Returning from vacation put me back into the "read when I can find time" mode, which always has me reading several books at one time. As I looked at the stack of books on my present reading list, I was struck by the fact that I tend to read in areas in which I am presently involved. The following list will tell you more about what I am presently thinking about and doing:
- Business Leadership: A Jossey-Bass Reader...preparing for teaching in The Concordia MBA
- The Effective Executive in Action (Drucker)...attempting to change how I lead and manage the multiple programs and people in the College of Business
- Afghanistan: A Military History (Tanner)...all of our Freshman are reading The Kite Runner as they come to campus this fall
- Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Nussbaum)...CTX is going through a curriculum transformation and defining how a liberal arts education shapes our students
- Mere Christianity (CS Lewis)...trying to understnad how the cardinal virtues shape leadership
- Ulysses (James Joyce)...began this book toward the end of vacation and trying to finish it as this point
Someone coined the phrase "leaders are readers" (and the other truth that "not all readers are necessarily leaders"). I believe that's true as reading allows one to learn and to enter the world of others. I am a firm believer that great literature - especailly great fiction - allows the reader to more fully understand the human dilemma, and become more empathetic through the process. Reading great fiction is engrossing - and fully transports the reader to a different time and place...and yet, it is most often one's own time and place also. To read Proust is to look into one's own past...to read Tolstoy is to know that we too can experience the same issues and situations...to read Steinbeck is to catch a glimpse of how others survive the drama of life. Reading this type of literature is not easy - nor is it always relaxing - but it is rewarding. So...what are you reading right now?