Beach. Campgrounds. Resort. Pool. Backyard. Comfy couch. Catching those relaxing moments and setting aside some quality me time can happen anytime, anywhere during the summer season. If you are anything like we are, nothing makes those moments better than a good book. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of 10 great reads you can enjoy this summer that cover leadership, life-hacking tips, competing at the U.S. Memory Championship, an android bounty hunter, and a company that monitors every aspect of your life. Enjoy!
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
Want to create real change in your personal or professional life? Then this book is a must read for you. Thiel explores new ways to think about innovation and the value of competition as a necessary component for evolution or an enemy of progress. He also shows how you can find singular ways to create those new, innovative things by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places. A practical, easy-to-digest read, Zero to One delivers a refreshing take on today’s business world.
Joshua Foer explores cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the world’s best memory experts to chart his amazing journey of the mind and the concept of memory. His years of training culminated in competing at the United States Memory Championship, where he even placed first in one event. This book delivers an interesting perspective on the fact that as society depends more on technology, the ability to train minds to remember is being lost.
Sinek’s book on leadership uses true stories to illustrate its core idea: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort—at times, their own survival—for the good of those in their care. His unique take steps outside the bounds of what you might consider a typical leadership book and delivers insights to serve leaders in today’s work environment.
The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch
Optimize your day and learn how to increase your effectiveness with Koch’s practical guide to productivity. The premise is simple: 80 percent of the outcomes come from only 20 percent of inputs. Once you come to that realization, this book is a real eye-opener to how you spend your time and helps focus the mind on the actions that will have the biggest impact.
Arden’s book is a guide for the talented, but sometimes less-assertive professional who wants to go far. It’s a quick read that leaves you inspired and determined to focus and kick butt. Stuffed with quotes, insights, wit, and wisdom, Arden breaks down what it takes to succeed into bite-sized, visually fun pieces that anyone from newbies to the seasoned veteran will love.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
The inspiration for the movie Blade Runner, this sci-fi classic follows Rick Deckard, a sanctioned bounty hunter in 2021, and his mission to find rogue androids and “retire them.” These androids, who look exactly like humans, don’t want to be found. When they are tracked down, they fight back—often with deadly force. There’s action, drama, and thought-provoking moments that make you think about what it really means to be human.
The Circle by Dave Eggers
Recently turned into a movie, The Circle is a story about Mae Holland, who is hired to work for The Circle, a fictional internet company that links every aspect of a person’s life to one identity on a universal operating system. As Mae’s time progresses at the company, her ambition and idyllic view slowly descend into issues and fears that are true to life for today’s society, including surveillance, user privacy, and the intrusion of technology into every aspect of life.
Noted life hacker and host of the wildly popular business podcast The Tim Ferriss Show, Ferriss distills tools, tactics, routines, and other great wisdom from world-class performers in their fields into a guide you can use in all aspects of life. This “ultimate notebook,” as he calls it, is broken up per performer, so it’s a quick read across a variety of topics, with actionable items you can test for yourself in your personal and professional life.
But What If We’re Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman
Have people learned everything there is to learn about gravity? Is there something about Newton’s law that is not yet understood? 500 years from now, will sports and rock-and-roll still be around? This interesting and funny read tackles the idea that what is known and believed today—from science to pop culture—will most likely seem absurd in the future and reaffirms the idea that change is always inevitable.
Create the vision of your ideal self. Got it? All the clutter in your life is stopping you from being this ideal self. This book has the solution. Garnished with anthropomorphisms, folding techniques, and anecdotes from her own journey, Marie Kondo writes an easy-to-follow guide to sorting, discarding, and organizing. The guiding principle is simple: only keep those things that spark joy in your life. After reading this, you really will be inspired to get rid of a bunch of things that you’ll realize you’re holding on to for no good reason.
Want to share your thoughts on these books? Have any books you think we should add to our reading list? We’d love to hear from you!