MBA News: UVA Darden Dean Robert F. Bruner’s Reading Recommendations for 2012

Facing the oversaturation of information and intrusive mediums through which to absorb information, University of Virginia Darden School of Business Dean Robert F. Bruner suggests in a recent blog post published on DeansTalk that the key to managing an intellectual lifestyle that benefits you in the business world is to develop healthy reading habits. Himself an avid iPad, Kindle and MacBook Air user—in addition to still reading physical books and periodicals—Bruner advises students to make time to read and talk to others about reading. “Lots of business professionals focus exclusively on business self-help books and magazines. Big mistake,” Bruner says. “You’ll boost your resilience, creativity and repertoire by going farther afield.”

Bruner’s daily reading list includes the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, stressing the importance of gaining different editorial perspectives and staying current. He also supplements major newspapers with other periodicals, such as The Economist (which he reads cover-to-cover in one sitting), Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, Atlantic, Wired, Forbes and The New Yorker.

The dean points out that beyond keeping up with news, real insight and critical perspective come through reading books. So, of the 30 to 50 books that Bruner reads per year, here are some of his recent favorites:

1. David Herbert Donald, Lincoln

2. Garry Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America

3. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs

4. Nassir Ghaemi, A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links between Leadership and Mental Illness

5. Sudhir Venkatesh, Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets

6. Sheena Iyengar, The Art of Choosing

7. Gary Gallagher, editor, Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander

8. Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking (Also see Susan Cain’s TED talk “The Power of Introverts”)

9. Julius Caesar, The Conquest of Gaul

10. Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs

11. Elaine Pagels, Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelations

12. Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848; The Age of Capital: 1848-1875; The Age of Empire: 1875-1914; The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991

13. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

14. Jo Nesbo, The Leopard

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