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Dominic Barton’s summer reading list

My summer reading list

by Dominic Barton—The dog days are upon us in the northern hemisphere, as the United States celebrates the Fourth of July and we welcome a new intake of summer associates and business analysts to many of our offices. In addition to enjoying some downtime with family and friends, I hope to use some of my vacation to make a dent in my ever-growing reading list. Clients and colleagues have given me many great suggestions of books to read, podcasts to listen to, and summer events to go to—many more than I suspect I will be able to get through.

The list below is not exhaustive, but it includes recommendations that have come up a few times or with very high praise and are at the top of my reading list this summer.

Non-fiction

The Road to Character

The Road to Character (Random House, April 2015) by David Brooks

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 2015) by Evan Osnos

The Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers (Simon & Schuster, May 2015) by David McCullough

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014) by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money (Harper, May 2015) by Nathaniel Popper

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (Ecco, May 2015) by Ashlee Vance

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will (Portfolio, August 2015) by Geoff Colvin

Thirteen Days in September: the Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace - See more at: http://www.mckinsey.com/about_us/new_at_mckinsey/dominic_barton_summer_reading_list#sthash.CDTKPouT.dpuf

Thirteen Days in September: The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace (Vintage, April 2015) by Lawrence Wright

Fiction

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Vintage, April 2015) by Richard Flanagan

Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman (Harper, July 2015) by Harper Lee

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner, 2014) by Anthony Doerr

McKinsey colleagues have published a number of excellent books and reports this year. Three I want to highlight in particular are: No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends (PublicAffairs, May 2015) by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel; Beyond Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Digital Business (Wiley, April 2015) by James Kaplan, Tucker Bailey, Derek O'Halloran, Alan Marcus, and Chris Rezek; Brighter Africa: The growth potential of the sub-Saharan electricity sector by Antonio Castellano, Adam Kendall, Mikhail Nikomarov, and Tarryn Swemmer.

Finally, I am modernising the summer reading list this year to include a podcast series: Invisibilia by Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller. In six one-hour-long podcasts, Invisibilia explores the invisible forces shaping our world, from the mechanical (e.g., digitisation, our ability to see) to the philosophical (e.g., where our thoughts come from.)

Dominic Barton is McKinsey's global managing director.