If you’ve read Dane Jensen’s book, The Power of Pressure, you may have enjoyed the title of Chapter 9: Sleep and Other Inconvenient Necessities.
Like it or not, downtime is essential for performance under pressure over the long haul. High performers prioritize sleep, nutrition, and breaks to stay fresh and energized. That’s why we’re always excited to share our summer reading list: there’s no better break than some time off over the summer with a good book.
Whether you want to learn something new or veg out with an easy read, you’ll find your perfect summer book on this list. Here’s what our team recommends for 2022.
Peggy Baumgartner, Chief Learning Officer
The Power of Regret by Daniel Pink
When people ask me what about my regrets in life, I always say I have none. Yet Daniel Pink's research points to regret bringing clarity, meaning and focus to all that is important to a person. My flip answer of ‘no regrets’ reflects my optimistic personality, and this summer I will get a little more curious about the value of digging a little deeper to see what I can learn. I would love to hear from others who explore this ‘new to me’ emotion.
Easily my most gifted book of the past year, Why We Sleep is a tour de force exploration of the nature, benefits, and challenges of sleep. The research Walker cites is profound and varied, and the way he presents it is engaging, accessible and actionable. Whether you are looking for the motivation to commit to more sleep or strategies to sleep longer or better, you’ll find it in here. Plus, as a bonus, it’s the only book I’ve read where the author actually encourages you to fall asleep while reading.
While it appears to be a book about finance, this book uses stories about people and money as a way of illustrating the real world dynamics of human behaviour. The content is entertaining, the writing clear and the insights well worth pondering.
While this book has Alzheimer’s prevention at its heart, it’s a powerful read for anyone who wants to “do good” for their brain to improve memory, prevent cognitive decline, and eliminate brain fog. Packed with tons of practical information backed by research, this is an easy-to-read perspective on how we help our most vulnerable organ (the brain) by digging deep into the fat, protein, carbs, sugars, vitamins, and minerals it needs to function optimally.
I borrowed this book from a friend around a decade ago and never gave it back, with good reason. Dr. Posen breaks down stress using simple stories, relevant information, and a few hard truths. The book is divided into 52 (mercifully short) chapters, each ending with a highly actionable "prescription" to help you convert the concepts into action and make small changes that add up to a much healthier relationship with life's demands.
Where the Crawdads Sing (Recommended by Reese’s Book Club and my Hockey Moms Book Club) is about Kya Clark, an isolated, abandoned “Marsh Girl” who is educated in the swamps of North Carolina living deep with nature. A coming-of-age novel that covers prejudice, friendship, solitude, desertion, and education, the narrative is as rich as the setting Owens describes. Make sure to read it before the motion picture comes out this summer.
My pick provides a fascinating look at how you can apply design thinking to your own life to create options, possibilities, and a mindset that allows you to craft a life well-lived. Haven’t been to design school? Don’t see yourself as a creative person? No problem. Get this book, grab a notepad, and be ready to think outside the box, because Bill and Dave will take you step by step through a series of exercises that will get you thinking like a designer to solve problems and mental blocks, brainstorm the “many lives” you could live productively and happily, then choose the one that speaks to you most. Happy summer reading!
This is a fun history book about film, music, sports, politics, culture, global events, and the momentum of the internet. If you are interested in reliving the nineties in an unconventional manner, this is a terrific read. Chuck Klosterman writes with engaging insight and humor that will evoke both memories and questions and explains things I wasn't able to explain for myself.
For those who love historical novels with a twist, this is a fabulous read. It is the story of a young, bright woman with a restless spirit who rebels against the mores of her time. Sue Monk is a daring woman herself as she introduces Jesus who meets up with this young woman when they are both older teenagers and marries her. It is a marriage of convenience that serves both well. The writing is grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’ life that focuses on his humanity. And it is an inspiring and unforgettable account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize her own potential in a dangerous time for women to speak up. More than that, it is just great story telling and good writing. I love learning about historical periods in this way. Enjoy.
Alexis Ullerick, Program Logistics Lead
The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
My pick synthesizes the findings of the author’s year long project to become as productive as possible. Grounded in the concept that productivity comes from managing your time, attention, and energy, Bailey shares his year long journey of productivity experiments like getting up at 5:30 every morning, cutting out caffeine, becoming more intentional and deliberate in his work, and so many more. Each chapter includes a challenge to implement his insights into your own life. Chris Bailey’s writing is fun and witty! When I finished the book I felt like I’d gained a year’s worth of knowledge in just a few days, which already had me feeling pretty productive!
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