Choosing Books to Present at Upcoming sessions of the First Friday Book Synopsis – Here’s what I am thinking about (with a list of the books I have presented in 2021)

(For a complete list of the books I have presented January-November, 2021, scroll to the bottom of this post).


As we begin to wrap up the First Friday Book Synopsis for 2021, I face , yet again, the hardest part of my job at the First Friday Book Synopsis: choosing books to present.

The First Friday Book Synopsis is our monthly event, based in Dallas, which was begun in April, 1998. We present synopses of two business books every month. More than 23 and a half years, two books every month, each with a multi-page, comprehensive synopsis handout (a savable and study-able synopsis artifact).

Thus, in our 23+ years, we have presented synopses of over 560 books.

(Through October, 2017, my former colleague Karl Krayer would present one book, and I would present the other — along with an occasional guest presenter.  Since Karl Krayer suffered a stroke in 2017, I have been presenting both books each month).

There are so many considerations in choosing books:

  • is it a good book.
  • is it a useful book; practicable; actionable.
  • Or, if not actionable, is it the kind of “make-you-think” book that gets the little grey cells working. (That’s a Poirot reference I snuck in there)…

510NuU01osLSometimes, I choose titles because the book is a book that generates a lot of buzz.  The latest Malcolm Gladwell, or Brené Brown, book is sure to do just that.

But, choosing the next book to present, and the next after that, is the most difficult part of my work.

Here are some titles that I am looking at at this moment, to present over the next coming months:

Rule of the Robots: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Everything by Martin Ford

The Age of AI: And Our Human Future – November 2, 2021 by Henry A Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, Daniel Huttenlocher

Risk: A User’s Guide by Stanley A. McChrystal

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown  | Nov 30, 2021

Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact by Liz Wiseman

Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail by Ray Dalio

And, of course, there are others I have not yet spotted, and additional new titles always being 51ZaUPrP21Spublished.

Wish me luck; may I choose wisely!


You can purchase our synopses presentations from the buy synopses tab at the top of this page.  On that page, you can search by book title. And click here for our newest additions.

Each synopsis comes with my comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout, plus the audio recording of my presentation delivered at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.


Think AgainFor reference, here are the books I presented throughout 2021, January-November.

January, 2021 – Zoom

1. Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway. Portfolio (November 24, 2020)

  1. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday. Portfolio; 1st edition (May 1, 2014).

February, 2021 – Zoom

1. Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson. PublicAffairs; Illustrated edition (April 28, 2020)

  1. How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (September 15, 2020)

March, 2021 – Zoom

1. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant. Viking. 2021

2. Business Made Simple: 60 Days to Master Leadership, Sales, Marketing, Execution and More by Donald Miller. HarperCollins Leadership. 2021.

April, 2021 – Zoom

1. 2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything by Mauro F. Guillen.

2. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates. Knopf. 2021.

May, 2021 – Zoom

1. Just Work: Get Sh*t Done, Fast & Fair by Kim Scott. St. Martin’s Press. 2021.

2. The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t by Julia Galef. Portfolio. 2021.

June, 2021 – Zoom

  1. The Premonition: A Pandemic Storyby Michael Lewis – W. W. Norton & Company (May 4, 2021)

2. The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism by Hubert Joly, with Caroline Lambert. Harvard Business Review Press (May 4, 2021)

July, 2021 – Zoom – 2nd Friday –

1. Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment – May 18, 2021 by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein.

2. Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire – May 11, 2021 by Brad Stone.

August, 2021 – Zoom

1. Change: How Organizations Achieve Hard-to-Imagine Results in Uncertain and Volatile Times by John P. Kotter, Vanessa Akhtar, Gaurav Gupta.

2. Humble Inquiry, Second Edition: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling (The Humble Leadership Series)  February 23, 2021, by Edgar H. Schein, Peter A. Schein

September, 2021 – Zoom

1. Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships  – Illustrated, December 13, 2005 by James W. Tamm, Ronald J. Luyet (Contributor)

2. Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere  by Tsedal Neeley, October, 2021 – Zoom

1. AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Quifan. Currency. 2021

2. Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval by Johnny C. Taylor. PublicAffairs; Leaders Guide edition (September 7, 2021)

November, 2021 – Zoom

1. The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World, September 21, 2021, by Dorie Clark

2. The Power of Pressure: Why Pressure Isn’t the Problem, It’s the Solution by Dane Jensen, Collins (August 31, 2021).


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