Hello everyone and welcome to episode number 6 of Books for Thought. As some of you may already know my name is Sofía and I’m IEC’s managing director. Today’s episode is going to be a little different than our previous ones, instead of selecting books in relation to a specific study area, I’m going to talk about my favorite books that I have read this year.

I have told you in previous occasions that I am an avid reader, at the moment of this recording I have read 65 books and I think I will read some more before the years ends. This is why I want to share with you my top five reads of 2020, although it hasn’t been easy choosing only five.

BOOK ONE: The ride of a lifetime: Lessons learned from 15 years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company
Author: Robert Iger

I’ve enjoyed so much reading this book, specially because last year I loved reading the book Creativity by Pixar’s co-founder Ed Catmull. In this book you get to read about some of the same stories from Creativity, such as Pixar´s acquisition by the Walt Disney Company, but from a different perspective.

In The Ride of a Lifetime, Bog Iger reviews in detail the main milestones of the Walt Disney Company during his 45 years there and shares with us many valuable leadership lessons. Actually, at the end of the book he gathers some of his key learnings that for sure I will revisit it in the future.
I also loved reading about Iger’s sincere friendship with Steve Jobs, how despite Jobs difficult personality they were able to become close friends.
I think anyone can enjoy this book, whether you are looking for a business memoir or just want to read an engaging book.

BOOK TWO: Shoe Dog: A memoir by the creator of Nike
Author: Phil Knight

As you can see I love reading interesting business memoirs and Shoe Dog has been one of my all time favorites.
I had a great time reading about how Phil Knight went from borrowing 50 dollars from his dad to building Nike, one of the most loved and admired companies in the world.

In this book you get to see what success really looks like and the secret behind it is only very hard work.

Knight is an amazing storyteller and he does a great job describing how the company after one of the most recognizable logos in the world was founded and all the challenges he encountered along the way.

BOOK THREE: A little life
Author: Hanya Yanagihara

Winner and finalist of many awards, this novel follows the life of four friends since they start college through to middle age. There is the beautiful and talented actor Willem, JB the painter, Malcom the architect and Jude the enigmatic lawyer.

We get to read how their relationships change over the decades and their lives become more and more complicated. I don’t get into any more detail so I don’t spoil anything.

This has been one of the hardest and more heartbreaking books I have read in my life. I must say it’s a profoundly moving book, not for everybody.

BOOK FOUR: The Beekeeper of Alepo
Author: Christy Lefteri

This book tells the story of two refugees, Nuri a beekeeper and Afra his wife, and their journey until they arrive in England escaping from Aleppo.
This book explains perfectly the terrible situations refugees have to face once they are forced to leave their home countries.
Brought up in London, the author is the child of Cypriot refugees. Currently, she is a lecturer in creative writing at Brunel University. The Beekeeper of Aleppo was born out during her time working as a volunteer at a Unicef in a refugee camp in Athens.

BOOK FIVE: Tuesdays with Morrie: an old man, a young man, and life´s greatest lesson
Author: Mitch Albom

In this book Mitch Albom reunites with his college professor and mentor Morrie Swartz when he is facing his final days.

Mitch meets with Morrie every Tuesday to receive one final class on lessons how to live life.

It was a delightful read that I enjoyed a lot and I’m sure you will too.