Nashville Thought-Readers

An exclusive look at the books fueling Nashville leaders.

John Stein

President, Tennessee Bank of America

Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Read time* 2 hr. 31 min. | 122 pg.

Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of “buccaneers and buried gold.” [Read more]

I read this when I was 10 and it fueled my imagination with pirate treasure, sailing adventures, intrigue and exotic tropical locales. Growing up in Florida, I was enthralled with the vivid reality this book created. It was a powerful grab.

Again, as a boy whose playground (Not in Library Catalog) was the ocean, I was inspired by this book to learn everything I could about skin diving and scuba diving. It stuck with me and almost motivated me into a career in marine biology.

Young Skin Diver

by Philip Harkins

Read time* 2 hr. | 188 pg.

This classic adolescent reading novel tells the story of a young skin diver and his adventures! [Read more]

Casino Royale: James Bond Series, Book 1

by Ian Fleming

Read time* 3 hr. 53 min. | 188 pg.

In the novel that introduced James Bond to the world, Ian Fleming’s agent 007 is dispatched to a French casino in Royale-les-Eaux. His mission? Bankrupt a ruthless Russian agent who’s been on a bad luck streak at the baccarat table. [Read more]

As a young teenager, I was mesmerized by not just the cool and brave character of James Bond, but also the world of international intrigue, the craft of spying and all the amazing gadgetry that went along with it. The interweaving of all those things with Fleming’s characters captivated me.

Lesser known than his One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, this novel depicts family challenges in a rugged Oregon logging community. I was drawn to the unique characters, their fierce stubbornness and each one’s struggle to find his or her path. I found the writing amazing.

Sometimes a Great Notion: A Novel

by Ken Kesey

Read time* 13 hr. 13 min. | 640 pg.

The magnificent second novel from the legendary author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sailor Song is a wild-spirited and hugely powerful tale of an Oregon logging clan. [Read more]

Reckless endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon

by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner

Read time* 7 hr. 36 min | 368 pg.

In Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson exposes how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that finally blew up the American economy. [Read more]

This is arguably the most detailed and complete depiction of the recent financial crisis. It’s my favorite of the genre, because it provides an in depth discussion going back to the root cause of the collapse in the 1990s when political and private sector activities laid the groundwork for what culminated in a very-little-understood economic collapse. It’s a remarkable history of the many-faceted elements that set this in motion.

*Read time estimate based on 250 wpm

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