fbpx

Your Grown-Up Summer Reading List: Books You’ll Enjoy Now

Remember those high school summer days spent reading To Kill a Mockingbird and Romeo and Juliet? Well, summer reading isn’t just for students! There’s no better time than summer to enjoy a good book. 

Research shows benefits of reading include reduced stress, enhanced empathy, and even prolonged lifespan. It’s reason enough to crack open a book! Check out our top picks for uplifting and inspiring reads this summer.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

What better way to enjoy your summer reading than with a novel that the New York Times calls ‘comedy heaven’? Where’d You Go, Bernadette is making waves with its whip-smart creativity and nontraditional narrative. Plus, you’ll want to read the book before you catch it in theaters this August, starring the brilliant Cate Blanchett.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel is the story of Bernadette Fox. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; and to her daughter, 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend. Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence. It all adds up to a page-turner that’s both touching and gripping. 

The BIG Journey: Bold Inclusion for Greatness

Has diversity and inclusion in the workplace been on your mind? Pick up The BIG Journey: Bold Inclusion for Greatness by fellow CX member Andrea Hendricks and discover the B.I.G. idea behind this important topic. 

The BIG Journey: Bold Inclusion for Greatness takes on the perception that professionals lack an approach to seamlessly and systemically embed diversity and inclusion throughout all industries as a standard of practice. Andrea shares the B.I.G. idea that we can harness the strength of past civil rights leaders and present diversity thought leaders to stand strong and address those big opportunities for diversity.

Educated: A Memoir

Haven’t read this #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Globe Best Seller? Now’s your chance! Educated: A Memoir is a book club favorite and story of a girl who first stepped foot in a classroom at the age of 17. Leaving her survivalist family behind, she then goes on to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. This book will foster your love and appreciation for education.

Educated: A Memoir is the story of Tara Westover. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara was isolated from mainstream society. When another brother got accepted into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then did she wonder if she’d traveled too far, and if there was still a way home.

The Curiosity Muscle: How Four Simple Questions Can Uncover Powerful Insights and Exponential Growth

Have you ever wondered why certain trends come and go? Why do some companies lose relevance and others remain popular for decades? In The Curiosity Muscle: How Four Simple Questions Can Uncover Powerful Insights and Exponential Growth, you’ll learn that curiosity is at the center of these questions. Andy Fromm and Diana Kander — one of our keynote speakers at the 2019 Leadership Lyceum! — show why curiosity is your greatest asset.

From how we develop blind spots about our business to the pitfalls of feeling like an expert, The Curiosity Muscle walks you through specific ways to boost innovation, uncover customer needs, solve problems, create new value for customers, and increase employee engagement. For those with a curious mind, this book offers the opportunity to strengthen that skill in a way that will improve your work and your organization as a whole.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Dive into the kitchen this summer with Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking. In the likes of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything, this book offers a new approach to cooking by distilling decades of professional experience into four simple elements. Does the title sound familiar? Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat was made into a Netflix series! 

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat teaches readers to master the use of just four elements: salt, which enhances flavor; fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; acid, which balances flavor; and heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will inspire you to confidently prepare delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time. And author Samin Nosrat will inspire you too. Born and raised in San Diego, Samin is the child of parents who emigrated from Iran and works to expand diversity in the culinary world.  

Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace 

Did you see the keynote speaker at this year’s Leadership Lyceum? Gain more of Carla Harris’s empowering wisdom in her book Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace. Carla shares battle-tested tools for fulfilling your true potential. If getting to the next level in your career is at the forefront of your mind, this book is a must-read.

With Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace, Carla delivers advice, tips and strategies for flourish in any workplace environment. While climbing the corporate ladder, Carla had her own missteps and celebrated numerous victories. She vowed that when she reached senior management, and people came to her for advice, she would pay it forward. You’ll find a treasure trove of her wisdom and experiences in this priceless book!

Zilch: How Businesses and Not-for-Profits Can Get More Bang with Less Buck

At Central Exchange, many of our members are passionate about nonprofits. Zilch: How Businesses and Not-for-Profits Can Get More Bang with Less Buck uncovers what companies can learn from their mission-led peers. Written by the founder of Dress for Success, Nancy Lublin, this book will help both nonprofits and for-profit companies think beyond the budget.

Managers at small start-ups and Fortune 100 companies alike are expected to do more with less — but how? In Zilch: How Businesses and Not-for-Profits Can Get More Bang with Less Buck, Nancy Lublin answers that question and draws on her experiences, as well as interviews with other “rock star” leaders of flourishing not-for-profits, to show how to succeed with any size budget, staff or network.

So Happiness to Meet You: Foolishly, Blissfully Stranded in Vietnam

Looking for a new perspective on a culture different from your own? Take your dreams of world travel to the next level and experience what it’s like to live in Vietnam with Karin Esterhammer’s So Happiness to Meet You: Foolishly, Blissfully Stranded in Vietnam. Not only will you connect with Vietnamese culture, you’ll also get some good laughs along the way. 

In So Happiness to Meet You: Foolishly, Blissfully Stranded in Vietnam, job losses and the housing crash lead Karin and her family to leave L.A. and start over in an unlikely place: a nine-foot-wide back-alley house in one of Ho Chi Minh City’s poorest districts. Karin’s neighbors unabashedly stare into windows, generously share their barbecued rat, keep cockroaches for luck and ultimately help her find joy without Western trappings.

Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up 

Jerry Colonna has been called the “CEO Whisperer” and earned his reputation as a quiet coach to some of the world’s biggest entrepreneurs. Now, he shares his advice in Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up. For entrepreneurs and leaders of all kinds, if you’re looking for something that will not only transform your professional career but also your personal life, check this one out.

In Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up, this venture capitalist turned executive coach shares his unusual yet highly effective blend of Buddhism, Jungian therapy and entrepreneurial straight talk to help leaders overcome their own psychological traumas. Reboot is a journey of radical self-inquiry, helping you to reset your life by sorting through the emotional baggage that is holding you back professionally, and even more important, in your relationships. 


These great summer reads will make you smile, teach you something new, introduce you to new perspectives and help you rise to new heights. That’s exactly what happens every day at Central Exchange. Join us at Central Exchange for inspiration and empowerment on a new level. You’re invited to visit today!

By |2019-07-22T16:21:05+00:00July 25th, 2019|Inspiration, Leadership|0 Comments

About the Author:

Central Exchange Director of Marketing + Communications

Leave A Comment