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2019 Scrummer Reading List

It’s that time of year again  - and our annual reading list is back with a twist. For 2019 we’re expanding the suggestions from the Scrum Inc. Team to include podcasts and even some TV shows.

We’re hoping to add your suggestions to the list. What book/podcast or TV show do you binge on at the beach (or by the fire for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere)? Or just enjoy enough that you want to share? 

Jeff Sutherland, Founder and Principal Consultant of Scrum Inc. and co-creator of Scrum recommends:

"Counterpart" American Sci-Fi Thriller Series (TV)

What might be different if a person could co-exist in an alternate world? This is the premise explored in the two seasons of this sci-fi show with spies and intrigue that has captured Jeff's attention and makes him wonder how he would manage if he could exist in two universes.


JJ Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer recommends:

  "Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society " by Nicholas A. Christakis.

This book explores the interesting idea that societies are fundamentally good, and not raw in tooth and claw as some imagine. In fact, the good parts of societies are the truest part and a huge evolutionary advantage. A really heartening book in the incredibly polarized times we live in. The concept is actually very much in line with Scrum: "Have a system that frees people to do good, and they will." It’s our basic nature.

McCaul Baggett, Coach and Trainer recommends:

“Training from the Back of the Room” by Sharon L. Bowman

McCaul's favorite Scrum role is that of Scrum Master. And he has a passion for improving his ability to facilitate and bring out the best in the organizations and teams he works with. Which is why “Training from the Back of the Room" is his beach reading of choice. This book has made our list before, but its 65 training strategies are effective and innovative to this day and well worth a read. 


Patrick Roach, Chief Product Owner, Training & Consulting recommends:

"Moonwalking with Einstein" by Joshua Foer 

Patrick is one of our team in love with this book about the quest to understand the relationship between humans and memory. As stated in the book's description, This is an electrifying work of journalism that reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.”



Veronica Ruiz, Director, Marketing and Communications recommends:

How to Fail with Elizabeth Day - Podcast

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better. Honest and candid interviews with celebrities across all walks of life exploring their failures and how these events changed the direction of their life, for the better. Interviews are warm and in-depth. The host does a great job getting guests to openly share when and how things went badly. Veronica says: "It actually feels like a chat with friends!"


Avi Schneier, Scrum Master, Sales, Trainer & Coach recommends:

  Teach Like Socrates: Guiding Socratic Dialogues and Discussions in the Classroom by Eric Wilberding

The Socratic Method is about meeting students where they are and leading them to greater understanding. The same can be used by an Agile Coach to help the team find their best way forward. This book is meant for the middle & high school classroom, but the principles can be used by all of us on the path of servant leadership.

Alex Uriarte, Scrum Master, Trainer recommends:

  Dare to Lead  by Brené Brown

“The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”  This is one of the lessons from the book that offers practical teachable skills for developing "brave leaders and courageous cultures." These skills benefit the leaders and the business they work in. Alex was drawn to learning and practicing these skills as well as teaching these skills.

Arline Sutherland, Chief of Operations, Trainer recommends:

"The Friend"  by Sigrid Nunez

As a dog lover, Arline was drawn to this book because of the dog on the cover. While the photogenic dog is a character, it is not the thrust of the narrative. This is a beautifully written novel about life, friendship - the difficult parts as well as the poignant aspects, loss, grief and moving through.


Mark Rosania, Product Owner, Transformation Services recommends:

"BBQ&A" by Myron Mixon

Mark and his family recently moved to North Carolina. And his suggestion is all about the South’s signature summer food - BBQ. As Mark rightly notes, “Myron Mixon is one of the kings of BBQ. I am new to smoking and this book takes you from the basics to the point of being able to produce some wonderful food. I like things that appear simple but are really quite complex. Scrum's that way as well.”


Tom Bullock, Storyteller recommends:


“Sous Vide at Home: The Modern Technique for Perfectly Cooked Meals" by Lisa Fetterman  

Tom is another Scrum Inc team member who loves to cook. Especially if the style is “low and slow”. When his backyard smoker isn’t in use his sous vide is working away. This cookbook, Tom says, is "a great mix of beginning and advanced recipes. as good for the beginner as those with experience."

But what can you do while you wait for those perfectly slow-cooked meals to finish? Tom began his career in radio and is still loves to listen to a well-told, informative story. So he also suggests these podcasts: 

  • TED Talks Business - “I like the mix of subject and deliveries. Even subjects I’m not naturally drawn to seem to pull me in.” 
  • HBR Ideacast - “It’s like Fresh Air for the business-minded listener”
  • Revolutions - “One of the best history podcasts period. Especially interesting to me was the 1848 revolutions in Europe. A warning to all of us that better ideas and systems don’t always win out just because they’re better.”




Brandon Cole, Art Director recommends:

"The Scrum Fieldbook: A Master Class on Acclerating Performance Getting Results, and Defining the Future"  by JJ Sutherland

Brandon got his hands on this a bit earlier than its public release, but let me tell you... you're going to want to preorder and read it. The book is based on years of work in the field with scores of companies including Bosch, 3M, Schlumberger, and Saab, The Scrum Fieldbook delivers a hands-on, practical approach for successfully implementing the Scrum framework in any domain. You can preorder your own at the link above. 




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