Villing & Company

Summer Reading List

Summer reading lists can be more than mindless beach reads. The right books help stimulate personal and professional development.

Some odd years ago, summer was about taking a break, spending time with friends and enjoying three months of fun every day, all day... without school. But, of course, there were quite a few teachers who thought otherwise.

Enter THE SUMMER READING LIST. I dreaded this list. And, for the most part, I found it to be so painful that I rarely crossed any of the books off of the list until the last few weeks of summer... when I absolutely had to finish for fear of being in trouble on the first day of school.

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate reading a great book. So, I've decided to take another shot at the summer reading list. Hopefully, it won’t be so terrible now. Since the summer is quickly flying by, I realized I better decide what I want to read soon. After browsing The New York Times Bestseller List and polling friends, family and colleagues, I've compiled a list of professional development and business books I’d like to read this summer. It’s not long, but considering my aversion to book lists, I don’t want to be too ambitious. Here’s a look at the list with a brief overview accompanying each title.

1. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, common sense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth.

2. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, cope with a disability, lose a parent, attend a mediocre school or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.

Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examine Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms - all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity.

3. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the “human scale principle,” using the “Velcro Theory of Memory” and creating “curiosity gaps.”

In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds–from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony–draw their power from the same six-traits.

So, there it is... the summer reading list. Wish me luck.

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