MBAs are expensive and time-consuming programs, and the ones in top schools that really turbocharge your career are also, of course, exceptionally difficult to get into. Which makes getting a top-flight business degree an impossibility for most professionals.

But just because you don't have the time, money, or academic background to attend the likes of Stanford's Graduate School of Business, it doesn't mean you can't snatch a little bit of the program's wisdom for free and from a distance. Thanks to generous grads, several of the top insights you learn from a Stanford MBA have made it into the public domain.

And a recent Insights by Stanford Business post offers a little bit more free Stanford magic. The school helpfully solicited super successful grads for their top summer book recommendations in order to help other professionals read like some of the country's top MBAs when they hit that sun lounger this year.

It's a simple list of suggestions without explanation for why they were chosen. But hopefully the titles alone are a valuable resource for those looking to feed their brain this summer.

  1. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur--recommended by Alex Lofton, founder of Landed
  2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't by Jim Collins--recommended by Nick Karnaze, CEO of Stubble & 'Stache
  3. Walden by Henry David Thoreau--recommended by David Cooper, co-founder and president of Karakoram Group
  4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman--recommended by David Cooper
  5. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius--recommended by David Cooper
  6. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz--recommended by Andy Katz-Mayfield, co-founder and co-CEO of Harry's
  7. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer--by Manoj Leelanivas, president and CEO of Cyphort
  8. This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin--recommended by Marcelo Camberos, founder and CEO of Ipsy

What books are you packing in your beach bag or suitcase this summer?