by Mark Fornasiero

We’ve said it many times, but we love books here at ACE. Our regular Book Club meetings, where we dig into interesting non-fiction books on business and personal development, are always a hit. They also provide gift ideas for the holiday season. If you’re in need of suggestions for the readers on your list, you won’t go wrong with any of these titles.


Another good read from Adam Grant, a Wharton business professor who specializes in organizational psychology. As humans we are particularly poor at judging situations and people. Our first impressions are notoriously wrong. A lot. Grant points how our innate biases lead to poor decision-making and outcomes. Fortunately, he also gives the reader lots of ways to improve the way we assess people and situations so we can make better choices.


From the grand poobah of behavioural economics, Nobel prize-winner Dan Kahneman. Whether it is in business, medicine, or science, we are often very unaware just how much noise is in the information that reaches us and how it clouds our judgement, often with disastrous effects.


Just about everything we do in business is about trying to create change; change in people (including ourselves) especially. Milkman is another Wharton professor who studies behavioural change. Based on large amounts of research and scientific work, this book lays out many ways to alter your behaviour to create the change you are seeking.


This book essentially introduces a whole new field of economics and perspective on economic thinking. The classical view of economics (the Adam Smith school) is well entrenched in our thinking. Behavioural economics is also now pretty much everywhere we look (all those ‘like’ buttons and ‘people also bought’ suggestions on Amazon, are forms of behavioural economics). Robb introduces a third way to look at the economic choices we make, one that is rooted in individual, ‘wilful’ action.


The subtitle – The Quest for a Moral Life – really says it all about the theme of this book. Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times, shares his own journey in trying to bring a higher degree of morality into his life. Along with many wonderful stories of regular people making the unconventional decision to live a more purposeful life, the book also suggests ways in which you might bring more morality and virtue into your own life. 


You may have a general sense of how the indigenous people of North and South America impacted western European culture, but you will be blown away by how much we owe them after reading this book. Our democratic form of government, the roots of our financial system, medicine, agriculture, and ecology are all directly a result of the knowledge and wisdom indigenous people developed in the centuries before Europeans landed here. A remarkable book.

Also: you are invited you to join us at our next ACE Book Talk on Wednesday, January 26 from 8:45–9:30am. We will be discussing Three Colors, Twelve Notes, by Catherine Harrison. Catherine, an ACE member, will lead the conversation. This insightful read is a memoir and a guidebook for the curious and those who want to learn how to cultivate a reflective mindset. Email us at if you’d like to reserve a spot.

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