Over his 20-year career with the NBA, Kobe Bryant became one of the most celebrated basketball players of all time. Since his 2016 retirement, he’s been hard at work with his multimedia production company Granity Studios, creating books and films aimed at empowering young athletes to reach their full potential. Its first title, Training Camp, was released early this year to become a #1 New York Times bestseller.

The best way to teach isn’t by preaching to somebody. It’s by sharing stories.

Sharing his own favorite reads of the year with the Amazon Books editors, Bryant’s picks are about learning broadly, leading differently, and building character through community. Find his recommendations below, and complement with the bookshelves of LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

“I am a big fan of epic fantasy series and the world-building by James is excellent. It’s immersive and makes for a powerful story.” -KB
Range by David Epstein
“This book looks at how an emphasis on specialization can actually hamper our ability to really excel at something. It aligns with what I try to do when I am coaching, in my stories, and what we’re doing with Mamba Sports Academy — create all-around athletes who can think critically and make assessments in real time to enhance their play rather than rely only on a narrow set of skills.” -KB

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

“Jackson’s book is a great study in how to build character, the strength and importance of friendship, and excellent writing. It’s tense like a horror story and yet very real and utterly compelling.” -KB
Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

(via Amazon Books)

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