It’s Summertime – That Means Summer Reading!



We have not had a chance to vacation yet, but evenings on the porch are a nice setting for a good book, too. If you are planning a get-away, or just reading to relax at the end of the day, check out these recommendations for summer reading!

We featured “Give and Take” by Adam Grant at our Women’s Economic Development Network conference this year. Grant demonstrates the benefits that come back to you when you are focused on supporting and advancing others as well as yourself. Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” is a primer for understanding motivation and can help you inspire yourself and others to excellent outcomes. We especially enjoyed last year’s “The Art of Gathering: how we meet and why it matters” by Priya Parker. She has written a beautiful analysis of the art of accomplishing goals of a gathering from the invitation, venue, agenda, and materials provided. She will make you re-think everything from your staff meeting to your family reunion! Crystal says this book has had the most influence on her day-to-day work of any book in years!

It seems that every city and town we visit is focused on downtown right now. Jeff Speck’s “Walkable City” gave us a lot to think about in terms of presenting a city or town as an amenity for the residents and as an organizing principle.

If your state and community are struggling with the effects of the opioid crisis, grab “Dopesick” by regional star Beth Macy. It is fascinating and a little bit terrifying at the same time. If you need an uplifting testament to the power of education and the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity, grab “Educated” and marvel at Tara Westover’s amazing memoir.

We don’t spend as much time on fiction these days, but if you need a ‘beach read’, try North Carolina author Wiley Cash. You will enjoy recognizing his settings in western North Carolina and probably the characters as well. Start with “The Dark Road to Mercy” or “A Land More Kind than Home.” In the ‘quirky’ genre, we loved “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman. See what you can learn from this unexpected heroine.

Of course there are always more books on our shelf waiting for us, and the ones we are looking forward to this summer include “Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates, “Strategic Doing” by Ed Morrison and “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman . We got hooked on Kahneman in “The Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis, which was a recommended read in 2017. Penny just started, and is really enjoying, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein.

If you want to see what others are recommending for the summer, you can check out these recommended reading lists, too:

Let us know what you are reading. Send an email to [email protected] and recommend something you enjoyed reading recently!