So summer 2020 didn’t pan out the way you’d hoped it would. You’re probably not getting to take your annual vacation due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Therefore, you have even more time for summer reading this year.
So what should you spend your quarantine time reading? You should always have a healthy mix of fun fiction, but also some books that will help you learn and grow as a person and as a professional.
Lori’s summer reading recommendations
I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of books already this spring and summer. Most of which I’ve checked out electronically from my local library while they were closed for COVID. And now the library is offering curbside pick-up of physical books, so I’m reading even more.
Below is a list of the ones I recommend to help you boost your career and grow you professionally, so you can be ready for whatever comes next in your career during these uncertain times.
(Please note: I do not receive any financial gain for recommending or endorsing the following books.)
Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude
By Raymond M. Kethledge and Michael S. Erwin.
While you may be completely bored with all the solitude and isolation you’ve had the past several months, there’s a lot of good that comes from times of solitude, when it’s time spent well.
While this book focuses on how leaders have used solitude to become even more effective, it’s not just for leaders. It shows how the practice of solitude can give you clarity to solve complex problems you may face, both in life and in your work.
I love the examples the authors share of the struggles of beloved historical figures. People like Martin Luther King, Jr., Jane Goodall, Winston Churchill, and Abraham Lincoln. This is a great read, especially if you’re a fan of military history, or history in general.
After you read it, you’ll be motivated to put your phone a way and turn off Netflix, to see what kind of solutions to your problems you’re able to come up with.
Wisdom @ Work: The Making of a Modern Elder
By Chip Conley.
A client of mine told me about this book, so I checked it out. It’s great for mid-career folks who work in a company or industry with multi-generational employees (which most people do!).
The book shares the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker, which it describes as, “…learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner’s mind, and a willingness to evolve.” It confirms how older generations still bring value to the table, especially in the role of a mentor. But it also reminds the older workforce they still have a lot to learn from the knowledge and skillset of the younger generations.
All generations are relevant and valued, and they need each other to create success. This book explores the issues of ageism and age diversity in today’s workforce.
If you’ve been forced to make a mid-career change due to the economic impact of COVID, and now find yourself struggling to compete with younger candidates, this book will help you write the next chapter of your career.
Halftime: Moving From Success to Significance
By Bob Buford.
Speaking of mid-career, here’s another great resource for mid-lifers, or for anyone who cares more about making a difference and an impact with their work, than just making a fortune.
This book focuses on how to multiply the skills and gifts you’ve been given, and in the process, give back to the world in significant ways.
And I love the questions it asks at the end of each chapter. They’re great for personal reflection or for group discussions. It even includes assignments to help guide you into the next phase of your career.
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
By Chris Guillebeau.
I always like to include one or two books on entrepreneurship, for anyone who’s thinking of leaving corporate to start their own thing. These kind of books were helpful for me when I started my own business, but there were a lot of them out there, so it was hard to know which ones to read.
I wouldn’t say The $100 Startup is as good as Pat Flynn’s Will It Fly, which I reviewed in a previous post. But, it is different because it provides numerous examples of other people who’ve started their own businesses.
These examples include every day people, with no entrepreneurial skills, who discovered how to monetize aspects of their personal passions. This allowed them to restructure their lives and careers, in ways that gave them more fulfillment and freedom.
Their stories are super inspiring, and they provide enough detail to give you ideas of how you can accomplish what they’ve accomplished.
Never Go Back: 10 Things You’ll Never Do Again
By Dr. Henry Cloud.
Have you struggled for success in your life and in your work, but always seem to fall short? Do self-defeating patterns keep you stuck where you are, personally and professionally? Then you’ll definitely want to read Never Go Back, by bestselling author Dr. Henry Cloud.
In this book, Cloud outlines 10 bad habits successful people have learned never to return to. They’ve become successful, largely in part by not making these common mistakes again. You can do the same, and Cloud shows you how.
I encourage you to at least read the preface and the introduction of this book before passing it over. I firmly believe this book can boost all areas of your life.
Lori’s summer reading list
In addition to the fun books I’ve been reading, I have plans this summer to read books my clients may also find helpful. This includes:
- Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur, by Pamela Slim, who also wrote a book I highly recommend, called Body of Work
- Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction, by Matthew Kelly
- The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day With Passion and Purpose, also by Matthew Kelly
- Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome, by Shark Tank’s Daymond John
I also invite you to check out my own books and e-books I’ve published, available on Amazon, in paperback and on Kindle. And feel free to share your book recommendations in the comment box. I’m always looking for good books to read!
- Summer Reading: How to Find Work You Love and Make More Money
- Nobody Likes a Know-It-All. Be a Learn-It-All Instead!