SBJ/July 17 - 23, 2006/Summer Reading

Packed for vacation: ‘The Kite Runner,’ ‘The World Is Flat’

"What books are you taking with you (to the beach or on vacation) this summer, and why are you looking forward to reading them?"

David Hill
Chairman and CEO
Fox Sports Television Group

  • “Telegraph Days,” by Larry McMurtry, and “Theft: A Love Story,” by Peter Carey. “McMurtry, author of ‘Lonesome Dove,’ is a favorite author of mine, as is Peter Carey.”
  • “In the Name of Rome,” by Adrian Goldsworthy. “It is an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the cream of Roman generals, and is a continuation of my fascination with the Roman Republic and Empire.”

Bob DuPuy
President and COO
Major League Baseball

  • “Shades of Glory,” by Lawrence Hogan. “Published by the Hall of Fame, this is the first comprehensive book about the history of the Negro Leagues and is a fitting education for the posthumous induction of the 17 specially elected candidates this summer.”
  • “The Brooklyn Follies,” by Paul Auster. “A great American author from Brooklyn and set in Brooklyn. How can it miss?”
  • “The Accidental Connoisseur,” by Lawrence Osborne. “A new wine writer from New York. You have to like a book that says that wine ‘seduces our profligate subconscious and humbles our powers of caution.’”
  • “Cesar’s Way,” by Cesar Millan. “Because our puppy is a terror and I need to read it before he does.”
  • “Underworld,” by Don DeLillo. “For the fourth summer in a row. I really need to finish it.”

Adam Silver
NBA deputy commissioner and COO

  • Everyman,”by Philip Roth. “A new book by my favorite author.”
  • “Terrorist,”by John Updike. “New book by one of America’s greatest authors.”
  • “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini. “Recommended by a friend.”
  • “The Wages of Wins,” by David Berri, Martin Schmidt and Stacey Brook. “I am curious to learn how accurately economic models can measure player ‘value,’ especially in a team sport.”

David Baker

  • “I’ve just completed ‘American Gospel,’ by Jon Meacham, because I love history and the stories about the greatness of character and the formation of ideas in the critical thinking of our forefathers, who themselves were also common men doing exceptional deeds.
  • “I’m also completing ‘Marley and Me,’ by John Grogan, because I love dogs.
  • “Finally, I’m also into ‘The World Is Flat,’ by Tom Friedman, because I’m a big fan of him as a brilliant, fair-minded American who thinks expansively, and we need a lot more of that.”

David Levy
President, Turner Sports and Turner Entertainment Group Sales and Marketing

  • “Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man?” by Charles Barkley. “It is important to know what your announcers are thinking away from the arena.”
  • “Live From New York,” by Tom Shales and James Miller. “An uncensored history of ‘Saturday Night Live.’”

Jack Kemp
Principal, Kemp Partners, and chairman, USA Football

  • “Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution,” by Simon Schama
  • “1776,” by David McCullough
  • “Revolutionary Wealth,” by Alvin Toffler
  • “MBA in a Box,” by Joel Kurtzman, Glenn Rifkin and Victoria Griffith
  • “Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball,” by Lawrence Hogan
  • “The World Is Flat,” by Thomas Friedman
  • “At Canaan’s Edge,” by Taylor Branch

Chris Russo
CR Media Ventures

  • “The Tipping Point,” by Malcolm Gladwell. “The book provides an interesting perspective on social change and trends.”
  • “Clemente,” by David Maraniss. “Clemente was one of the first players I admired as a fan, and I’m looking forward to learning more about his inspiring life on and off the field.”
  • “1984” and “Animal Farm,” by George Orwell. “My son is reading these books. I read them as a boy but will read them again to discuss the issues raised with him.”
  • “The World Is Flat,” by Thomas Friedman. “I always enjoy Friedman’s perspective on world politics.”
  • “Desperate Networks,” by Bill Carter. “Carter has great insights into the media and TV business, and I’m interested in reading his latest.

David Andrews
President and CEO
American Hockey League

  • “Mayflower,” by Nathaniel Philbrick. “He is an accomplished writer, and the subject matter of the Pilgrims’ voyage and settlement in Plymouth is of interest to me.
  • “In addition, I intend to reread the ‘Annapolis Book of Seamanship,’ which will require a lot of rainy days.”

Debbie Yow
Athletic director
University of Maryland

  • “Organizational Development Through Teambuilding,” by Thomas Patten. “At the end of the day, cooperation and teamship will power an organization toward its strategic goals.”
  • “The Prayer of Jabez,” by Bruce Wilkinson. “I find inspiration in the Hebrew Old Testament stories of men and women of courage.”

Tim Ryan
President/CEO of the Arrowhead Pond and EVP/COO of the Ducks

  • “Trinity,” by Leon Uris. “It recounts the history of Ireland. I am reading it prior to enjoying my 50th birthday in Dublin this September.”

Bill Martin
Athletic director
University of Michigan

  • “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini
  • “Patrick O’Brian: The Making of the Novelist, 1914-1949,” by Nikolai Tolstoy

Danica Patrick
Indy Racing League

  • “The Da Vinci Code,” by Dan Brown


This is the first installment in a series on what top sports executives are reading this summer. The responses were compiled by New York bureau chief Jerry Kavanagh.

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