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With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner (how is that possible already!?), I have created a short summer reading list. The list below contains books covering a wide range of topics with a focus on money, investing, lifestyle management and team building. With TV, Netflix, Facebook, video games, podcasts and the like, many people would assume that boring old reading has gone out of favor, especially for the millennial generation. However that’s simply not true; in fact, according to Forbes, “millennials read more than older generations do and more than the last generation did at the same age.” So without further ado, behold the 2017 summer reading list.
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
This book, while old, is a great read. It short and written in a very simple language, similar to the language used in the Bible. The book has inspirational stories on savings, financial planning and personal wealth. The book was written in the 1920s by George Samuel Clason and is a only 144 pages long. Many of you may be wondering, how can a book written in the 1920s help me in 2017? The lessons and stories that are told in this book apply to any generation, which is why the book remains so popular today. This books helps its readers understand the basic concepts of savings, investing and building wealth. I would recommend this book to people of all ages, especially those who are interested in learning about personal finance. It would make a great gift for new graduates, from either high school or college, or for anyone doing some summer reading. And from under $10 at the following link, it’s hard to beat the price!
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
This book is a step up from The Richest Man in Babylon, with a heavier focus on investing. This book is also old, written in 1949, by the famous Benjamin Graham. The book sheds light on Graham’s famous philosophy of “value investing.” As defined by Investopedia, value investing is an investment strategy where stocks are selected that trade for less than their intrinsic value. In other words, value investors will look for stocks they believe the market or other investors have undervalued. The book has a ton of great advice for investors of all levels. Even if you are just buying index funds and ETFs this book is a great read. While markets have fluctuated up and down over the years, Graham’s strategies have not only survived, but thrived. One of his famous followers and true believers of this book and other by Graham is Warren Buffett. If you look at Mr. Buffett’s net worth, I would say he did pretty good for himself! Don’t be fooled, reading the book won’t necessarily make you the next Oracle of Omaha, but it will teach you a number of valuable lessons that will help you navigate the markets. Although the book is more complex than some of the other finance books out there, I recommend this for people of all ages interested in the markets and investing.
How to Have a Good Day by Caroline Webb
Taking a break from investing, How to Have a Good Day by Caroline Webb is a book about the average person and the struggles the average person faces. Webb teaches her readers how to navigate the typical challenges of today’s workplaces from things like stress management, overflowing inboxes, boring meetings and, most importantly, work life balance. What makes this book so interesting is that Caroline uses behavioral sciences and the evidence from years of research and first hard experiences to help her readers improve in all facets of life, both at work and at home. For example, she uses behavioral science to help people make the most of their time, set better priorities, ace meetings, strengthen their personal impact, be resilient to setbacks and boost their energy and enjoyment on a daily basis. Caroline keeps the reading light and easy, but the messages and lessons are powerful. If you are person with a busy schedule, trying to balance work, kids, family, friends and just life in general, this book is worth adding to your summer reading.
Superbosses by Sydney Finkelstein
Superbosses is a great read. The book is business-focused but goes into way more than just business. It examines the drivers and secrets of what Finkelstein calls “superbosses” in a number of different industries ranging from finance and fashion to cooking and even comic books. The book discusses how to inspire, motivate and develop others in your company or even industry. The author uses examples from all industries to show the effects powerful superbosses can have and the results they can obtain. While all the superbosses covered in the book differ in personal styles, they all focus on identifying new talent, motivating them to do their best work and launching them into highly successful career, all while expanding the superbosses’ own networks. There is a takeaway for all readers in this book as it shows us how we all can emulate the best strategies of superbosses to create our own powerful networks.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Shoe Dog is very different from the books above in the sense that it is a memoir from the creator of Nike. In this book, Phil shares the inside story of Nike’s early days as a start up all the way to its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic and most profitable brands. While the book focuses on Phil’s life and the story of Nike (you find out where the name comes from in the book, super interesting), the moral of the story can be applied to anyone starting a business or anyone who owns a business. And guess what? Running your own blog is a business! If you have a blog or are just getting started with a blog this book can be a great read for you. It goes through the ups and downs of business and life, time management and people management. It leaves its readers wanting to learn more and more about the company and how it made it to the top of its industry. While I am just starting out with my blog, I found that I could easily relate to many of the things Phil discussed in his book. His story is truly fascinating and it is a quick easy read.
With summer quickly approaching, I hope you all are going to be enjoying some downtime. Whether you plan to be reading by the pool, the beach, your backyard or even just late at night in your own bed, the 5 books above are excellent additions to your summer reading. It’s nice to relax while still educating yourself and potentially helping your own business with lessons learned from these books! Memorial Day weekend is just a few days away, so most of the links above have Amazon Prime options or you can download to your Kindle (if you have one), so that you can even have the book before the long weekend!