I usually had a summer reading list provided by my school, and my sister and I always joined the summer reading contest at the library. She usually won – as she was, and still is, an avid reader. Now without assignments or contests, my go-to for escape and fun usually gravitates to mysteries and whodunits, as well as cookbooks. And then there are always a few favorite business-related reads waiting for my attention.

If you haven’t started a practice of summer reading relaxation moments, now’s a great time to start. Here are a few suggestions, and of course there are many suggestions on the web. Happy Reading!

  1. If you’re into what I call “beach reading” I’d suggest picking up a copy of Mary Kay Andrews new book, The Home-Wreckers. Ms. Andrews is a New York Times bestselling author and former journalist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her latest book is a combination of HGTV meets a skeleton in the old septic tank. It’s a fun, fast read about Savannah, GA, secrets, lies, and house flipping challenges; and yes, a little romance as well.
  2. The Literary Hub lists 15 favorites, among them A Room with a View, written by E.M. Forster which was later adapted for a movie of the same title. The story provides the reader with pleasant travels to Florence and England and explores the struggle between the restrictive and repressed Edwardian England culture and the evolution of a free-spirited view of the world.
  3. If you’re looking to improve your BBQ, I’ve heard that Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day is a Good Day is a must-read if you’re interested in good BBQ and what it takes to build a pit and cook a whole hog. One review states, “you won’t look at that pulled pork sandwich order the same way ever again.”
  4. On the business side, SHRM suggests, The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment by Marshall Goldsmith. This guide is all about exploring and clarifying your higher purpose. With the guidance provided by Mr. Goldsmith and his career as a coach to some of the world’s most high-achieving leaders, readers can develop their plans for closing the gap between what they plan to achieve and what they get done.
  5. And last, but not least, Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart. Served up in bite-size portions, Ms. Brown, who is a research professor at the University of Houston and a well-known speaker and author, has spent several decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Atlas of the Heart explores 87 emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human, expanding our understanding of language and providing tools to help us grow in a way to influence connections that are more meaningful and positive. Each chapter starts with “Places we go when….. things are uncertain… when we compare… when things aren’t what they seem to be… etc.” A unique way to better understand ourselves and our behaviors, along with planning for personal improvement and development.

Hope you have a fun and educational summer!