I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about my summer reading than I have this year. Why? Because I spent the last nine months reading books from a very lengthy and intensive reading list as part of the 2020-2021 Gotham Fellowship, a program I applied to for personal development. Now it’s over, so I get to read what I want to read!
While my summer reading list may not sound like a lighter read, it definitely feels lighter compared to the fellowship’s reading list. Although the fellowship was foundational and educational, no longer do I have to read 600-page books on the history of theology, or books written in old English.
So what am I reading now?
Lori’s summer reading list
Below is my summer reading list of those books I’ve either just finished or I’m mid-way through. I’d also love to know what you’re currently reading or planning to read this summer! Please provide your own list in the comment box below.
The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day With Passion and Purpose, by Matthew Kelly
Unlike most books today, this book isn’t about “living your best life now”. Instead, it’s about becoming the best version of yourself, which benefits not just you, but also those around you and in your community. When you’re your best, you better serve others.
The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction, by Justin Whitmel Earley
One way to become your best self for a greater purpose is to develop good habits. Author Justin Whitmel Earley shows how there is freedom in creating limits on things that cause distraction. This freedom from chaos can leave you less frazzled and make you more productive in your work, home, and community.
The daily and weekly habits he outlines are simple. And the great thing about this book is you don’t have to read the chapters in order. They’re written as stand-alone topics, so you can pick which chapter you want to start with and go in the order you prefer.
Re-think Your Self: The Power of Looking Up Before Looking In, by Trevin Wax
This book has inspired me to re-vamp my own book on personal branding. I’m currently working on a second edition under a new title, Purpose Formation. Trevin Wax’s book discusses the problem with a “follow your heart” mentality in uncovering your purpose (something I’ve written about before), and instead provides a counter-intuitive yet more fruitful approach to discovering your purpose.
The Great 8: A New Paradigm for Leadership, by J. David Harper, Jr.
I’m currently reading this book along with a group of entrepreneurs. Although it’s a quick read, it drills down to the essentials necessary for a business’s culture. While other business leaders focus more on values as part of company culture, David Harper shows instead how virtues create a more authentic and successful company culture. This book is perfect for both business owners and organizational leaders since it serves as a roadmap for becoming a leader with greater impact.
Honorable mentions and other suggestions
Some other books I’ve read since the end of my fellowship deserving honorable mention include:
- The Coddling of The American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
- You’re Not Enough (and That’s Okay): Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love by Allie Beth Stuckey
- Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity, by Scott Galloway
As I check off the above books from my list, I still have more remaining on my list to read. Some of which include:
- Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell
- Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction, by Matthew Kelly (I meant to read this one last year but it got put on the back burner during the fellowship.)
- Fault Lines, by Voddie Baucham
- The Vision Driven Leader, by Michael Hyatt
What are you reading this summer? Please share your list or suggestions in the comment box below!