Summers officially begun, and that probably means youre going to need something to read on your next trip to the beach or for the long flight to your vacation destination.
Youll be kicking back, but might as well bring something educational to accompany that magazine you picked up at the airport.
Youre sure to find something to like that will also leave you with some ideas to take back to the office.
To help you out, weve selected our favorite business memoirs, career guides, and the most exciting research on the future of work.
Sprint by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz
Its a guide from Googles venture capital arm GV. Its design partners Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz explain how to implement their signature five-day “sprint” session.
Ever wonder how you could bring some of Googles magic into your office without installing a quirky slide between floors or investing in an on-site chef? “Sprint” can help you out.
Theyll show you how theyve used this method to launch game-changing products with companies like Blue Bottle Coffee, Slack, and Nest.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Nike is not only the worlds biggest athletic company, with a market cap of about $88 billion. Its also, remarkably, been able to be a worldwide leader of “cool” since the 1970s.
It all started with a new college grad named Phil Knight who sold running shoes out of his parents garage.
Knight is retiring as the chairman of Nike this month, and hes using his book “Shoe Dog” as the definitive story of how he built an empire. Its a well-written and emotionally engaging story about an entrepreneur growing as a human being alongside the company in which he completely invested himself.
Originals by Adam Grant
In his latest book, Grant takes a look at some of the most innovative and daring thinkers of the past 100 years, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the founders of Google, breaking down what goes on inside the mind of an “original.”
Adam Grant is a star in his field. Hes the highest-rated professor at Wharton and the youngest to ever reach “full professor.” His success is built on some of the most exciting and practical work in behavioral science.
O Great One! by David Novak and Christina Bourg
When David Novak retired as the chairman of Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut) in May, he left behind a legacy of 41,000 restaurants across 125 countries and a market capitalization of about $34 billion.
His book “O Great One!” is a parable based on his own career that communicates the No. 1 leadership lesson he learned: The greatest thing a leader can do is show appreciation for great work.
How to Have a Good Day by Caroline Webb
Caroline Webb is the CEO of consulting firm Sevenshift and a senior adviser to McKinsey, where she was formerly a partner. Her book is a collection of career best practices shes learned in her 16 years as a consultant.
“How to Have a Good Day” may sound like a book full of self-affirmations, but its densely packed with field-tested career advice, from how to have productive meetings to how to deal with an annoying coworker.
Grit by Angela Duckworth
Whats the one thing that West Point cadets, spelling-bee champs, Jeff Bezos, and Julia Child have in common?
Ask Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and a winner of the MacArthur “genius” award, and shell tell you: grit. That is, a combination of passion and perseverance that plays a huge role in determining your success in life — more so even than intelligence or innate talent.
To be sure, “Grit” and the psychology behind it have its critics, some of whom say that the research doesnt add anything especially new. Regardless of where you stand, the book is a compelling read that will encourage you to start questioning your own potential for achievement.
An Everyone Culture by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
In nearly every workplace, employees are working two jobs: the one they signed up for and the one spent navigating office politics, argue Harvard professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey in “An Everyone Culture.”
There are, however, companies that avoid this, and the authors call these Deliberately Developmental Organizations (DDOs).
Kegan and Laskow thoroughly analyze what they perceive to be the benefits of radical transparency through case studies on hedge fund giant Bridgewater, ecommerce company company Next Jump, and real estate company Decurion.
Quench Your Own Thirst by Jim Koch
Today Kochs Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams, is a $2 billion company and one of the reasons why its no longer seen as crazy to open a brewery in the US.
Today, Americans can walk into nearly any neighborhood supermarket or corner store and find at least one quality craft beer. But when Jim Koch left a consulting job with a $250,000 salary in 1984 to start a beer company and compete with the likes of Budweiser and Heineken, he seemed like a lunatic.
“Quench Your Own Thirst” is the story of how he got there, told in Kochs blunt, wry delivery — for example, in one chapter he breaks down the “F— You” rule he implemented at Boston Beer.
Deep Work by Cal Newport
In 2016, nearly anyone living in the developed world has a short attention span from years spent jumping among smartphone apps and web browser tabs. Its not a benign cultural change, argue Georgetown professor and bestselling author Cal Newport, because the greatest output is the result of what he calls “deep work.”
Newports book of the same name explains how one can build sessions of deep work into their work days to get more top-quality work done in the span of an hour than they otherwise would in the entire day.
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
For someone at the start of their careers, acting on ego can prevent them from constructive learning opportunities; for someone who has already experienced success, acting on ego can prevent them from adapting to change.
Bestselling author Ryan Holiday draws from history and philosophy to show how one can master ones own ego, using examples that range from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly, one of the founders of Wired magazine, has established himself as a guru of Silicon Valley. “The 4-Hour Workweek” author Tim Ferriss un-ironically calls Kelly “the most interesting man in the world” and legendary tech investor Marc Andreessen dubbed “The Inevitable” an “automatic must-read.”
In it, Kelly gives you a sneak peek at the future, and how it will be shaped by maturing forces like artificial intelligence and the on-demand economy.
The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
In 2007, after shed been founder and editor of The Huffington Post for two years, Huffington fainted and woke up in a pool of blood. The likely reason, she determined later, was sleep deprivation.
Today, Huffington is a champion for snooze time. (She says she personally gets a full 8.5 hours of sleep every night.)
In “The Sleep Revolution,” she shares research and expert opinion on why its important to prioritize sleep, as well as tips on how to get a better nights rest. Hint: Dont bring your smartphone into bed with you.
Warren Buffetts Ground Rules by Jeremy C. Miller
Investment analyst Jeremy Millers “Warren Buffetts Ground Rules” is a thorough but easy-to-understand analysis of the investing principles of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, one of the greatest investors in history.
In fact, Millers analysis is so spot-on that the Oracle of Omaha himself gives it his full endorsement. “Mr. Miller has done a superb job of researching and dissecting the operation of Buffett Partnership Ltd. and of explaining how Berkshires culture has evolved from its BPL origin,” Buffett wrote.
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
The subtitle of this book is “negotiating as if your life depended on it” — and Voss knows better than pretty much anyone what thats like, having spent decades as an FBI hostage negotiator.
But Voss wants to convince readers that negotiation is a critical part of everyday interactions — with your spouse, your boss, and your real-estate agent. Drawing on his experience working with terrorists and criminals, Voss presents a series of surprising negotiation tactics, like encouraging the other person to say “no” when you want them to ultimately say “yes.”
Best of all, its an easy read filled with anecdotes from Voss time in the FBI, and by the end youll be surprised how much youve learned that you can apply right away.
Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
Four years after the release of his bestseller, “The Power of Habit,” Duhigg published another book that takes a psychological perspective on a problem we face in everyday life.
In this case, the problem is productivity.
Duhigg, a New York Times journalist, offers readers a glimpse into how the most productive people function, including the Disney creators behind “Frozen,” business teams at Google, and airplane pilots who successfully navigated their way through disaster. He distills all his research into eight key takeaways that anyone can use, at work and at home.
The Third Wave by Steve Case
As the founder of AOL, Steve Case had a front-row seat to the rise of a new internet era, which he dubs in his book the “first wave.” The second wave was defined by social media, and the upcoming third wave will move much further beyond just the way we communicate, but rather how we live our lives.
Case argues his thesis in an intriguing way, and offers interesting new insights into the formation of AOL along the way.
If Youre So Smart, Why Arent You Happy?” by Raj Raghunathan
Presumably, smart people should make good choices about their health and well-being. But as you may know from personal experience, they dont always.
In fact, Raghunathan, who is a professor at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, argues that the very traits and behaviors that lead to professional success often sabotage our chances at happiness.
Case in point: Smart people like to control everything in their lives, which can make them more ambitious. But it can also make them unhappy, because theyre constantly getting disappointed when things dont go exactly as planned.
Raghunathan outlines how to overcome this tendency, as well as seven other “deadly happiness sins,” simply by shifting your mindset.
TED Talks by Chris Anderson
If youre into TED Talks, youll enjoy this guide to public speaking penned by none other than the curator of TED himself.
Anderson offers anecdotes from his experience working with TED celebrities — from Sir Ken Robinson to Susan Cain to Monica Lewinsky — and explains the lessons that can be learned from each ones successful presentation.
Youll find out how to craft a compelling narrative, overcome your nerves, and ultimately take your audience on a journey that makes them believe in the same ideas that inspire you.
From Silk to Silicon by Jeffrey E. Garten
Garten teaches courses on the global economy at Yale University, and served as undersecretary of commerce for international trade under President Bill Clinton.
His latest book, “From Silk to Silicon,” looks at globalization through the lens of 10 individuals who changed the world with their accomplishments — from the emperor Genghis Khan to Andy Grove, founder of Intel.
Garten identifies common trends in each persons life story, and uses them to help explain the current economic challenges that we face and predict how globalization will affect our future.
Negotiating the Nonnegotiable by Daniel Shapiro
As the founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, Shapiro has led conflict-management initiatives in the Middle East and worked with top executives in business and in government.
Over time, hes learned that negotiation is ultimately about understanding the conflicts emotional underpinnings. Drawing on Freudian psychoanalysis, for example, he explains how everyone has certain fears and inner struggles that lead them to have the same types of conflicts over and over again.
Ultimately, the book will help you think like a psychologist when approaching negotiations with coworkers or family members, strengthening your relationships in the process.
The Achievement Habit by Bernard Roth
For nearly half a century, Roth, a professor of engineering at Stanford, has been teaching a course called “The Designer in Society.” Students in the class learn how to use a process called “design thinking” to become happier and healthier.
Design thinking is an innovative process developed by Roth and other Stanford engineers thats used to improve on anything, from a light bulb to online dating. But Roth argues that the core principles of design thinking — like a bias toward action and getting to the root of the problem at hand — can be used to improve individual lives.
You can use design thinking to lose weight, start a business, and stop worrying about things you cant control.
The most valuable part of design thinking, Roth says, is that once you realize you can achieve one goal, you gain momentum toward achieving the next one. In other words, it becomes an “achievement habit.”
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Looking at her from the outside, you might assume that Rhimes was super successful — and super happy. After all, she pretty much owned Thursday-night television, with “Greys Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away With Murder.”
But as she confesses in “Year of Yes,” Rhimes was overworked and unhealthy, and she hardly felt like she was living her life to the fullest. So she embarked on a year-long project in which, instead of declining new opportunities as usual, she said “yes” to everything.
That meant giving a commencement speech at her alma mater, making time to play with her daughters, and deciding to accept any compliments that came her way.
Rhimes isnt afraid to get real about her fears and her struggles along the way, and the book is moving and inspiring. Still, Rhimes is a funny and conversational writer, so dont be surprised if you make it through the book in one or two sittings.
Superbosses by Sydney Finkelstein
If youre a manager — or if you have hopes of ever becoming one — this book could change the way you think of successful leadership.
Finkelstein, a professor at Dartmouths Tuck School of Business, says that if you look at the key players within any industry, youll notice that most of them at some point worked for the same individual. Finkelstein calls these individuals “superbosses,” or managers who spawn the next generation of talent by turning their employees into stars.
The good news is that any manager can become a superboss by developing the key traits and behaviors that Finkelstein outlines, like fearlessness, authenticity, and not being afraid to let a great employee go.