SBJ/20080707/Summer Reading

Sports leaders open books for laughter and enlightenment

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

Roger Goodell

The Best Game Ever, by Mark Bowden. “About the 1958 NFL championship game.”

Len Komoroski
Cleveland Cavaliers

Dan Rooney: My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL, by Dan Rooney, Andrew E. Masich, and David F. Halaas. “As a native of Pittsburgh and a lifelong Steelers fan, I’m looking forward to his unique perspective, especially coming from the rare position of one family owning a franchise since its inception. I think I’ll have a Primanti’s Cheesesteak while reading it.”

The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow. “I’ve heard great things about Randy’s insights and perspective on life, coming from someone who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Randy speaks of living life to its fullest.”

Sheila Johnson
President and Managing Partner
Washington Mystics

The Whole Truth, by David Baldacci. “I am a Baldacci nut, and this one is billed as his first global thriller, so I can’t wait.”

The Poet, by Michael Connelly. “A friend of mine thinks Connelly is the best crime writer going and has told me to read this one. This summer I’m going to finally get around to it.”

Heaven’s Prisoners, by James Lee Burke. “Part mystery writer/part poet, Burke not only keeps you turning pages, he makes New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou come alive.”

Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner. “The central character is a funny, talented yet overweight woman (which the author implies is the last accepted prejudice, especially in Hollywood).”

Randy Eccker
XOS Technologies

Good to Great, by Jim Collins

Phantom Prey, by John Sandford

The Last Campaign, by Thurston Clarke

Rodrigo Lombello

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. “To better understand behavioral economics and overall make better decisions about health, wealth and happiness.”

Ryan Kurek
CEO and Founder
Leverage Sports

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, by Robin S. Sharma

The World Is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman

Rick Perko
Immersion Media

God Grew Tired of Us, by John Bul Dau. “I saw John speak in person last fall and he inspired me to read more about the Lost Boys of Sudan. For any of us who complain about the daily grind, his story puts life in proper perspective.”

A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn, by James Donovan. “I went to college in Montana and have been to the battlefield on a couple of occasions. It’s a fascinating story that apparently can be told in a multitude of ways.”

Bill Strickland
Executive Editor
Bicycling magazine and co-author with Johan Bruyneel of “We Might As Well Win”

Major: A Black Athlete, a White Era, and the Fight to Be the World’s Fastest Human Being, by Todd Balf

The Vanishing, by Tim Krabbe

My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon, by Bart Yasso with Kathleen Parrish

Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World, by Dan Koeppel

That Little Something, by Charles Simic

Robbie Weiss
Vice President of Broadcasting
NASCAR Media Group
Managing Director, International

Mr. China, by Tim Clissold. “If you do business, or aspire to do business, in the great new frontier (or at least need a good laugh), Tim Clissold will take you on a very sobering yet comical adventure. Bring tissues. You’ll need them for the tears.”

Alexi Lalas
President and General Manager
Los Angeles Galaxy

Up From the Root Cellar, by Anne Harding Woodworth. “Quite simply, she’s one of the greatest living American poets.”

Reckless Road: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction, by Marc Canter and Jason Porath. “Like everyone, when I think of a family vacation, I think of G n’ R.”

The Classic Treasury of Aesop’s Fables, by Don Daily. “Good lessons that apply to business and life … for me and my daughter.”

Bill Carter

Punk Rock Dad, by Jim Lindberg. “Learning to have grace in a life spent partly in youth culture and partly in the adult, business world is a real virtue as you grow older.”

Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner. “I am trying to be more understanding of far-right conservatives … even if right now I think they are all lunatics who are bludgeoning our Constitution.”

Ryan Seacrest Is Famous, by Dave Housley. “He is a funnier, smarter version of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs.”

Steve Bisciotti
Baltimore Ravens

Dare to Prepare: How to Win Before You Begin, by Ronald M. Shapiro with Gregory Jordan

Nathan Tublitz

Atonement, by Ian McEwan

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer

Divisadero, by Michael Ondaatje

“Why read these? All are superb books by outstanding writers. Need I say more?”

Oliver Luck
President and General Manager
Houston Dynamo

The Man Who Loved China, by Simon Winchester. “In a year in which China has taken center stage with the devastating earthquake and the upcoming Olympics, this book provides an insightful look into a very misunderstood society.”

Mysteries of the Middle Ages, by Thomas Cahill. “The fifth volume in Cahill’s ‘Hinges of History’ series.”

Uncommon Carriers, by John McPhee. “Perhaps my favorite author. The take-away from this book is the complete dependence of our national and international transportation infrastructure on fossil fuels and the challenges that this nation will face with rising fuel prices.”

American Son, by Oscar De La Hoya. “One-time gold medalist for the U.S. at the 1992 Olympics and 10-time world boxing champion, De La Hoya is also one of the owners of the Dynamo, and reading his autobiography will be a very enjoyable way to better understand his incredible path from East L.A. to the top of his profession.”

Denise Conroy-Galley
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Research
The Outdoor Channel

Dan Rooney: My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL, by Dan Rooney, Andrew E. Masich, and David F. Halaas

Bright Shiny Morning, by James Frey

The GM: The Inside Story of a Dream Job and the Nightmares That Go With It, by Tom Callahan

Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill

The Ghost Road, by Pat Barker

Them, by Nathan McCall

Papillon, by Henri Charrière

Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War, by Joe Bageant

On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan

Steve Raab
SportsNet New York

Clapton: The Autobiography. “This continues to sit beside my bed … it definitely will get devoured during a vacation.”

A Sense of Where You Are: Bill Bradley at Princeton, by John McPhee. “I read it 25 years ago and loved it, but I don’t remember many of the details.”

Seliece Caldwell Fulweber
Vice President, Ticket Sales and Business Communications
Houston Rockets

“I love to read while on vacation, to learn and transport my mind to new places. The Kite Runner was published in the aftermath of America’s invasion of Afghanistan. The author [Khaled Hosseini]released a subsequent novel about two resilient women there, A Thousand Splendid Suns, which is supposed to present an even greater epic of tragedy and hope. I want to read them both to know more about the country, Islam, the Taliban and how ordinary people, especially women, live their lives there.”

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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