stories and essays that target the soulful ridiculousness of our behavior. Barrel Fever is like a blind date with modern life, and anything can happen.”

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan a senior advisor for Consultants Collective. He is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top