7 CEOs reveal what’s on their summer reading list

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From historical fiction to an Elon Musk biography, C-Suite executives have revealed the book they’re looking forward to reading over the summer break.
Woman reading in a book in a hotel park, enjoying her free time.

With the holidays upon us, Forbes Australia reached out to C-Suite executives about what’s on their summer reading list.


Blackmores Group CEO, Alastair Symington

I have been reading Dr Larry Marshall’s new book “Invention to Innovation”, which I really enjoy. It tracks how to navigate across the “valley of death” from science based deep technology ideas to the foundation of new, innovative, home grown Australian companies based on his experience in the US and former CEO of the CSIRO.


Chobani Australia, general manager, people & culture, Chris Eaton

For me, summer means putting screens aside and diving into the stack of books I’ve saved up all year. Anything by Ken Follett is my go-to. His historical fiction weaves significant events and generations of characters. This year I can’t wait to get stuck into his latest novel The Armour of Light – which is the fifth in his Kingsbridge series. Connecting with a book feels like reconnecting with old friends. Follett’s storytelling draws me in and once I get to know the characters, I can get lost for hours. I’m fascinated by history and understanding relationships, community evolution, and the impact of historical events on society. A cheeky second recommendation: Bryce Courtney’s The Power of One, one of my all-time favourites. I was lucky enough to meet Bryce many years ago and the words he wrote in my copy of this book still linger: “let your imagination walk the wildest, unknown way”.


ReadyTech, CEO and co-founder, Marc Washbourne

Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson. I love a good biography, and I’m expecting some really cool insights knowing Isaacson shadowed Elon for 2 years to capture his story.

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The Reject Shop, CEO, Clinton Cahn

I typically gravitate towards non-fiction but this summer I am looking forward to reading Mitch Albom’s latest novel: The Little Liar. I haven’t started the book yet but it is the story of a young boy in Greece who is known in his town as someone who never tells a lie. When the Nazis invade his town during World War II, a German officer takes advantage of the trust that everyone in the town has in the boy. I’ve deliberately avoided finding out anything further about the book other than that it delves into the grey area between truth and lies as well as the power of forgiveness. Mitch Albom is a wonderful storyteller (I’m a big fan of Tuesdays With Morrie) so I’m expecting The Little Liar to be an excellent read.


HIGH END, CEO & CTO, Lauren Kennedy

I am trying to get through all of the penguin classics, I am up to Russian Thinkers by Isaiah Berlin – it’s an interesting read on the Russian revolution. 


HIGH END, CEO & COO, Brooke Marks

The book that I am reading at the moment is ‘The brain that changes itself’, by Norman Doidge.


DoorDash, general manager, Puji Fernando

My father recently gifted me with Mastery by Robert Greene ahead of the arrival of my first child due in January. It’s a book that dives into the lives of historical world figures, which I’m really looking forward to reading over the next few weeks. My father wrote a beautiful note on the first page which included some advice on becoming a new dad, so it’ll be a really special summer read for me.


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