We still know what you’re reading this summer

McKinsey’s annual reading list is back for 2021.

Our annual reading guide is back and updated for 2022.

The world has changed in ways we couldn’t imagine. And more than halfway into 2021, societies, leaders, and organizations are still grappling with all that’s happened—and the uncertainties of what’s to come. This year, either we’re trying to come to grips with our new realities, or we’re seeking respite from them. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that—among the 100-plus books shared by more than 40 leaders and personalities with McKinsey Global Publishing’s Raju Narisetti—the most robust categories are fiction, history, and politics.


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We’ve also curated summer book recommendations from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Barack Obama, Christie’s, and more. And we’ve included recommendations from McKinsey Global Publishing.

The Financial Times unveiled the 2021 long list of the annual FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award on August 16 and the shortlist on September 23.

Don't forget to download McKinsey’s Author Talks 124-page collection and read some of our best interviews with authors of recently published books on business and beyond. For ongoing conversations, bookmark this Author Talks page. Finally, check out McKinsey on Books for our monthly business best-seller rankings—prepared exclusively for McKinsey Global Publishing by NPD BookScan—and a collection of books by McKinsey authors on the management issues that matter, from leadership and talent to digital transformation and corporate finance.



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2021 Top picks

Other 2021 reading lists you might want to explore

McKinsey on Books

Explore this month’s best-selling business books, prepared exclusively for McKinsey Publishing by NPD, and a collection of books by McKinsey authors on the management issues that matter.

Author Talks

Dive into insightful conversations with authors on crucial management topics including leading through a crisis, unleashing innovation, coping with organizational culture shifts, and more.


It takes a village to curate amazing lists from this rather busy group of leaders from all over the world. We would like to thank Kris Coratti, Chantal De Soto, Rimjhim Dey, Melanie Newman, Joellen Perry, and Jayne Rosefield for their help.

Within McKinsey Global Publishing, Eleni Kostopoulos led the effort to make this year’s list come alive, with collaboration and support from Mike Borruso, Nancy Cohn, Victor Cuevas, Torea Frey, Mary Halpin, Drew Holzfeind, Kathleen O'Leary, LaShon Malone, Philip Mathew, Janet Michaud, Kanika Punwani, Sarah Thuerk, Duane Tomaszewski, Petra Vincent, and Nathan Wilson.