CFO 4.0 Podcast: Top reads for CFOs this summer with Mark Gandy

In CFO by Tamara

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Host of CFO Bookshelf, Mark Gandy joined Hannah Munro on the CFO 4.0 podcast to talk about their top reads for CFO this summer!

Hannah and Mark discuss their shared passion for reading and together, compile a list of their top books for you to work your way through.

What was covered in the episode?

  • Hannah & Mark’s favourite genre of books
  • Why people in finance should embrace their creative side
  • Mark’s top book recommendations for finance
  • What books should CFOs be reading on their next beach holiday
  • What you can learn from narrative non-fiction books

How can I watch or listen to this episode?

Before we get stuck in, if you would prefer, you can watch the podcast video below or listen to it on your favourite podcast streaming platform by searching for ‘CFO 4.0’.

Some key highlights from the episode

Hannah & Mark’s favourite genre of books

When discussing their favourite genre of books, they both realised that they couldn’t just pin it down to one genre.

Mark narrows his favourite genres down to narrative nonfiction and creative nonfiction – describing books that entertain, inspire and instruct as special. Despite loving fictional books too, he finds that he rarely has the time to consume them.

“When you can get a book that does all three, entertain, inspire and instruct, you’ve got a special book. And I think I just accidentally found that narrative nonfiction is my favourite. Narrative nonfiction is very broad. It’s gonna be memoirs, it’s gonna be autobiographies, biographies, and then what I call creative nonfiction, so that’d be like the bad Bloods.”

Hannah is a big lover of both psychology-focused business books and fiction, leaning towards fantasy and space operas. Whilst talking about her favourite genres, Hannah revealed the driving force behind starting the podcast…

“There are three components, people, processes and technology. Everyone talks about the tech, which I find fascinating, a little bit about processes, and very little about people. So actually, it was one of the inspirations that I had for this show. To actually start conversations that bring the people side of transformation, that people don’t always talk about, to life.”

What finance can learn from reading narrative non-fiction

“I think every financial analyst, a lot of us CFOs a lot of us controllers, we have this DNA in us where we’re just questioning everything. Why? How did that happen? You know, we think forward, we think backwards, we think diagonally? Well, I personally think that to get better at our analytical DNA we have to augment it. I wish there was a class for financial people. A journalism plan, I would say every financial person should take a journalism class because who’s writing a lot of this narrative non-fiction? It’s journalists. In my opinion, journalists are some of the best analysts, they have the same struggles we have. We have to take data and turn it into information and turn that information into something that makes sense whether it’s to a banker, whether it’s to investors, our senior leadership teams, customers, or staff members, we have to take data and turn it into a story.”

Why reading is a powerful tool for people with a passion for learning

Hannah equates reading to travelling the world, explaining that the perspective you can gain from reading, can help bring new thoughts and ideas to different areas of your life.

“I think anyone that reads especially a lot of different books, you just get perspective, I, I almost equate it to travelling the world you can literally travel this world and other worlds if you’re depending on but you’re into reading. And it gives you a whole different perspective on life. And that’s so important. It’s why I love shows like yours, that bring new thoughts and new ideas into people’s lives because it’s so important, right that the world is both a very big and a very small place as well.”

Books recommended in the episode

The bit you’ve all been waiting for! Here is every book mentioned in this podcast, from both Mark Gandy and Hannah.

  • Barbarians at the gate – Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
  • Crime & Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Drive – Daniel H. Pink
  • A whole new mind – Daniel H. Pink
  • Reversing the slide – James Shein
  • Endurance – Brian Sanders
  • The great game of business – Bo Burlingham and Jack Stack
  • The effective executive – Peter Drucker
  • CEO: Building a $400 Million Company from the Ground Up – Sandra Kurtzig
  • Open – Andre Agassi
  • The Wisdom of Finance – Mihir A. Desai
  • The secret life of groceries – Benjamin Lorr
  • Boys in the boat – Benjamin Lorr
  • The Warehouse – Rob Hart
  • Ghost in the wires – Kevin Mitnick
  • Why – Simon Sinek
  • Atomic Habits – James Clear
  • Nudge – Richard Thaler
  • One minute manager – Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
  • Noise – Cass R. Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman, and Olivier Sibony
  • Deep work – Cal Newport
  • So good they can’t ignore you – Cal Newport
  • All change – the project leaders secret handbook – Eddie Obeng
  • The living leader – Penny Ferguson

Do you have any book recommendations to add to this list?

We’d love to hear from you if you do! Please send any book suggestions to

We’d also love to hear if you’ve read any of the books we’ve mentioned, whether it was prior to listening to this podcast episode or because you listened to it! Send over your feedback either via email or get in touch with us via LinkedIn or Twitter, feel free to tag us in a book review!