Twelve Books That Influenced Me in 2017

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I love to read. It is a low-cost and highly pleasurable conduit for professional development and personal reflection and insight.

I like challenging and thought-provoking fiction (The Goldfinch and Lincoln in the Bardo are two recent faves), as well as an intense thriller (Bluebird, Bluebird) and a good British mystery.

High on my 2018 list is the book that Bill Gates called “the most inspiring book I’ve ever read”—Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Let’s continue our conversation about books throughout the year.

For now, though, here are my most influential non-fiction books of 2017:

  1. The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams by Sam Walker
  2. Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better by Anthony Bryk
  3. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker
  4. Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together by William Isaacs
  5. Sapien: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  6. Into the Magic Shop: A Neuroscientist’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart by James Doty
  7. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
  8. Becoming Wise: An Inquiry Into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett
  9. Leading With Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask by Michael Marquardt
  10. Leading With Emotional Intelligence: Hands-On Strategies for Building Confident and Collaborative Star Performers
  11. Coaching With the Brain in Mind: Foundations for Practice by David Rock and Linda Page
  12. Reading With Patrick: A Teacher, a Student and a Life-Changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo