Take Me Away:
Books & Podcasts That Are Transporting Us to New Places

We’ve compiled an exciting list of books and podcasts that are “taking us away,” inspiring us to try new experiences, get out of our comfort zones and tick off that bucket list. The following recommendations from our Morgan Stanley leaders represent the stories that have transported them to different eras and places, inspired fresh perspectives or encouraged the exploration of new environments. Where will they take you?

Alice Milligan

Chief Marketing Officer,
Managing Director, Administration

Alice’s Book Recommendation:

The Midnight Library

Matt Haig

This book tells the story of a woman who finds herself in a dark place and is given an opportunity to exchange her life for a new one. Through the Midnight Library, she gets to select books that enable her to experience the course of her life differently. As she gets to try new careers, undo old break-ups, and realize different dreams, she gets a chance to decide anew what makes life fulfilling. To me, this book was fascinating, from the concept of a library that houses all of the choices and lives you can have, and the experiences, regrets, and ultimately, the ability to decide what you want and what truly matters. It made me think about decisions and choices, big or small, and the ripple effect they have, not only on your life, but also on those you touch.

Benjamin Huneke

Managing Director
Co-Head of Investment Management

Ben’s Book Recommendation:

A Gentleman in Moscow

Amor Towles

This story of a Russian aristocrat’s lengthy stay in a luxurious, but increasingly isolated hotel in the heart of a rapidly revolutionizing Moscow is both funny and sentimental. The titular gentleman is forced to face the changing world through the windows of his attic, a political prisoner, and in many ways, a prisoner to the disappearing world of Tsarist Russia. The characters that move through the hotel provide him with an eclectic band of friends that help him come to grips with how he can live in this new and foreign world. I also recommend Amor Towles’ other books, The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility—both transport the reader with equally fascinating and complex characters.

Brian McDonald

Managing Director
Head of Direct & Institutional Businesses

Brian’s Book Recommendation:

How Will You Measure Your Life

Clayton Christensen

This is a great book that really makes you think about who you are, why you are here and what you plan to do with your time on this earth. It challenges you to think about career and the importance of money in your life, the time spent with and away from your family, relationships with friends and colleagues and, ultimately, personal well-being. Along the way, Christensen, who also wrote the Innovator’s Dilemma, tells stories about his Harvard Business School classmates, providing lessons in ethics. This book has a real grounding effect, helping and forcing you to think about the importance of balance as you seek fulfillment and happiness in all parts of your life.

Ferdousi Islam

Executive Director
Art Resources Team (ART)

Ferdousi’s Book Recommendation:

Kingdom Under Glass

Jay Kirk

This book is a vivid account of pioneering taxidermist Carl Akeley, who revolutionized his field and environmental conservation – and created the Hall of African Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History. Akeley embodied the contradictory sentiments of his era in a quest to hunt as well as preserve animal species whom he feared were on the brink of extinction. I am always propelled forward by history, and this exceptionally well-written book encourages us to savor and explore our world.

Jed Finn

Managing Director
COO of Wealth Management and Head of Corporate & Institutional Solutions

Jed’s Podcast Recommendation:


Mike Duncan

Mike Duncan starts with the English Revolution(s) in the 17th century, working his way through the American, French and Haitian Revolutions, all the way to the Russian Revolution. He invites the listener along for a journey through time, synthesizing an unbelievable amount of historical information and historian perspectives into bite-sized, 20-30 minute episodes. He draws interesting parallels across different time periods and has an incredibly dry and witty sense of humor.

Mandell Crawley

Managing Director
Chief Human Resources Officer

Mandell’s Book Recommendation:

Deep Work

Cal Newport

In this piece, Newport offers a fresh perspective on building a work ethic. His formulaic approach is presented through a series of anecdotes and stories that kept me riveted and eager to learn more. While touting the benefits of ‘deep work’, the book provides a regimen for transforming your mind and minimizing distractions. Not only did he inspire me to find new ways to commit and focus on the hard work, but he also challenged me to find opportunities to disconnect. I’m looking forward to applying those skills to both my work and my time away from work.

Rohit Singh

Managing Director
Head of Retail, Americas

Rohit’s Podcast Recommendation:

Jocko Podcast

Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink is a retired Navy SEAL officer and author of Extreme Ownership. On his podcast, he features combat veterans, journalists, humanitarians and others who have experienced the harshest conditions. His long-form episodes are unflinching, but always enlightening, forcing me to put myself in another person’s perspective. They help me appreciate the opportunities and freedoms we all enjoy.

Sandra Richards

Managing Director
Head of Global Sports & Entertainment and Segment Sales & Engagement

Sandra’s Book Recommendation:

Do Walk: Navigate Earth, Mind and Body. Step by Step.

Libby DeLana

This book truly reveals the transformative nature of a simple, yet powerful practice—walking. It describes how walking each day provides the time and space to reconnect with the world around us; process thoughts; improve our physical well-being; and unlock creativity. I was introduced to Libby and her ‘walk movement’ by a friend. This book resonates as it shows how the practice of walking, with intention, can take one on a journey far beyond what’s measurable by miles. It has helped me discover new things in my environment and about myself that continue to inspire me as I move forward.

Stephanie Glashow

Chief Marketing Officer of Morgan
Stanley at Work, Managing
Director at Morgan Stanley

Stephanie’s Book Recommendation:

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Anthony Doerr

This book takes readers from 15th century Constantinople, to an intergalactic spaceship hundreds of years in the future and present-day Idaho. Each character’s storyline is an intricately cast world unto itself, connected by an ancient Greek tale that is both talisman and lifeline to those who discover it. Using the universal themes of peril, homecoming and human connection, this book weaves individual coming-of-age journeys into a sweeping narrative. Like Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See (another must-read!), these characters and their voyages will stay with you long after you finish reading.

Valerie Wong Fountain

Managing Director
Head of Family Office Resources
Platform & Partner Management

Valerie’s Book Recommendation:

One Jump at a Time

Nathan Chen

This memoir tells the story of three-time World Champion and Olympic gold-medalist Nathan Chen. The ‘Quad King’s’ inspirational journey to success at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing is a path that included disappointment, perseverance and tremendous family sacrifice. Chen’s spirit and determination to succeed was inspiring, and proves that dreams can come true.

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