Lots of us, when we're looking for summer reads, want nothing more than page-turners featuring teen vampires or gumshoe detectives to pass the time on the beach. But what if you could use your vacation reading to improve your life and your business without sacrificing too much entertainment value?
That's what star Wharton professor and best-selling author Adam Grant promises with his latest list of newly released books. This summer edition of his regularly appearing lists of book recommendations offers titles on topics ranging from persuasion to global geopolitics that will both teach you something useful and keep you occupied on your sun lounger.
"These are the dozen new releases for May and June that fired me up," Grant promises. Maybe they'll fire up your mind this summer too.
1. How Minds Change by David McRaney
"A riveting read on the art and science of persuasion. David McRaney's brilliant book will force you to rethink your views about how to motivate other people to rethink theirs," says Grant. Fellow best-selling author Daniel Pink agrees that How Minds Change "shows us how generous conversations can replace zero-sum debates and how genuine empathy can close deep divisions." In today's political climate, that sounds pretty darn appealing.
2. Good Arguments by Bo Seo
Tackling similar issues to those of the first recommendation on the list, Grant calls this book by a debating champion "a user manual for our polarized world," adding that "it's the rare book that has the potential to make you smarter."
3. Future Tense by Tracy Dennis-Tiwary
One of several new books looking at the surprising upsides of anxiety, neuroscientist Tracy Dennis-Tiwary's book "is going to smash your existing beliefs about anxiety and replace them with more helpful ones," promises Grant.
4. Burn Rate by Andy Dunn
"In this arrestingly candid memoir, Bonobos founder Andy Dunn pulls back the curtain on his life and smashes the stigma of mental illness at work," says Grant, who calls the frank account of Dunn's life with bipolar disorder "a must-read for entrepreneurs."
Medium and Twitter founder Ev Williams agrees, describing the book as "a riveting and soulful expression of the entrepreneur" that reveals "often there's a destructive mania that drives success in this country."
5. Disrupting the Game by Reggie Fils-Aimé
In this one, former Nintendo executive Reggie Fils-Aimé tells "the inside story of how the son of Haitian immigrants beat the odds, rose to the top of the gaming industry, and breathed new life into Nintendo," according to Grant.
6. Build by Tony Fadell
This book, from the inventor of the iPod, iPhone, and Nest thermostat, is self-recommending for entrepreneurs. In it, Tony Fadell "distills his epic achievements into refreshingly candid, often contrarian advice that you can put into practice right away to build a great product, a creative team, a strong culture, or a meaningful career," Grant explains.
7. Don't Trust Your Gut by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
In his new book, former Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz argues that "while we often think we know how to better ourselves, the numbers disagree. Hard facts and figures consistently contradict our instincts and demonstrate self-help that actually works," Amazon explains. Grant says Don't Trust Your Gut "is full of surprising, useful insights for using the information at your fingertips to make better decisions."
8. The Digital Mindset by Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neeley
If you're worried "robots will steal our jobs, this book is for you," says Grant, who claims the book by "experts on how technology is transforming work" offers the "practical insights you need to understand the next wave of digital change--and ride it smoothly."
9. The Power of Crisis by Ian Bremmer
This spring has been a super alarming time for geopolitics. If you need to calm your nerves about the state of the world to enjoy your summer, Grant recommends this book by renowned political scientist Ian Bremmer. It delivers "a dose of insight and a dash of hope," he says. The Power of Crisis reveals how and why "global emergencies have opened windows of opportunity that we dare not waste," agrees Citi CEO Jane Fraser.
10. A New Way to Think by Roger Martin
"A trusted adviser to countless CEOs" makes "his management philosophy widely available in an actionable book that will teach you how to make good choices, avoid common traps, and solve vexing problems," says Grant of A New Way to Think.
11. Finding Me by Viola Davis
An Oprah's Book Club pick and the subject of a new Oprah interview special on Netflix, the Los Angeles Times called this memoir by the celebrated actor a "fulfilling narrative of struggle and success" that "will inspire anyone wishing to shed old labels."
12. The Office BFFs by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey
A behind-the-scenes account of the friendship between The Office co-stars, this book is a must read "for fans of the greatest show ever made about work," according to Grant.