Summer Reading List

Lately I’ve been reading nothing but business books. Books to motivate me, books to improve my process, books to grow my client list. Now I think it’s time for my mind to take a little vacation with a few novels.


book-whyStart With Why By Simon Sinek

For anyone running their own business I highly recommend this book. It was super inspiring, changed the way I market my business and products and left me with pages of notes.

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?

In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.

Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.

book-messengerThe Millionaire Messenger By Brendon Burchard

Also very inspiring, but more geared toward makin’ more money. This book is great for those of you with information to share and sell.

In The Millionaire Messenger, Brendon Burchard pulls back the curtains on the once-secretive “expert industry” and shows how to become an influential and highly paid advice expert through websites, books, speeches, seminars, coaching, consulting, and online programs.

Blessed to receive life’s golden ticket – a second chance – after surviving a dramatic car accident, Burchard has dedicated his life to helping others find their voice, live more fully, and follow their dreams.  By following his 10-step program, average, ordinary people can learn to package their struggles, successes, research, or life’s story into advice for others and become experts on any given topic.  In the industry of people who share their advice and knowledge with the world and get paid for it, Burchard is the “guru’s guru.”

book-greatlyDaring Greatly By Brené Brown

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.

book-fourThe Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

Yeah, I was on a little self-improvement kick :)

Ruiz’s explanations of Toltec-based cosmography got a major boost recently when publishing pooh-bah Oprah Winfrey mentioned his work on her TV show. Ruiz, whose workshop teachings are distilled here, was born into a Mexican family of traditional healers, became a surgeon in adulthood, then underwent a near-death experience that made him reexamine his life, his beliefs.

Like the popular works of the late Carlos Castaneda, Ruiz’s teachings focus on dreams and visions. “Dreaming,” Ruiz argues, “is the main function of the mind.” A series of four “agreements” are detailed, which make up a larger picture of unconditional human faith. Despite the New Age- sounding language, Ruiz is refreshingly clear in the presentation of his ideas.

book-neverNever Let Me Go By Kazuo Ishiguro

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were.

Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, and beautifully atmospheric.

What I’m currently reading…

book-bedGood in Bed By Jennifer Weiner

Cannie Shapiro never wanted to be famous. The smart, sharp, plus-sized pop culture reporter was perfectly content writing about other people’s lives on the pages of the Philadelphia Examiner. But the day she opens up a national women’s magazine to find out that her ex-boyfriend has been chronicling their ex-sex life is the day her life changes forever.

Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in our world, Bruce has written. And Cannie — who never knew that Bruce saw her as a “larger woman,” or thought that loving her was an act of courage — is plunged into misery, and into the most amazing year of her life.

What’s on my list next…

book-wolvesTell the Wolves I’m Home By Carol Rifka Brunt

I’ll admit, the cover design kind of drew me in on this one…

1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

book-magicalThe Year of Magical Thinking By Joan Didion

From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later–the night before New Year’s Eve–the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.

This powerful book is Didion’ s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.

What books have you loved recently? (business-related or not!)

(All of these books are linked through Amazon Associates, which means I earn a percentage of the sale. If you’re not down with that feel free to look the titles up on your own :)

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  1. says

    I finished Never Let Me Go a couple of months ago and I’m not quite sure if I like it or not. I’ve read a lot of great books lately but I forget to write down the names. We travel every couple of days and with every hostel we go to I trade my old book for a new one. There’s one that I remember because I really liked it a lot, Looking for Alaska. It’s a teen book but I really liked it.

    • says

      It’s such a sad, strange story, right? I like creepy books like that though – not ghosts and serial killers, but just something a little off. I’ll check out Looking for Alaska – thanks!

      • Allison says

        If you like Looking for Alaska, I highly recommend the other 3 books also by John Green (An Abundance of Katherine’s, Paper Towns, and The Fault in our Stars). I just finished all four and am convinced that he keeps getting better with each book.

  2. says

    I checked out Start With Why and Daring Greatly from the library but had to return them due to holds and reading other books. I will definitely be putting another hold on them.

    I also put a hold on The Year of Magical Thinking after hearing it mentioned twice on The Conversation.

    The book I’m reading now is The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles. When I read the first book in the series, The Name of the Wind I was blown away (pun intended). Rothfuss was immediately put on the top of my favorite authors list. He’s only put out the two books and he’s become quite popular for it with raving reviews because damn he’s a good storyteller. I haven’t read storytelling like that in a loooong time, so I can’t wait to read this second one.

    • says

      I heard about Magical Thinking on The Conversation too haha. You will love Start With Why and Daring Greatly, those are definitely my top two on the list. Gonna check out Rothfuss’s books right now, thanks for recommending them :)

  3. says

    I love seeing what other people are reading. Helps me add to my monstrosity of a to read list. I added The Millionaire Messenger, it sounds interesting. I think you will enjoy Joan Didion’s book. I really like her work. Currently, I am reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell; it is an oldie but a goodie (and also a great BBC miniseries).

  4. says

    I read Good In Bed a while ago and really liked it. I’ve been going back and forth about whether to get Tell The Wolves I’m Home, I think I’ll just have to bite the bullet and get it. Thanks!

  5. says

    Woohoo! New booktips :D

    I’ve just started reading Daring Greatly. :) Enjoying it very much so far…

    Let’s see… I recently read the Art of Possibility, which I LOVED. Many many very inspiring and interesting thoughts in that book.

    I’ve just bought Prime Time by Jane Fonda, which is next on my list. I found her very inspiring in the video of The Conversation you shared, I’ve never really paid any attention to her or her life, but that video made me curious to know more about her…

    Self-help wise I’m also trying to work through “Finding your own North Star”, but I’m kinda struggling at the moment. (Could also have something to do with trying to read a billion books at once.)

    For fiction I recently re-read Varjak Paw, which is an awesome book about a cat that basically learns cat martial arts… but in a non-dumb way. I also am totally in love with the illustration style of the book which is quite dark and edgy and is beautifully combined with the text.

    Looking forward to this year: Book 12 of the Wardstone Chronicles, “Alice” collector’s edition <3 Love that series so much. Kinda written like a children's book, but a bit too gory and violent for kids ^^It's about a Spook's Apprentice as he is trained to fight all the stuff that goes bump in the night…

    And also Black Friday from the Cherub series. One of my favourite series of books ever. Orphans who are bought up as intelligence agents… no-one suspects kids to be spies. Quite realistically written, great characters and lots of action. Gets more and more violent as the series goes on oO It started off harmless enough.

    Thinking of re-reading "Waking Dragons", to rekindle some of my martial arts mania… Really really great book.

    And one of my favourite books ever "The Creative License". Beautiful message, gorgeous eye-candy illustrations and nice writing. I will read that again and again simply because it's pretty.

    Books. I could go on.

    And on.

      • says

        Like I said, I’d never really taken much notice of her until I saw her in the video you shared here, but she made a huge impression on me :) So I wondered what else she might have to share.

        I can also totally recommend The Art of Possibility if you haven’t read it yet. :) Lots of very good principles to live by in there shared in an inspiring way.

  6. says

    I loved Never Let Me Go. It was so haunting. If you like strange like that you should try 1Q84 and House of Leaves. Both are very weird and little heavy. I kept a lighter book in the mix while I was reading both.

  7. says

    I read “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” on the plane last week when I was traveling for my honeymoon. It was such a moving story that I was in tears on the plane! If you like that book, I’d also recommend “Paint it Black” by Janet Finch. Same story here – I read it on an airplane and I’m sure everyone was wondering why I was crying…

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