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Faculty picks: Ten must-read books and top podcasts to explore this summer

Jun 26, 2024

Summer Reads 2024

Looking to spruce up your library this summer? Check out this curated list of books and podcasts that are highly recommended by Ivey faculty members. From compelling narratives about life and leadership, to insightful discussions about the future of work and Canada’s history, these picks are sure to please.

Laurel Austin's pick 

Laurel Austin is an associate professor of management science who studies individual decision-making under risk and uncertainty. 

The Engineering with Nature Podcast, specifically S6 E6 Preserving an Important Historical Island with Nature-based Solutions
Hosted by Sarah Thorne and Jeff King 

The Engineering with Nature Podcast is an extension of the work of a community of researchers, practitioners, and educators who are addressing the major infrastructure challenges facing society – work that inspires Laurel Austin. She particularly enjoyed Season 6, Episode 6, Preserving an Important Historical Island with Nature-based Solutions, which tells the story of Saint Croix Island, an uninhabited island that forms part of the Canada-United States border, from its beginnings through to the impacts of climate change on it today.

“In this episode, listeners learn how Saint Croix Island, situated between New Brunswick and Maine, and important for thousands of years to the Passamoquoddy Nation, is threatened by climate change and sea-level rise,” she says. “We hear of a large collaboration to design nature-based solutions, rather than concrete-based infrastructure, to save this important island, with learnings for applying nature-based solutions to build coastal resilience more generally.”

Tima Bansal's pick 

Tima Bansal is a professor of sustainability and strategy, Founder & Lab Leader of Innovation North, and holds a Canada Research Chair in Business Sustainability. 

The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain
by Annie Murphy Paul 

When it comes to thinking, we’re more than just our brains, says acclaimed science writer Annie Murphy Paul, whose latest book explains how our learning potential extends to the body, physical spaces, relationships with other people, and material objects. Paul’s insights on the complexity of our thought processes resonated with Tima Bansal, whose own research notes the connections between people, ideas, and things.   

“Too often we hear about the difference between head and heart or body and mind. Annie Murphy Paul shows that the two are intimately connected. How we think and act go hand-in-hand,” says Bansal.

Tiffany Bayley's pick 

Tiffany Bayley is an assistant professor of management science specializing in prescriptive and predictive analytics. 

Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI  
by Ethan Mollick

The continuous rise of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) can be a difficult adjustment for those who are apprehensive about the new technology, but this book by Wharton professor Ethan Mollick offers an introductory approach to the rapidly changing environment and its impact on human work.

Tiffany Bayley says the book explains the ways that GenAI can be used to automate mundane tasks and enhance both creativity and productivity.

“I appreciate the discussions that emphasize how expertise in a domain is still important, especially if we want to benefit from the extra edge GenAI can provide,” she said.

June Cotte's pick 

June Cotte is a professor of marketing and Co-Editor of the Journal of Consumer Research whose research interests focus on behavioral issues.

How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
by Katy Milkman

Trying to change bad habits is not easy, but award-winning behavioural scientist Katy Milkman shares strategic methods for overcoming some common shortcomings such as impulsivity, procrastination, and forgetfulness in a way that June Cotte says can help us to make a fresh start. 

“Do you typically procrastinate more than you should? Do you forget your goals and act more impulsively than you should? Don’t we all? I really liked Katy Milkman’s book for its mix of social science research and practical helpful recommendations for these sorts of problems,” she says.

Fraser Johnson's pick 

Fraser Johnson, HBA '82, MBA '92, PhD '95, is the Leenders Supply Chain Management Association Chair, Director of the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index, and a professor of operations management.    

Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson’s book about the famous entrepreneur, innovator, and co-founder of Apple Inc. details the interesting life and journey of Steve Jobs including his upbringing, leadership style, and personal struggles. Isaacson’s writing reinforces Jobs as an influential figure in the tech industry who was driven by a relentless pursuit for innovation.

“This biography is an excellent read, even if you are not a technology enthusiast, providing interesting lessons about business and life,” says Johnson.

Rob Klassen's pick 

Rob Klassen, MBA '89, is Ivey’s Associate Dean of Research, a professor of operations management and sustainability, Faculty Scholar at Western University, and Magna International Inc. Chair in Business Administration. 

Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story
by Bono (Paul David Hewson)

In this book, Bono reflects on his life and career as a singer with Irish rock band U2 and an activist in a structure that connects each chapter to a specific U2 song. Expanding on his personal experiences, career, and the social and political issues that have influenced his work, he provides an inspiring account of the events that have shaped the person he is today.

“Bono’s autobiography provides a thoughtful reflection on how our careers intersect with significant social issues, our responsibility to continue to learn about our changing social and environmental context, and the critical importance of treating our colleagues with respect,” says Klassen.

Kirk Kristofferson's pick 

Kirk Kristofferson is an assistant professor of marketing specializing in social influence and persuasion in consumption contexts. 

Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life
by Arnold Schwarzenegger

This book by the world’s greatest body builder (plus actor and former politician) offers straightforward advice on how to be your best self. Through personal stories detailing triumphs and challenges, Schwarzenegger emphasizes the importance of self-resilience and connecting to your purpose to craft a fulfilling future. 

“I really enjoyed this book,” says Kristofferson. “Arnold tells it like it is and doesn’t sugar coat what it takes to succeed. Hard work, amongst other things, is key.”

Klaus Meyer's pick 

Klaus Meyer is a professor of international business whose research  focuses on the strategies of multinational enterprises (MNEs), especially foreign entry strategies in emerging economies.

The Nations of Canada Podcast
Hosted by Greg Koabel

As a newcomer to Canada, Klaus Meyer has appreciated this podcast series from historian Greg Koabel that provides a narrative history of Canada from its first inhabitants to the present day, particularly the revelations about Indigenous Canadian history.

“I believe the decolonization and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) agenda we as society (and the university in particular) face needs to be grounded in an appreciation and critical re-evaluation of one’s own history,” he says. “The Nations of Canada Podcast episodes have provided me with a comprehensive, if at times overly detailed, narrative of the history of the different groups that today make up Canadian society.”

Matthew Sooy's pick 

Matthew Sooy is an assistant professor of managerial accounting and control whose research looks at influences on financial decision-making. 


Einstein’s Dreams
by Alan Lightman

Unlike the title suggests, this international bestseller by American physicist Alan Lightman is not about Albert Einstein himself, but instead our conception of time – from the perception that time is standing still to that of it being circular. The book includes 30 chapters that each recount a fictional dream from Einstein exploring how time might play out in our lives. Matthew Sooy says it’s an enlightening view of one of our most valuable assets.

“Time is one of our most precious resources and this collection of short fiction stories reflects on all of the many ways that we might interact with time in a healthier and more fulfilling way,” he says.

Mary Weil's pick 

Mary Weil is a lecturer in the management communications group. 

Hard ForkThe New York Times 
Hosted by Kevin Roose and Casey Newton

This podcast hosted by journalists Kevin Roose and Casey Newton looks at the rapidly changing world of tech with a distinct focus on the presence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our daily lives.

“The Hard Fork hosts and guests crack open the ever-evolving world of technology – from AI safety, to how people are using AI at work, to smartphones and kids – all themes that resonate with me as I think about students using technology in our classrooms and as they start working,” says Weil.