John's Picks

Washington: A Life (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780143119968
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 9/2011
Do not let the size scare you, this Pulitzer Prize winning book moves along at a quick pace. Washington was indeed, Primus inter pare, or first among equals of the founding fathers. His physical courage, moral integrity and steady leadership are on full display in Chernow’s life. This is a remarkably well rendered book will become the go-to Washington biography for a generation. You will come away from this book with awe and appreciation of our most hidden and indispensable founder.

ISBN-13: 9780812972726
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9/2006
This is most relevant book I have read in the last year. Amar, a Yale Law professor, shows the uniqueness and magnitude of the framers achievement in the larger historical context. This book is difficult and verges at times in being referential, but exponentially repays attention with an enlarged and through understanding of our nation’s most essential text.

East of Eden (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780140186390
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Classics, 10/1992
A multi-generational story of life’s most essential themes: love, death, forgiveness, and free will. This is a book that you get lost in and will never forget. Everyone I have recommended this book to has come to love it. Steinbeck’s interlude in chapter 13 is, perhaps, the most significant and personally affecting passage I have read.

ISBN-13: 9780807068779
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Beacon Press, 4/2004
I rarely read poetry but have found Mary Oliver to be an engaging poet of compassion, understanding, and, at times, ferocious power. “Wild Geese” and the “Buddha’s last instruction” are two of my favorites in this volume. Her connection to, and understanding of, nature makes her poetry deeply resonate in a place like Steamboat.

ISBN-13: 9780743270755
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 9/2006
I read this book last year and it propelled me into a year long study of Lincoln. I have since read dozens of books on Lincoln and, with the exception of the actual writing s of the man himself, Goodwin’s book is my favorite. She paints a warm portrait of the man’s empathetic leadership style and political genius. My highest and most unqualified recommendation

ISBN-13: 9780940450639
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Library of America, 10/1989
Lincoln was the greatest writer to ever occupy the oval office and penned some of the nation’s most lasting speeches, notably second inaugural and Gettysburg address, both included here. But the real value of this book is found in the little telegrams to his cabinet, generals, bereaved citizens and soldiers. If I were to teach a course on leadership, this would be a central text for its effective, emphatic and varied communication. You’ll learn more about real leadership from this book than all the recent business bestsellers combined.