A few years ago, after I became Chair of the Securities Law Committee of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, I did something that I thought would be criticized – I posted a list of the top 10 books I’d read the prior year. I thought I’d be criticized, not only because the topic had absolutely nothing to do with the Committee, but also because of my weird taste in reading. To my surprise, the posting generated a lot of positive responses (and no negative ones, to my recollection). And so I decided make this an annual event.
From my humble perspective, 2014 was not a great year for reading. I read lots of books, but the good ones were few and far between. The good news is that this made it easier for me to choose the 10 I liked the most. BTW – note that these are books that I read in 2014, not necessarily books that were published during the year. So here goes.
- The Moor’s Account, by Laila Lalani – A novel based on an actual Spanish expedition to Florida in that failed, one of the few survivors a Moroccan slave who is the author of the account
- The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd – Another historical novel about two sisters in Charleston who became abolitionists
- An Officer and a Spy, by Robert Harris – Still a third historical novel based on the infamous Dreyfus affair in 19th Century Paris
- The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress, by Ariel Lawhon – A delightfully atmospheric take on the disappearance of Judge Crater in Jazz Age New York
- All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr – A serious historical novel about intersecting tragic lives in World War II; I didn’t love the ending, but it was a good read
- Timeless, by Lucinda Franks – A highly flawed but fascinating memoir by the wife of former New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau
- Days of Fire, by Peter Baker – A fascinating analysis of the relationship between “W” and Vice President Cheney
- One Summer, by Bill Bryson – My first Bryson work; a very enjoyable romp through the summer of 1927
- Stress Test, by Tim Geithner – A surprisingly candid and unpretentious memoir by former Treasury Secretary Geithner, who comes across far better in his own words than in others’
- Empress Dowager Cixi, by Jung Chiang – A fascinating biography of a fascinating – and possibly greatly misunderstood – historical figure
There it is. I’d like to know what you think.