50 of the “best book I read in 2015” recommendations

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I love getting book recommendations from friends and colleagues. So I asked a bunch of people for the best book they read in 2015. Becky Robinson helped me reach out to the LeadChange Group for more recommendations. The result is more than fifty recommendations for books to read.

They’re not all business. There are novels and mysteries and history and sociology and theology and science fiction. Here’s a really interesting fact about the list. Only four books were mentioned more than once. Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, Greg McKeown’s Essentialism, Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat, and Laszlo Bock’s Work Rules were mentioned twice each.

So browse the list below for some great ideas about books to read in 2016. Think of it as a crowdsourced list of the best books to read.

The recommendations are in no particular order. There are links to the recommender’s web site when one was provided.

Susan Finerty chose Political Savvy by Joel DeLuca

Bob Burg  chose Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia

Michael Bungay Stanier chose Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Mary Jo Asmus chose The Soul of an Octopus: a Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

Bob Sutton chose Who Says That Elephants Can’t Dance? by Louis Gerstner

Jennifer Miller chose Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Extraordinary Performance and Breakthrough Results by Bob Anderson and Bill Adams

Ann Bares chose Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Kare Anderson chose Stand Out by Dorie Clark

Mike Myatt chose Edmund Morris’s Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy  Here’s a link to Colonel Roosevelt

Mick Yakes chose The Silk Road: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

Bob Tiede chose Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others by Cheryl Bachelder

Stephen Lynch chose Playing to Win by A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin

Michael McKinney chose Everybody Matters  by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia

Mike Figliuolo  chose The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Lolly Daskal chose Leadership: Essential Writings by Our Greatest Thinkers by Elizabeth Samet

Paula Kiger chose THE BOYS IN THE BOAT: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Jane Perdue chose Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Cheryl Bachelder chose Values, Inc by Dina Dwyer-Owens

Pam Fox Rollin chose Co-Active Leadership by Karen & Henry Kimsey-House

Mary Schaefer chose Playing it Forward: Because Fun Matters for Employees, Customers and Bottom Line by Nat Measley and Nick Gianoulis

Ben Eubanks chose The Front-Line Leader: Building a High-Performance Organization from the Ground Up by Chris Van Gorder

Mick Ukleja chose The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

Byron Ernest chose  A year with Peter Drucker: 52 weeks of coaching for leadership effectiveness by J. A. Maciariello

Sean Glaze chose The Culture Engine by Chris Edmonds

Marion Mouton chose Chess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game by Mark Miller

Phil Gerbyshak chose Think Big, Act Bigger by Jeffrey Hayzlett

John Perkins chose This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

John Mertz chose The Road to Character by David Brooks

Bill Pence chose Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies

Marcella Bremer chose Cultures and Organizations – Software of the Mind – Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival by Geert Hofstede, Gert-Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov

Wil Davis chose Focus by Daniel Goleman

Dan McCarthy chose The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

Pooja Rathore chose Aging As A Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide To Growing Older And Wiser by Lewis Richmond

Mike Henry, Sr. chose The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

Stacey Hoffer chose The Gaia Codex by Sarah Drew

Paul LaRue chose Connection Culture by Michael Lee Stallard

Julie Winkle Giulioni chose Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle

Kathryn Bingham chose Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less by Greg McKeown

Rebecca Henderson chose Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan

Ron Karr chose Activate Your Brain by Scott Halford

Paul Hebert chose Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value  by Thomas Lockwood

Patricia Rossi chose The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Nina Simosko chose The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Rod Santomassimo chose Procrastinate on Purpose by Rory Vaden

Terry Moore chose Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less by Greg McKeown

Dorothy Dalton chose Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin

Tanveer Naseer chose No One Understands You And What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson

Suzi McAlpine chose Triggers – Creating Behaviour that Lasts, Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith

Stephen J. Gill chose THE BOYS IN THE BOAT: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

David Ballard chose Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Debra Bachar chose The Courage to Act by Ben Bernanke

Scott Eblin chose Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

James daSilva chose The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry

Chantal Bechervaise chose The Updated Go-Giver by Bob Burg

If you’d like to see another “crowdsourced” list of reading recommendations, Dan Rockwell posted one on his site. He called it “Books the “Freaks” Recommend.

Tim Hurson chose On Writing by Stephen King

Mike Haberman chose Culture that Rocks by Jim Knight

Eric McNulty chose Turn This Ship Around by David Marquet

Jesse Lyn Stoner chose The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

Shawn Murphy chose Work Rules by Laszlo Bock

Anne Perschel chose A Deadly Wandering: A Mystery, a Landmark Investigation, and the Astonishing Science of Attention in the Digital Age by Matt Richtel

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What People Are Saying

Colin Penfield   |   09 Feb 2016   |   Reply

Thanks for sharing this awesome list. I will be looking out for a few of those in the coming months.
My best recommendation from 2015 would be Tom Gallager’s ‘Tara’s Halls’.
An outstanding memoir that demonstrates how one can completely turn their life and fortunes around, regardless of what hardship and struggles you come from. It is so beautifully written with an honest and personal tone that is easy to relate to. One of the best books I have read in several years.
http://thegallagherplace.us

Wally Bock   |   09 Feb 2016   |   Reply

Thanks Colin. I’m glad you found the list helpful. And thanks, too, for sharing your recommendation.