My Favorite Things of 2016

The lists below reflect my favorite things of 2016. They are not the “best of” 2016 from a critical or popular perspective. They are simply the things I enjoyed most, found myself using most, or the things that I found most meaningful in 2016. Here are some questions and comments that I receive often about my lists, and my responses:

How do you read so many books in a year? I do not subscribe to WIFI on flights, and regardless of what deadlines I have or what emails are in my Inbox, I read.

You listen to Top 40 music and don’t seem to know music that goes beyond it. Guilty. Not a passion, and I don’t make time to find new music. I love recommendations though.

You don’t read much fiction. Guilty. I swear every year that I will read more fiction, but I struggle to do it. There is too much that I need to read for my own profession.

You don’t see many blockbuster films or Super Hero movies. Guilty. I have limited time to see movies, and I prefer to see movies that challenge me or that move me.

You don’t go to chain restaurants. That’s right. I love fresh food, and organic when I can find it. Locally owned restaurants are one of the best ways to experience a local culture.

What resources do you use to find … Restaurants: Yelp and Infatuation apps. Broadway: New York Times and TodayTix app. Books: Amazon, Twitter, NYT, WSJ.

Here are my favorite things of 2016:



Leadership: Learning Leadership by James Kousez and Barry Posner, Presence by Amy Cuddy, Executive Presence by Sylia Ann Hewlett, Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle, The Outward Mindset by the Arbinger Institute, Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart by Mary Beth A. O’Neill

Psychology and Self-Improvement: Mindset by Carol Dweck, The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Stanley Zander, People Styles at Work and Beyond by Dorothy Bolton and Grover Bolton

Spirituality: Reviving Old Scratch by Richard Beck, How to Survive a Shipwreck by Jonathan Martin, Strong and Weak by Andy Crouch, Pastrix by Nadia Boltz-Weber

Autobiography: Worthy Fights by Leon Panetta, M Train by Patti Smith, The Light of The World by Elizabeth Alexander, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

Fiction: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler


Drama: Silence, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, Hacksaw Ridge, The Edge of Seventeen, Lion, Arrival, Fences, Hidden Fences

Animated:  Zootopia

Musical: La La Land

Comedy:  Florence Foster Jenkins

Documentary:  13 on Netflix, Weiner


This Is Us (NBC), Morning Joe (MSNBC), The Crown (Netflix), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Netflix), The Chelsea Show (Netflix)


That is What You Came For by Calvin Harris and Rihanna, Greatest by Sia, Forever Love by Dolly Parton, Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake, Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw, Let’s Hurt Tonight by One Republic, Wasted Time by Keith Urban, Setting the World on Fire by Kenny Chesney and Pink, Fight Song by Rachel Platten, Fierce by Hillsong, Audition: The Fools Who Dream from La La Land; Hamilton: The Soundtrack



The Color Purple; Falsettos; The Curious Incident of the Dog at Midnight; Prodigal Son


The David Gregory Show, Tim Ferriss Show, Making Oprah, The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe, HBR IdeaCast, NYT Book Review


New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Infatuation, The Skimm, Avis, Delta, Blinkist, Venmo, Marriott, 60dB, Nuzzel, PhotoScan, Prisma, Snapchat, Tiny Scanner


Vaca, Costa Mesa, California; The Girl and the Goat, Chicago; TrueBurger, Oakland, California; Marlowe, San Francisco; etc. , Nashville, Tennessee; Cosme, New York; High Street on Hudson, New York; Maple & Ash, Chicago; ; Maple Street Grill, Eagleville, Tennessee; Nico Osteria, Chicago; Vernick Food and Drink, Philadelphia; Hometown Barbecue, Brooklyn, New York; Coqueta, San Francisco; Lillia, Brooklyn, New York; Tacuba, New York; Central Provisions, Portland, Maine; Red Fin Crudo + Kitchen, Providence, Rhode Island.

For a city by city list of my favorite restaurants and reviews, see my Yelp lists.

Leave a Comment