Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University School of Business Faculty and Staff Summer 2011 Reading

Our Faculty and Staff Recommend

We asked faculty and staff what they read over the summer and below are some of their favorites (selecting the faculty member's name will take you to their profile).

Sanjiv Das
Professor of Finance

I try NOT to read business books, as I need to get away from my work, no matter how exciting I can fool myself into thinking it is... But there are some that may be interesting to business folks:

Kingpin by Kevin Poulson

Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet by Joseph Menn

Hamlet's Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers

India: A Portrait by Patrick French

Nice Work by David Lodge — fiction, but business and academia related. ...

Alexander Field
Michel and Mary Orradre Professor of Economics

Santa Clara University School of Business faculty and staff summer reading 2011Here are some suggestions:  

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Fascinating account of the origin of HeLa cells, the first human cells successfully cultured in vitro, which have played such an important role in biomedical research.  Combination of gripping personal stories with excellent science writing.   

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer 
Interesting insights into how the mind works by a journalist who became so involved with his subject that he trained for and competed in the U.S. Memory championship.   

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Gail Steketee and Randy Frost 
Having trouble figuring out what to get rid of and what to hold on to?  Read this book for some frightening perspectives on those who can't let go.  

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough 
If you like history and you like Paris, you'll enjoy this narrative of Americans abroad in the nineteenth century.

Terri Griffith
Professor of Management

The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement and Creativity at Work by Theresa Amabile and Steven Kramer
My pre-review:

The Innovators Manifesto: Deliberate Disruption for Transformational Growth by Michael Raynor
(I will be assigning in Mgmt 524)

Little Bets : How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Simshttp

42 Rules for Your New Leadership Role : The Manual They Didn't Hand You When You Made VP, Director, or Manager
Here's alumna Nilofer Merchant's review:

I'm looking forward to readingThe Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreners Use Continous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries 

John Heineke
Professor of Economics

Santa Clara University School of Business Faculty and Staff Summer Reading 2011The Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens — Philosophy

Black Holes and Time Warps by Kip Thorne — Physics

The Canon by Natalie Angier  — Science

The Dying Animal by Phillip Roth — Fiction

Donna Johnston-Blair
Lecturer in Accounting

Books I have loved (or really liked), all of which were fiction and read this summer:

Memiors of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Michael Kevane
Associate Professor of Economics

For fun I read Vernor Vinge's fantastic science-fiction novels Marooned in Realtime and A Fire Upon the Deep. Both great fun, especially because of Vinge's amazing imagining of what happens once humans get to the point of being able to transcend lots of limitation by interfacing directly with machines. 

I read a lot of African literature, and highly recommend Tail of the Blue Bird, a lyrical detective novel set in rural Ghana, by Nii Ayikwei Parkes.

Barry Posner
Michael Accolti, S.J. Professor of Leadership

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

City of Thieves by David Benioff

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Ravi Shanmugam
Assistant Professor of Marketing

Santa Clara University School of Business faculty and staff summer 2011 readingStumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. Very interesting book by a Harvard psychologist about "ways in which people mispredict what makes them happy". I'd go so far as to say this is something everyone should's a real eye-opener.

The Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler. This book will change the way you view American cities, suburbs, and our man-made environment. I just re-read's that good, despite being almost 20 years old.

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. A typically insightful Bryson book that covers a lot of random topics.

The Best Laid Plans and The High Road by Terry Fallis. Two hilarious novels about Canadian politics. (No, really, "hilarious novel" and "Canadian politics" can appear in the same sentence)

Sharon Squyres
Economics Administrative Assistant

My son has me addicted to Stephen King. Every time I finish a book and try to read a different author I end up contacting him for another Stephen King recommendation. So far, I'd say Bag of Bones has been my favorite.  I read It and may never look at a storm drain again without a bit of a chill down my spine. I also enjoyed The Stand and Needful Things.

I discovered a devotional Bible and am finally motivated to read all the way through: The Devotional Bible: Experiencing the Heart of Jesus (NCV) with notes by Max Lucado. It has rather short passages between notes so I can easily read a passage every day.

Drew Starbird
Dean and Professor of Operations Management & Information Systems

Santa Clara University School of Business faculty and staff summer 2011 readingNo Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One that Isn't by Robert Sutton

Rational Optimist by Matthew Ridley

Sacred: A Novel by Dennis Lehane

The Double Traitor by E. Philips Oppenheim

What I Saw in California by Edwin Bryant

All The Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis by Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean

The Theory that Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne

William Sundstrom
Department Chair and Professor of Economics

The best novel I read this summer was World's Fair by E.L. Doctorow. For a novelist who often paints on a large canvas, this is something of a miniature, a coming-of-age novel in which not much really happens. Except that a unique and compelling young human being finds his place in the world, which for him consists of the Bronx in the 1930s. Beautiful.

Ready Player One, a new near-future cyberpunk novel by Ernest Cline, has gotten a lot of positive press this summer. I'd describe it as Ender's Game meets Snow Crash, plus plentiful lame 1980s pop culture references, as written by a lousy writer. If you enjoy that sort of thing, you should read it. Otherwise, re-reading Ender's Game and Snow Crash is a better use of your time.

On your poetry reading list: W.S. Merwin's The Shadow of Sirius, featuring the former poet laureate's crystalline meditations on aging and death. Not as depressing as it sounds.

For all you nature lovers, buy yourself a copy of John Tyler Bonner's The Social Amoebae. If you appreciate slime molds as much as I do (and surely you must), you'll want to read this enthusiastic account of their rather amazing social life. It also has lovely illustrations.

Richard Trevisan
Lecturer in Management

For a model of courage, Laura Hillenbrand's book Unbroken is the story to read.

As she puts it, it is "A World War II story of survival, resilience and redemption," telling the story of Louis Zamperini, whose B24 bomber crashed in the Pacific Ocean May, 1943.  He spent 46 days on a life raft before being rescued, then imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp until the end of WWII.  The experiences are unimaginable. A great example of leadership under fire for any area of life.

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