We all remember the often-dreaded list of books that we had for “summer reading” as kids – books that were to prepare us for the upcoming school year and designed to open our minds to new concepts, new uses of grammar, and avenues of critical thinking. Now, as adults, summer reading has taken on a new meaning. It usually equates to some downtime in our busy lives, either while we’re taking a much-needed vacation or simply enjoying the extended hours of daylight.
We reached out to our community to see what they’re recommending others add to their reading list, both on the business and leisure side, and here’s what they said:
As he recently shared with Investment News, RJ has both a recommendation for Business and Pleasure. First up on his business read: “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight. He describes it as “a fascinating read about the transition of athletic footwear from a need-to-have to a want-to-have item that became iconic as a brand.”
Overview: In this instant and tenacious New York Times bestseller, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight “offers a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh” (Booklist, starred review), illuminating his company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.
And as an autobiography fanatic and someone who loves digging in deeper, his pleasure read is: “The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington” by Brad Meltzer.
Overview: Taking place during the most critical period of our nation’s birth, The First Conspiracy tells a remarkable and previously untold piece of American history that not only reveals George Washington’s character, but also illuminates the origins of America’s counterintelligence movement that led to the modern-day CIA.
Susan just finished reading both Extreme Ownership and Dichotomy of Leadership by Leif Babin and Jacko Willink. She describes them as excellent books on leadership and application to business. It is best to read them in order, starting with Extreme Ownership.
Overview: With their first book, Extreme Ownership (published in October 2015), Jocko Willink and Leif Babin set a new standard for leadership, challenging readers to become better leaders, better followers, and better people in both their professional and personal lives. In The Dichotomy of Leadership, Jocko and Leif dive even deeper into the unchartered and complex waters of a concept first introduced in Extreme Ownership: finding balance between the opposing forces that pull every leader in different directions. Here, Willink and Babin get granular into the nuances that every successful leader must navigate.
Susan said that while she doesn’t have much time for fun reads, she said that in her personal time she just listened to the Audible book, Fiber Fueled by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, MD, stating it’s a “great health and nutrition information” resource.
Overview: A bold new plant-based plan that challenges popular keto and paleo diets, from an award-winning gastroenterologist.
Bill is currently reading: “Principles for Dealing with The Changing World Order” by Ray Dalio. Given all that has been transpiring, Bill described it as a “big macro view on the world and economies.”
Overview: Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order examines history’s most turbulent economic and political periods to reveal why the times ahead will likely be radically different from those we’ve experienced in our lifetimes—but similar to those that have happened many times before.
Raphiella recommends the ROI of Kindness by Brian Biro and Mac Anderson, noting that it “demonstrates what happens when business owners look beyond the dollar signs of the bottom line to the people who make up the organization and how the power of kindness adds to business success, employee retention, and overall company health.”
Overview: This brief, easy-to-read book explains the surprising secret that generates long-term results.
For her leisure read, Raphiella recommends, Finding Muchness and Feeling Grateful by Kobi Yamada. She explains that “Kobi is an amazing author and the President of Compendium – a company all about recognizing possibility, kindness, joy, insightfulness for ages 100 and less,” and that “the books are fantastic and beautifully illustrated, [as are the] other products available through Compendium hit the mark.”
Overview: What is muchness? And how do you find it? Muchness is the full-hearted abundance of hope, joy, and imagination that each of us has when we come into this world. Over time, as we take on more responsibilities and worries, our doubts and fears have a way of growing with us. And because of this, we can lose much of our muchness. This little book is about finding it again.
Switching it up a bit for us, Andrew had a daily email that he recommended called “Wit and Wisdom.” He described it as “short, to the point, has some humor and personality to it, while summarizing some news [he finds] interesting.”
What made Andrew even more excited was his pleasure read: American Gods, 10th Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman (with a full cast production). Recommended in audiobook form, Andrew says, “it is the perfect summer book, and with it being a full cast production, it keeps you entertained and interesting. Especially for longer travel and road trips. The audiobook is so good; I have never found one that has come close.”
Overview: Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a stranger offers him a job, and Shadow, with nothing to lose, accepts. But a storm is coming. Beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a war is being fought – and the prize is the very soul of America.
An inspired combination of mythology, adventure, and illusion, American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an America at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. It is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece.
Kara Brooks, Director of Operations – AK Financial Group
With another daily read recommendation, Kara says her go-to is the MorningBrew. She describes it as a daily email that is “concise and humorous, and a refreshing contrast to the dull, grey abyss of most industry news.”
As her pleasure read, Kara recommends Please Don’t Sit On My Bed in Your Outside Clothes by Phoebe Robinson. She says Phoebe’s writing is “bursting with sharp humor, social commentary, and honesty. This book of essays runs through a wild ride of topics, all of which she navigates in a way that feels like a comedy tornado of heart and intellect.”
Overview: Written in Phoebe’s unforgettable voice and with her unparalleled wit, Robinson’s latest collection, laced with spot-on pop culture references, takes on a wide range of topics. From the values she learned from her parents (including, but not limited to, advice on not bringing outside germs onto your clean bed) to her and her boyfriend, lovingly known as British Baekoff, deciding to have a child-free union, to the way the Black Lives Matter movement took center stage in America, and, finally, the continual struggle to love her 4C hair, each essay is packed with humor and humanity.
Have more suggestions you’d like to share? Reach out to us.