SBJ/20080721/Summer Reading

List mixes popular titles with some eclectic choices

“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 Samson
President
Florida Marlins

Conversations With the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age at the American Film Institute, by George Stevens Jr. “Learning more about my favorite off-field activity is always interesting.”

The Pleasure of My Company, by Steve Martin. “Martin’s talent makes each of his novels a must-read.”

Archie Manning
Chairman
National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame

The Appeal, by John Grisham

Always by My Side, by Jim Nantz

Christine Plonsky
Women’s AD/Sr. Associate AD Men’s and Women’s Athletics External Services
University of Texas

Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to Present, by Michael B. Oren. “Might help me to become more centered about the current conflict and our part in it.”

John Adams, by David McCullough. “Loved the miniseries on HBO … and behind every great man, etc., etc.”

Curt Gowdy Jr.
Senior Vice President, Production and Executive Producer
SportsNet New York

Quiet Strength, by Tony Dungy

The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow

Escape From the Deep, by Alex Kershaw

The Teammates, by David Halberstam

Jim Nantz
CBS Sports

Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli. “With political controversy swirling around the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, this book chronicles a timely and passionate story about how the intersection of politics and the Olympics in 1980 combined to steal the dreams of the members of the U.S. team. This book celebrates and recognizes those athletes who never had the chance to realize their once-in-a-lifetime Olympic dreams.”

Greg Shaheen
SVP for Division I Men’s Basketball and Business Strategies
NCAA

The Game-Changer, by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan. “This book embraces the qualities we’d like to look for in how we approach our future.

The Post-American World,by Fareed Zakaria. “An interesting look at how the world has evolved and how we must approach the years to come.”

Larry Scott
Chairman & CEO
Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen and Roger Fisher. “One can always improve upon how to handle the myriad difficult conversations we encounter personally and professionally, and get to more satisfying outcomes.”

For One More Day, by Mitch Albom. “Great storyteller. I loved his prior books.”

Keith Bruce
Chief Marketing Officer
SportsMark

I have two books about China on my list since we’ll be in Beijing for the month of August for the Summer Games, plus one other book:

Letter From China, by Peter James Froning. “This is the author’s diary about his experiences teaching English to college students in Beijing. We gave this book to all of our operations staff who will be working the Olympic Games in Beijing.”

Doing Business in China, by Ted Plafker. “A fascinating and very current read on basic business principles in China.”

Always by My Side, by Jim Nantz. “This is a must-read for me. I am a huge Jim Nantz fan. This will be my real vacation book.”

Kevin White
Vice President and Director of Athletics
Duke University

Boom! by Tom Brokaw. “The ’60s era has always fascinated me — everything from civil rights to Vietnam, etc. . . .”

The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow. “A riveting story about an amazing man faced with terminal cancer.”

Cowboy Ethics, by James Owen and David Stoecklein. “A unique look at ‘Old West’ values applied to American business and nonprofits.”

Always by My Side, by Jim Nantz. “This was a gift from my wife, Jane, for Father’s Day. It’s both a compelling and terribly humanistic story about a family dealing with the travails of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Looking for Jimmy: A Search for Irish America, by Peter Quinn

Danny Boy, by Malachy McCourt

Teacher Man, by Frank McCourt

Lucinda Treat
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Legal Affairs
Madison Square Garden

“With kids at camp, lazy-hot summer evenings and some hoped-for vacation, I am anticipating devouring quite a few books this summer (in between episodes of the new season of ‘Mad Men’). At the top of the pile (above ‘Crime and Punishment,’ ‘Anna Karenina’ and ‘Don Quixote,’ which never seem to work their way up the stack) are:

Turtle Feet, by Nikolai Grozni. “My Bulgarian friend’s memoir of seeking spiritual enlightenmentwhile studying to be a Buddhist monk, and how he eventually made his way back West.”

Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami. “Probably the world’s greatest living writer. Murakami’s novels reliably blend the real and unreal into a relentlessly captivating narrative.”

Bambi v. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose and Practice of the Movie Business, by David Mamet. “Great perspective on the film business from dramatist and screenwriter Mamet; perfect reading in the midst of summer blockbuster season.”

The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories, by Etgar Keret. “Source of the story that formed the basis for the quirky indie film ‘Wristcutters: A Love Story.’ Dark humor at its best, and quite an odd take on the world at large.”

Richard Peddie
President and CEO
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

The Game-Changer, by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan. “I am an admirer of A.G. Lafley and what he has accomplished at Procter & Gamble, an innovative organization that continues to increase enterprise value and market share. The winning formula for any company is the same: Create new customers, new products and new services to ensure it continues to drive growth and stay competitive.”

Dean Bonham
Chairman and CEO
The Bonham Group

Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, by Mark Harris. “I’m fascinated by the tension between the art and commerce of Hollywood. (I also like his movie choices.)”

The Age of American Unreason, by Susan Jacoby. “Like everyone else, I’m hoping for some enlightenment in this presidential election year.”

Bob DuPuy
President and COO
Major League Baseball

Netherland, by Joseph O’Neill. “A sensitive treatment of post-9/11 New York and a chance to learn something about baseball’s cousin sport, cricket, in what will make all of the ‘Best Book’ lists at the end of the year.”

The Billionaire’s Vinegar, by Benjamin Wallace. “The story of the finding, sale and debunking of Thomas Jefferson’s wine collection provides insights into the world of high-end wine auctions.”

The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, by Leonard Mlodinow. “Contains the definitive explanation of the Monty Hall problem and pokes holes in standard theories of probability.”

Fathers & Sons & Sports, by Mike Lupica. “Inspiring essays by famous authors on their relationship with their fathers through the common bond of sports.”

The Downhill Lie, by Carl Hiaasen. “Not being able to play golf this summer, so this is the next best thing.”

Jon Venison
Co-Owner & Founding Partner
InsideOut Sports & Entertainment

Sneaker Wars, by Barbara Smit. “Historical account of the family feud between the management of Adidas and Puma that helped shape the sports marketing industry. It’s a true story within the sports marketing industry that teaches a lot of management lessons and best practices.”

Ira Berkow
Retired Columnist
New York Times

Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front, by Todd DePastino. “It’s a biography of Mauldin, who was a World War II hero armed only with a cartoonist’s pen and pad. His drawings in Stars and Stripes, as one infantryman said,‘were a gift to us.’ He also distinguished himself as a newspaper political cartoonist for decades after the war.”

A Writer’s Life.“The autobiography of Gay Talese. There is no better nonfiction writer in America than Talese. It’s a treat to enter his mind.”

The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War, by David Halberstam. “An insightful and absorbing look at one of the critical, and sometimes overlooked, periods in American history. Candid, scrupulous and often fearless, the late Halberstam was to the printed word what Tim Russert was to the spoken one.”

This is the third 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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