SBJ/July 15-21, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Executives and sports figures talk about what they’ll be reading on vacation this summer.





BRIAN BILELLO

President, New England Revolution

“The Numbers Game,” by Chris Anderson and David Sally
Sports analytics applied to the beautiful game. What’s not to love?
“Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card
One of my all-time favorite sci-fi books growing up. With the movie coming up this fall, I’ll need to reread it.
“Bringing Up Geeks,” by Marybeth Hicks
My wife is an educator and always has great books for me to read related to parenting.

ERIK MOSES
SVP and managing director of sports, Events DC

“Who Owns the Future?” by Jaron Lanier
I saw the author interviewed on PBS and was intrigued by his belief that big data is controlling the Internet and exploiting all of us without recognizing the valuable contributions made to society by the little people.
“Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove,” by Ahmir Thompson and Ben Greenman
Just saw The Roots perform and have always admired how they exhibit true musicality and fully embrace hip hop culture. Questlove has transformed himself from a self-described nerd into a universally recognized force within the music scene.
“Toughness,” by Jay Bilas
As a Carolina grad and diehard Tar Heel, it is tough for me to support a former Duke basketball player, but Bilas is the best college basketball analyst by far and one of the most candid sports commentators.
“Dad Is Fat,” by Jim Gaffigan
Love Gaffigan’s perspective and ability to give voice to the blessing and the challenge that is parenthood. Hopefully my sons will leave me alone long enough to read the book.
“I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon,” by Touré
Prince is a musical genius of historic proportions. Looking forward to learning more about his Purple Highness.

DAN MANNIX
Founder, president and CEO, LeadDog Marketing

“Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs has a huge fingerprint on our modern world, technology and innovation-wise. The book has been sitting on my wife’s bedside for a while, so time to bring it to the beach.
“I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson”
Jackie Robinson is such an inspiration. My almost 4-year-old son’s middle name is Robinson in honor of him, so I need to read up to be able to answer lots of questions!
“Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” by Sheryl Sandberg
I’m lucky to have a number of female business partners that are always inspiring me, so I am interested to learn more about such a successful business leader’s perspective. I love strong women — I married one.

BRENT TRAGER
Chief operating officer, Fanatics

Just finished: “The Tipping Point,” by Malcolm Gladwell
Mavens, connectors, salesmen. A fascinating read and very informative. Gladwell makes a compelling case explaining how so many things are barely kept in a state of balance, and how things are easily tipped out of balance. Before I read this book I didn’t realize that a deadly virus and a trendy pair of Hush Puppies shoes had so much in common.
Reading now: “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman
Kahneman’s interactive approach with his readers guides them to an understanding of very distinct and separate parts of our thought process, which has been fascinating.
Other books on the list for this summer:
“The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement,” by Eliyahu Goldratt
“1775: A Good Year for Revolution,” by Kevin Phillips
“Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” by Jon Meacham
“The Carrot Principle,” by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.

MIKE BURCH
VP, national sales and marketing, Speedway Motorsports Inc.

“It’s Not About Me,” by Max Lucado
We are reading this as a family this summer as a reminder to look beyond ourselves to what is really important in life.
“The Positive Dog,” by Jon Gordon
Chad Knaus recommended Gordon when he spoke at one of our staff meetings a few years ago — this is his latest.
“Music: What Happened?” by Scott Miller
Miller passed away earlier this year, and this book was recommended as an intelligent look at popular music over the last 50 years.
“Inferno,” by Dan Brown
I’ve enjoyed Brown’s earlier novels, and he blends just enough fact to make his fiction credible. Looking forward to reading this during some down time.

ED BENNETT
President and CEO, Grand-Am Road Racing; SVP and chief administrative officer, NASCAR

“Go Like Hell,” by A.J. Baime
Baime writes fast-paced history, exploring — and unveiling — some of the true glory days of international sports car racing, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the compelling centerpiece. This book also showcases aspects of the sport’s past that are still relevant today, which I found interesting as we look eagerly to the future of sports car racing in North America.
“Gettysburg: The Last Invasion,” by Allen Guelzo
I’ve always been fascinated by history, including Civil War history. That conflict is a regrettable period in our nation’s history which should never be forgotten. Guelzo’s words are a reminder of those times and how they transformed the United States.

JEN CARPER
Partner and chief client officer, Engine Shop

“Goodnight iPad: A Parody for the Next Generation,” by Ann Droyd
 I need a good self-help book this summer.
“The Drought,” by Steven Scaffardi
I found this when I Googled “funny books of 2013” and can’t wait to read it. Is this actually what men think?
“The Spy Wore Red,” by Aline, Countess of Romanones
I read this a long time ago and I love espionage tales. Time for a re-read.

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