SBJ/July 14-20, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Summer Reading

Our annual peek at executives’ beach books



MELINDA WITMER

Executive vice president, chief video officer and chief operating officer,
Time Warner Cable Networks

“New York: The Novel,” by Edward Rutherfurd
Always enjoy a good historical novel.

“Mandela’s Way,” by Richard Stengel
I’m intrigued by the notion that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. The way he managed to work with the people who imprisoned them. He chose his goals over anger.

“The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t,” by Nate Silver
Fascinated by his thinking.

DIMITRIOS EFSTATHIOU
Vice president of legal, MLS

“A Delicate Truth,” by John le Carré
I am a big le Carré fan; he’s been writing spy novels for decades and has an uncanny ability to write stories that feel contemporary, dealing with current foreign affairs. Makes for great reading on my subway commute.  
 
“I Would Die 4 U,” by Touré
I’ve been meaning to get to this biography for a year now.  While I am by no means an expert on the subject matter, I am from Minneapolis and The Purple One is close to my heart.

PETE GUELLI
Executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer,
Charlotte Hornets

I am a Malcolm Gladwell fan like a lot of my peers and have read “Outliers” and “Blink.” I have been reading “David and Goliath.” I thought the premise on how and why underdogs win would apply to our situation, being in a smaller market. I have always felt there are ways to compete in any situation. The book has been motivational as we continue to find different paths to succeed despite any inherent disadvantages we may face..

ROB BUTCHER
Executive director, U.S. Masters Swimming

“Rome 1960,” by David Maraniss
Fascinating insight into the personalities and politics of how the 1960 Olympics began to change the Olympics from pure amateurism to a business.

“Revolutionary Summer,” by Joseph Ellis
I appreciate learning about the sacrifices others have made so we can enjoy our opportunities, and I am particularly interested in Revolutionary and Civil War history periods.

“Team of Rivals,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The story of how President Lincoln had the self-confidence to surround himself with men who all wanted to be president.

I have 3-year-old twin boys who every night want to read Thomas the Train, so whatever I’m reading usually gets replaced by their desires..

ED O’HARA
Senior partner and chief creative officer, SME Branding

I’m reading two books, neither of which are very new.

“Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship,” by Jack Flam. This book is a peek inside the minds and personal relationship between two of the greatest artists in the history of the world. As a former fine art major in college, the jealousy, the respect, the friendship and the influence these men had on each other and on the dramatic changes that occurred in the direction of art in the early 1900s is a profound story that touches me and is one that has rarely been told with such historic flair.

“Ishmael,” by Daniel Quinn.  This is a classic, provocative look at human culture today, the beliefs it is founded on and the questions one is faced with as we take a closer look.

SHANNON TERRY
CEO and co-founder, 247Sports.com

“The Men Who Would Be King,” by Nicole LaPorte
An almost epic tale of moguls, movies and a company called Dreamworks.






DUER SHARP
Commissioner, Southwestern Athletic Conference

“Only the Paranoid Survive,” by Andrew Grove
Great read by the 1997 Time Magazine Man of the Year and chairman of the board of Intel Corp. Great book on dealing with massive and drastic change. Strategic inflection points (SIPs) happen around us all the time and when they do they can sometimes change the way we do business.
 
“Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones”
I love to read the life stories of icons like Mr. Jones. Musician, composer, producer, arranger and pioneering entrepreneur Quincy Jones, one of the coolest cats on the planet, has seen it all and done it all. Working with superstars — including Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Ray Charles, Will Smith. Focusing on doing what you love.
 
“The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football,” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian
Being a former college football player, a great book that takes you inside the machine that is college football. Great programs and scandal; “The System” shows you an in-depth look at the good, bad and ugly of college football.

“Break Out!: 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life,” by Joel Osteen
We are not here to live an average life. This book helps you to realize that we all have greatness in us. Get your life in line with purpose and dare yourself to be great. After reading this book you are always one setback and/or challenge away from breaking down those barriers that have stopped you from living a life of abundance.

“The People Factor: How Building Great Relationships and Ending Bad Ones Unlocks Your God-Given Purpose,” by Van Moody
When people show you who they are, pay attention. Great book on building relationships that feed life and ending those that take away from it.

“Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive,” by T.D. Jakes
Have not finished this book, but as a leader you learn to trust yourself and instincts.

RICK WELTS
President and chief operating officer, Golden State Warriors

I’m headed to Sweden and Spain in August, and only one book is going with me — [Warriors co-owner] Peter Guber’s “Tell to Win.” Because I get to spend so much time with Peter, I know firsthand that he is the single most engaging storyteller that walks the face of the earth. I have not yet had the chance to read his book, though, so this will be my vacation read … can’t wait!

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