I fell one book short of my goal of reading a book a month. I did get to read some impressive books ranging from cybersecurity to life after a GM plant closed to the memoir of a diplomat. Below are some quick hits on my favorites. All the reviews can be found on medium.com.
There is a reason this book is the FT – McKinsey Business Book or the Year and was one of Bill Gates top books of the year too. It’s very well written and so unbelievable that you have a hard time putting it down.
‘The Gatekeepers’ by Chris Whipple
With the amount of turnover that has occurred in the Trump administration, this book is a nice primer to how previous administrations operated. Whipple does a fine job of covering a lot very quickly. While he loses his way a bit in the Bush 42 and Obama administrations, it’s an intriguing read about the role of the White House Chief of Staff.
Full disclosure, I grew up in Northern California and am a born and raised San Francisco 49ers fan. Young was very candid about the obstacles he faced during his career and life. It was very interesting to see how his faith intertwined with his playing career and helped keep him on the field.
‘Janesville’ was the FT – McKinsey 2017 Business Book of the Year. It tells the story of what happens to a manufacturing town then the manufacturing goes away. It’s gut wrenching to read but also full of optimism and should be a blueprint for politicians for when a town or region is upended by the exodus of a major employer.
‘Outpost’ by Amb. Christopher Hill
This book came out in 2014 but is pretty timeless. Hill is a career diplomat and was lucky enough to have several great diplomatic mentors like Richard Holbrooke. One thing that impressed me about Hill is his candor. Hill has been able to keep it throughout his career in the Foreign Service and we should all be glad that there are people like him serving in the State Department.
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