With many of us still stuck at home for the foreseeable future, it’s the perfect time to refresh your summer reading list.
In need of some page-turning recommendations? Good news: In a recent interview with The Harvard Gazette, Harvard Business School professors share the books they’re looking forward to this summer.
From fiction to non-fiction, the list is packed with intriguing must-reads:
1. ‘The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America’
By Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Rosabeth M. Kanter, a professor of business administration, plans to reread Khalil Gibran Muhammad’s “The Condemnation of Blackness,” which explores how Black crime statistics have shaped debates about everything from public education to policing to presidential elections —fueling racism and justifying inequality.
Kanter even assigned the book to one of her classes and invited Muhammad, a professor of history, race and public policy, to speak to her students. I thought “[we] might see new and different things this time,” she said.
2. ‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power’
By Shoshanna Zuboff
Business management professor Joseph Fuller just started reading “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” which he describes as a “sweeping description of the rise and impact of business models that are premised on harvesting and monetizing personal information.”
Shoshanna Zuboff’s book is of profound importance to contemporary readers and economic and political historians — and it will continue to be for generations to come. “If you own a copy, keep it,” said Fuller. “A scholarly grandchild will thank you.”
3. ‘Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber’
By Mike Isaac
Based on interviews with current and former employees at the ride-hailing company, as well as previously unpublished documents, reporter Mike Isaac tells a story of ambition and deception, extreme wealth, corruption and bad leadership.
4. ‘The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation and Growth’
By Amy Edmondson
In this practical guide, Edmondson uses her years of research on psychological safety in teamwork and innovation to show how leaders can create a culture that enables, supports and empowers positive team and community impact, especially in times of rapid change.
5. ‘Inside Out and Back Again’
By Thanhha Lai
A winner of the National Book Award, Thanhha Lai’s book is inspired by her experience as a refugee — fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama.
“I like to switch up what I’m reading — so I often alternate between fiction and non-fiction,” said Huang. “It makes me think about how we are often caught between worlds and identities, and the ways we must choose to reconcile our past with our present.”
6. ‘The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.’
By Peniel E. Joseph
A frequent national commentator on issues of race, Peniel E. Joseph’s dual biography upends longstanding preconceptions to transform our understanding of two iconic African American leaders.
“It is particularly timely with our country’s new focus on addressing racism and its catastrophic effects,” said McGee.
7. ‘The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage’
By Ryan Holiday
Jeffrey Bussgang, a senior lecturer in Harvard’s Entrepreneurial Management department, is reading “The Obstacle Is the Way,” a book that draws inspiration from stoicism — or the Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience.
Best-selling author Ryan Holiday does a terrific job demonstrating how some of the most successful people in history have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations.