7 Must-Read Books for Your Summer Holiday

I love to read! I confess, I don’t read as much as I’d like. Time constraints and the priorities of work and family often get in the way of reading. But, as someone who is tasked with growing a business, there is no better way for me to stretch my mind and learn than reading the works of others who have done what I need to do.

Every year around the middle of the summer, I try to take a day or two off to decompress. During that time, I like to unplug from technology, think and read. For those of you who find yourself with a little down time and a desire to read and learn, here are a few of my recommended reads. Some are new(er) and some are a few years old. I make no apology for this, because sometimes books stand the test of time. So, without further ado, here is my summer reading list:

  1. First Things First by Steven R. Covey – Originally written in 1996, this work was updated in 2015. Covey, the master of time management wrote this and another commendable work, Getting Things Done. If you are drawn in a million directions and find it difficult to get things done, this book will become your best friend. It’s especially helpful for entrepreneurs who suffer from “shiny object syndrome”, like I do.
  2. Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman – This work was written in 2012, and for me, still stacks up as one of the best business books I’ve read. It’s extremely helpful and actionable. For the owners of small and rapidly growing businesses, there may be no better resource for improving the way your organization communicates and focuses on big issues.
  3. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by John Zeratsky, Jake Knapp and Braden Kowitz – Having worked in and around lean consultants for many years, I can tell you firsthand how well sprints can work. This book teaches you how to test and implement your ideas in blitz fashion.
  4. Find Your Extraordinary by Jessica Herrin – This book was recommended by a friend and I have to say it’s great for any entrepreneur. It focuses on figuring out what matters most and then pursuing that with all of your passion and energy. If you’re thinking about starting a business or you’re running your own business and need to refresh your batteries, this book is great.
  5. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant – A fantastic book that looks at how real innovators are changing the way we think and work. This book really challenges you to think differently. It’s not a difficult read and I buzzed right through and find myself re-reading parts of it quite often.
  6. How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life by Caroline Webb – When someone recommended this book to me, my first thought was – Great another fix your attitude and the world will be great book! But I misjudged this one. The thing about this book is that it’s not abstract, feel-good nonsense. This book is about actionable steps you can take to improve the way you work. It will change everything from the way you conduct meetings to the emails you send. Lots of meat in this book.
  7. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – Confession Time! I’m not finished with this one yet. But so far, it’s fantastic! This book is all about how you don’t have to be the smartest, or best looking. You have to have the tenacity to overcome obstacles and difficulties. One of the things that I love about this book is that it contains a lot of actionable insights to apply to everyday life. I’m hoping to finish this one over the weekend!

I hope that you find these summer reading suggestions worthwhile. If you decide to read any of these (or already have), please let me know what you think in the comments. Happy reading and I hope you’re enjoying your summer!

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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