Looking for something to read? Perhaps you want to improve your management skills. Or maybe your goal is to gain insight into the world of business. Or perhaps you want to escape the realities of everyday life by losing yourself in a good book. We think you’ll find just the right read(s) in our list. In fact, one of our picks, Walter Isaacson’s riveting biography of Steve Jobs, fulfills all three of those goals!
Happy reading. And happy summer.
The Brian Tracy Success Library (AMACOM)
The first three titles in management training and development guru Brian Tracy’s new series, Motivation, Delegation & Supervision, and Negotiation are pocket-sized, yet packed with insights and information that you can use every day to become more efficient and successful.
Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster)
Based on interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues, Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and intense personality of a unique entrepreneur.
AMA Business Boot Camp: Management and Leadership Fundamentals that Will See You Successfully Through Your Career, Edward T. Reilly, Editor (AMACOM)
Reilly, president and CEO of the American Management Association, presents a crash course in the fundamentals of business success, covering management, leadership, project management, strategy, and more.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg (Knopf)
Based on her electrifying 2010 TED Talk, the chief operating officer of Facebook (who is on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World) encourages women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals.
Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry, by David Robertson (Crown Business)
By following the teams that are inventing some of the world's best-loved toys, Robertson spotlights the company's disciplined approach to harnessing creativity and recounts Lego’s remarkable business transformation.
PERSONAL and PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
This Is How to Get Your Next Job: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want, by Andrea Kay (AMACOM).
Based on candid insights from real-life employers, Kay helps job hunters take control of how they come across to the people in charge of hiring. The book features a foreword by Richard Nelson Bolles, bestselling author of What Color Is Your Parachute?.
The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!, by Josh Kaufman (Portfolio)
Kaufman offers a systematic approach to learn any new skill as quickly as possible. The premise: by completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you'll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink (Riverhead Books)
Pink asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, by Stephen R. Covey (Free Press)
Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity—principles that help us adapt to change and take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
ESCAPE FROM REALITY
Inferno, by Dan Brown (Doubleday)
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Bad Monkey, by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf)
Andrew Yancy—late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office—has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner.
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, by Ian Doescher (Quirk Books)
How’s this for an interesting mash up? George Lucas’s epic Star Wars reworked in the style of the Bard of Avon. In iambic pentameter, no less. ’Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearsome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything.
Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander, by Phil Robertson (Howard Books)
If you’re a fan of the reality show Duck Dynasty, you’ll no doubt enjoy reading this autobiography by Phil Robertson, the original Duck Commander, chronicling his early childhood through the founding of his successful family business.
Writer's note: Shari Lifland's current summer reading is Inferno (the original one, by Dante). But she admits she has only made it through three cantos so far and is considering switching to the Dan Brown version.
For additional summer reading ideas, check out the listings for AMACOM Books, AMA’s book publishing division.