1. Lots of things about the Internet revolution didn’t turn out the way the pioneers had planned. It’s testimony to Candice Carpenter’s staying power that the high-profile co-founder of iVillage.com, whose bloody encounter with the dot-com whipsaw has been thoroughly chronicled, critiqued, and picked over, would publish a memoir that offers advice on leadership. But that’s what she does in Chapters: Create a Life of Exhilaration and Accomplishment in the Face of Change (McGraw-Hill, 2001), and — surprise again! — it is an engaging and instructive read. Say what you will about Candice Carpenter, but she is awfully smart and never boring. The same can be said of her book.

2. Steven B. Sample is about as far from Candice Carpenter as one can imagine — which just goes to show you that there’s more than one way to be a leader. In The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2001), Sample, president of the University of Southern California and the man widely credited with turning USC into a world-class learning institution, offers his unique brand of unconventional wisdom.

3. Heard enough about intellectual property and the art and science of leadership? Why not take a journey into the nature of the human animal itself. In Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices (Jossey-Bass, 2001), Harvard Business School professors Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria “synthesize 200 years of thought along with the latest research drawn from the biological and social sciences to propose a new theory, a unified synthesis of human nature.” And you thought iVillage’s business plan was ambitious!