“Core” Books

Do you have a list of “Core” Books in your life? Many of us do.

Think about it for a minute, perhaps you do without realizing it. Is there a book you return to over and over again at various times in life?  It has a story, or poem or something else that has resonated in your heart and mind. It provides some sort of grounding for you and keeps you focused on the important. That’s a core book.

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read.  ~G.K. Chesterton

I have a list of books that seem to  reappear time and again as I confront various aspects of life or work or leadership. Many of them come from the list of books my co-facilitators and I use in the Regional Leadership Forum (RLF) each year. Some of them have been discovered over the years.

Here is a list of some of my core books. What are yours?

The Authorized King James Bible

The colleague of mine who actually introduced me to the idea of “core books” tells a story about his mother. As he was growing up his mom would read the Bible every day. When he was young he would jest with her and ask “what’s the matter mom, don’t you get it yet? “. She would smile. Years later he realized, she was having a spiritual experience.

That is for me what the AKJV of the Bible is. A spiritual experience, my anchor of truth and light. I read it daily and try to commit to heart and memory its lessons and values.

Two Old Women Velma Wallis

Please read this book. If you are involved in a large corporation today, have experienced a merger, downsizing, and the cost cutting nature of business today, you can learn a multitude of lessons from this book. I’ve linked the title to Wikipedia because I think it’s worth knowing the background of the book. You can buy it on Amazon if you’d like, but buy it.

Man’s Search For Meaning Viktor Frankl

Written in 1964 this book outlines the author, Viktor Frankl’s experiences and lessons learn from his time as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps and his methods of psychiatric treatment post incarceration. It is a classic and for me personally reminds us that beyond chance, it is choices we make that determine our fate. Frankl teaches in the extreme of that experience that it is not the strongest or the biggest, or even the healthiest that survive, but rather those who choose to overcome.

The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons For Us All

Michael Useem

If you are interested in getting a poignant snap shot of the lessons of leadership from 9 individuals who found themselves in places to determine life and death, ethics or profit, and the good of humanity or the return to shareholders this book will get you to think. It is a primer to the deeper questions of what will determine ones decisions.

Throughout this blog you will find references to others and from time to time I will update this list with books that are “core books” of mine. Most important, I would encourage you to develop your own and please share them with me if you’d like.