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Great reads for August

The Hidden Life of Trees. What They Feel, How They Communicate. Peter Wohlleben

Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.

After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

Africa’s Business Revolution. How to succeed in the world’s next big growth market. Acha Leke. Mutsa Chironga. Georges Desvaux

For global and Africa-based companies looking to access new growth markets, Africa offers exciting opportunities to build large, profitable businesses. Its population is young, fast-growing, and increasingly urbanized–while rapid technology adoption makes the continent a fertile arena for innovation. But Africa’s business environment remains poorly understood; it’s known to many executives in the West only by its reputation for complexity, conflict, and corruption.

Africa’s Business Revolution provides the inside story on business in Africa and its future growth prospects and helps executives understand and seize the opportunities for building profitable, sustainable enterprises. From senior leaders in McKinsey’s African offices and a leading executive on the continent, this book draws on in-depth proprietary research by the McKinsey Global Institute as well as McKinsey’s extensive experience advising corporate and government leaders across Africa. Brimming with company case studies and exclusive interviews with some of Africa’s most prominent executives, this book comes to life with the vibrant stories of those who have navigated the many twists and turns on the road to building successful businesses on the continent.

Combining an unrivalled fact base with expert advice on shaping and executing an Africa growth strategy, this book is required reading for global business executives looking to expand their existing operations in Africa–and for those seeking a road map to access this vast, untapped market for the first time.

The Sixth Man. Andre Iguodala

The standout memoir from NBA powerhouse Andre Iguodala, the indomitable sixth man of the Golden State Warriors.

Andre Iguodala is one of the most admired players in the NBA. And fresh off the Warriors’ fifth Finals appearance in five years, his game has never been stronger.

Off the court, Iguodala has earned respect, too—for his successful tech investments, his philanthropy, and increasingly for his contributions to the conversation about race in America. It is no surprise, then, that in his first book, Andre, with his cowriter Carvell Wallace, has pushed himself to go further than he ever has before about his life, not only as an athlete but about what makes him who he is at his core.

The Sixth Man traces Andre’s journey from childhood in his Illinois hometown to his Bay Area home court today. Basketball has always been there. But this is the story, too, of his experience of the conflict and racial tension always at hand in a professional league made up largely of African American men; of whether and why the athlete owes the total sacrifice of his body; of the relationship between competition and brotherhood among the players of one of history’s most glorious championship teams. And of what motivates an athlete to keep striving for more once they’ve already achieved the highest level of play they could have dreamed.

On drive, on leadership, on pain, on accomplishment, on the shame of being given a role, and the glory of taking a role on: This is a powerful memoir of life and basketball that reveals new depths to the superstar athlete, and offers tremendous insight into most urgent stories being told in American society today.

Red Notice. Bill Browder

This is a story about an accidental activist. Bill Browder started out his adult life as the Wall Street maverick whose instincts led him to Russia just after the breakup of the Soviet Union, where he made his fortune.

Along the way he exposed corruption, and when he did, he barely escaped with his life. His Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky wasn’t so lucky: he ended up in jail, where he was tortured to death. That changed Browder forever. He saw the murderous heart of the Putin regime and has spent the last half decade on a campaign to expose it. Because of that, he became Putin’s number one enemy, especially after Browder succeeded in having a law passed in the United States—The Magnitsky Act—that punishes a list of Russians implicated in the lawyer’s murder. Putin famously retaliated with a law that bans Americans from adopting Russian orphans.

A financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade, Red Notice is the story of one man taking on overpowering odds to change the world, and also the story of how, without intending to, he found meaning in his life.

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