"Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary."
That famous quote comes from Jim Rohn. Rohn, an American entrepreneur, businessman, and self-made millionaire, is not the only successful professional who advocates for the power of reading. Reading (and consequently learning) allows us to expand and advance our perspectives, mindsets, and skills.
While all books can provide value in some way, strategically selecting specific books to read can help propel your personal and professional development . For example, if you aspire to grow rich or create a great business, re-reading "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings" might not be the best use of your time. However, if you aim to analyze commercially successful fantasy fiction literature, those books perfectly align with your goals.
Your purpose should inform your reading selection. What is your purpose, and what reading materials can help you achieve it?
Answering the above question and selecting out-of-class reading material can be daunting. If you intend to supplement your education with personal reading, you know it’s important to select the right works, but how do you know which authors to trust? Which books will be worth your precious free time?
Four members of FIU’s College of Business (FIU Business) graduate programs’ faculty shared their favorite books for business, life, politics and personal development. Read on to learn more about FIU Business faculty and to discover why they recommend certain titles.
William Hardin’s Recommendations for Logistics, Life, Politics, and Civil Rights
William Hardin serves as the FIU Business interim dean, the Chapman Graduate School of Business associate dean, and an expert professor within the Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU Business.
He earned his PhD in Business Administration from Georgia State University and holds a Master of Science in International Business and a Master of Science in Real Estate. His areas of expertise include commercial real estate, mortgage choice and finance, and real estate brokerage, finance, pricing and valuation.
Hardin recommends the following six books:
- "Walking with the Wind" by John Lewis
- "The Secret Life of Groceries" by Benjamin Lorr
- "Memorial Drive" by Natasha Tretheway
- "The Man Who Ran Washington" by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser
- "The Yellow House" by Sarah Broom
- "Rainbow Milk" by Paul Mendez
"Walking with the Wind" chronicles the fight for civil rights as told by John Lewis. "John Lewis was my Congressional representative for most of the time I lived in Atlanta (5th district), and I remember when he was first elected to that post," said Hardin. "He would also come by Morehouse College when I was teaching there to have open discussions with students. He was an icon and lived a life of commitment."
"The Secret Life of Groceries" tells the tale of how food gets to our tables and covers the logistics of food from a business perspective. Hardin calls this text an "easy read" and a "great tale.".
"Memorial Drive" is from the past U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway," said Hardin. "It is an introspective look at her life and the murder of her mother when she was a teenager. The book is a tribute to family and her relationship with her mother."
"The Man Who Ran Washington" was written by two political journalists (Peter Baker and Susan Glasser). The text tells the story of James A. Baker III, former White House chief of staff and secretary of the treasury under President Ronald Reagan and former White House chief of staff and secretary of state under President George H. W. Bush.
"The Yellow House" is a great story about growing up, family and perseverance in New Orleans," said Hardin.
Finally, "Rainbow Milk" is a relatively new fiction novel for Hardin. A coming-of-age story set in modern Britain, "Rainbow Milk" grapples with concepts of race, religion, sex and sexuality.
Miriam Weismann’s Recommendations for Economics, Law, and Healthcare
Miriam Weismann serves as the academic director of our Healthcare MBA Program and is a clinical professor in our School of Accounting.
She holds a Master of Science in Taxation and a Juris Doctorate. Her areas of expertise include business ethics, corporate governance, business law, tax, white collar crime and international law.
Weismann provided the following three book recommendations:
- "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith
- "Money Laundering: Legislation, Regulation and Enforcement" by Miriam Weismann
- "Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics" by Richard Thaler
Originally published in 1776, "Wealth of Nations" explores capitalist versus mercantilists economic systems and lays groundwork for free-market economics. Weismann states that "the book provides the foundation for capitalism and the underpinnings of corporate governance."
Weismann calls "Money Laundering: Legislation, Regulation and Enforcement" "the definitive treatise on money laundering." The text provides a comprehensive review of anti-money laundering activity designed to aid scholars, courts and practitioners.
Finally, "Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics" by Nobel Prize in Economics Laureate Richard Thaler addresses the presence of human error and behavioral bias in economics and its effects on markets. Weismann considers Thaler’s work "foundational for understanding healthcare economics."
Jerry Haar’s Recommendations for Politics, Philosophy and History
Jerry Haar holds a PhD in Political Science and a Master of Arts in Psychology.
He serves as a professor in our Department of International Business and shares his expertise in corporate strategy and regional economic integration, competitiveness and innovation, entrepreneurship, business-government relations and marketing for Latin American and U.S. Hispanic markets.
Haar shared four book recommendations:
- "Ethics" by Baruch Spinoza
- "I and Thou" by Martin Buber
- "Churchill: Walking with Destiny" by Andrew Roberts
- "The Coddling of the American Mind" by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
According to Haar, "Ethics" and "I and Thou" both "highlight relationships as bringing meaningfulness to life." "Ethics" addresses theology, anthropology, ontology and metaphysics, and "I and Thou" looks at the human experience and the heart, mind and spirit.
"Churchill: Walking with Destiny" is a biography of Winston Churchill and "the single best volume on one of the great leaders of the 20th century" according to Haar.
Finally, Haar states that the "The Coddling of the American Mind" offers "a real-time portrait of how the toxic elixir of safetyism, political correctness, wokeness, and intolerance is destroying free speech and diversity of thought and opinion on many college campuses today."
Steven Ellis’ Recommendations for Politics, Philosophy, and History
Steven Ellis holds a PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Master of Business Administration.
He serves as director of online programs for FIU Business and as an associate teaching professor in the FIU Business Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics. His areas of expertise include inventory management, materials requirements planning, services business, technical training, gamification of operations management education and gamification of business analytics education.
Ellis recommends these three books:
- "The Goal" by Eliyahu Goldratt
- "Statistical Thinking, Improving Business Performance" by Roger Hoerl and Ronald Snee
- "The Bullet Journal Method" by Ryder Carroll
"The Goal," by Eliyahu Goldratt, focuses on management and continuous improvement. Goldratt serves as a business consultant and is best known for his theory of constraints.
"Statistical Thinking, Improving Business Performance," by Roger Hoerl and Ronald Snee, explores how statistics and analytics can be studied and applied to improve business processes, outcomes and performance.
Finally, "The Bullet Journal," by Andrew Roberts, promises to help readers achieve "significantly more in less time" via systems of organization and time-management.
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