Books have really shaped my life continuously through my childhood, into college, and for my entire career.

I have two bad reading habits:

1) I frequently read multiple books at once

2) I tend to buy a book every time I go anywhere on an airplane— I travel quite a bit, so books tend to pile up pretty significantly around here…

The first books that had a major impact on me were The Bible, CS Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkien’s Hobbit and LOTR trilogy, in that order. My grandmother introduced me to Lewis and Tolkien when I was 5 or 6, and I love revisiting them still today. They all had a really powerful early impact on my understanding of human nature, along with Madeline L’Engle’s time travel books. They also, fortunately, contributed in a major way to my life long love of reading.

Reading and experience are some of the best ways to enhance a business education.

The first personal development book I ever read was The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. I was bored one day after school, sitting in my uncle’s insurance sales office, and picked it up. I didn’t put it down until I was finished with it. I particularly appreciated (and still do when I revisit his books) his ability to really show the significance of success principles through the use of storytelling.

Soon after, I received “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill as a birthday gift. These were really the start of my business book library… well, those and “The Godfather”…

Here are some books that have had a major impact on me in the past few years:

Books I’m currently actively reading:

Next on my “To Read” list:

Favorite leisure reading of all time? (Well… including those first ones at the top) In no particular order, and not a complete list:

  • The Walking Drum” by Louis L’Amour
  • A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond” Jim Whittaker
  • Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman
  • Shepherd of the Hills” by Harold Bell Wright
  • Silverlock” by John Myers Myers
  • Bio of an Ogre” by Piers Anthony
  • Farenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
  • Stranger in a Strange Land” and “Friday” Heinlein
  • Firestarter” Steven King
  • The Silver Chalice” by Thomas Costain