What’s on your reading list?

We’ve noted before that summer is a great time for accountants to catch up on their reading, so we were particularly excited when Maryland-based thought leaders Tom Hood and Bill Sheridan recently shared a compilation of their favorite books of the year so far.

Hood, the president and CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs, and Sheridan, MACPA’s chief communication officer, put together a fascinating and eclectic list of mostly nonfiction titles – and have promised to update it at the end of the year.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
Bad Blood book cover
Sheridan calls John Carreyrou’s recounting of the alleged fraud committed by would-be health care and blood-testing revolutionary Elizabeth Holmes “the best book I’ve read this year … and the fact that it’s completely true makes it that much better.”

“It’s a piece of non-fiction that reads like a novel,” he notes, “and it serves as a cautionary tale in a world where ‘fake news’ is all too often and easily passed off as the real thing.
The Excellence Dividend, Meeting the Tech Tide with Work that Wows and Jobs that Last
Excellence Dividend cover
You can’t go wrong with Tom Peters, and Hood says the latest title from the highly respected management thinker includes his latest thinking and advice on how to thrive the tech tsunami, adding, “You might be surprised by his counterintuitive advice that does not include learning more technology but instead focuses on what he calls ‘extreme humanism’ relentlessly adding value every day.”
The Professional Service Firm 50: Fifty Ways to Transform Your Department into a Professional Service Firm Whose Trademarks are Passion and Innovation!
If one book by Tom Peters is good, then two is better. This one may be from 1999, but Hood recalls a podcast interview he conducted with Peters where the author said, If people had bought this damn book in 1999, it would have saved millions of white-collar jobs from automation by artifical intelligence and technology.”

Hood also highlights a choice quote: “Accounting is cool. It is important. It can have impact. It can be exciting. It can be beautiful.”
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Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World
Billion dollar whale cover
This story of a fraudster who created a multi-billion-dollar, jet-setting persona who rubbed elbows with political big-wigs, jet-setting celebrity wannabees, and some of the biggest names in Hollywood “is another too-amazing-to-be-true piece of journalism that is true nonetheless … and that’s what makes it great,” according to Sheridan.
The Algorithmic Leader: How to Be Smart When Machines Are Smarter Than You
Algorithmic leader cover
“How do we — a legacy-based profession that’s grounded in the idea that we must spend most of our time looking behind us — take advantage of a sudden influx of new jobs that demand we look further ahead?” asks Sheridan, and this book may offer at least some of the answers. “A great read that will leave you looking at the future of your career in a completely different light.”
Machine, Platform, Crowd, Harnessing Our Digital Future
Machine Platform Crowd cover
“If accounting is the language of business, we had better learn how it applies to the new forms of businesses” that this book covers, Hood warns: Automation, crowd-sourcing and the rising importance of platforms (as opposed to products) are rewriting the rules of success in busines.
LifeScale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life
Lifescale cover
With more things vying for our limited attention, Sheridan says, ”Our job — perhaps our most important job — is to set aside the distractions so we can focus on what’s truly important. In this eye-opening and life-changing book, futurist and thought leader Brian Solis offers a blueprint for escaping the dark side of distractions and living a better life.”
The Technology Fallacy: How People are the Real Key to Digital Transformation
Technology Fallacy cover
Success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution “is actually more about people and the culture supporting how they work and how they must evolve and adapt,” notes Hood, and this book dives into the difference between “doing digital” and “being digital.”

“This is a must read for any leader dealing with organizational transformation,” says Hood.
Singletasking: Get More Done One Thing at a Time
Singletasking cover
Sheridan calls this research-based shot across the bows of multitasking “essential reading,” and suggests that author Devora Zack’s singletasking “isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.”
Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell
Trillion dollar coach
“If Bill Campbell was coaching you, it meant he loved you,” Sheridan says. “But it also meant he had no time to waste on you. He spoke his mind. If you listened, you learned — and chances are, you became a great leader yourself as a result.” Having coached a roster of business greats, Campbell’s wisdom is worth paying attention to.
How to Win in a Winner Take-All World: The Definitive Guide to Adapting and Succeeding in High-Performance Careers
How to Win cover
This book by New York Times senior economic correspondent Neil Irwin offers serious thoughts on the key skill of the 21st century economy: adaptability. And Hood is quick to note Irwin’s challenge to be anticipatory – an approach he, MACPA and their Business Learning Institute have long been championing through their Anticipatory Organization program.
Unleash Your Leader: How to Win in Business
Unleash your leader cover
“This is no less than a blueprint for how to be a great leader in a changing and complex world,” says Sheridan. “This book tells us what we should be doing today to improve our odds of becoming the great leaders of tomorrow.”
Saving Washington: The Forgotten Story of the Maryland 400 and the Battle of Brooklyn
Saving Washington
Given Hood’s pride in Maryland, you might suspect he chose this one out of mere boosterism, but he says this fictional take on the real-life heroism of a small group of Marylanders whose rearguard action helped preserve the Continental Army early in the Revolutionary War offers “a lot of lessons in leadership, like the power of purpose, how leaders always protect their people, how to lead by example, and how to fail fast and learn.” And a great story, too.
Looking for more summer reading? Check out Accounting Today’s annual collection of recommendations.

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