The days are long and it’s a great time to take a break and relax on your porch with a good book and a glass of something cold. When you can't decide which book to pick up, try one of these great options. They're sorted by personality and situation to make it easy to pick one out for yourself or a friend.
For the Agency Nerd:
Nick Westergaard - Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small
If you want to spend your summer thinking about bettering your agency, try a little book like Get Scrappy. In it you can learn how to make things run better at an agency of any size by making small efficiencies work for you (not you for them). Get a better map for setting your agency on a good path. Sure, it's kind of like marketing school homework, but then again, so is everyday life, right?
Just Get Away From it All (for a Minute):
Cherina Kohey - Adult Coloring Books Good Vibes: Don’t Give Up: Motivate Your Life with Brilliant Designs and Great Calligraphy Words to Help Melt Stress Away
Need something to do while you're waiting for your report to print out or for your lunch to heat in the microwave? Try an adult coloring book to get back to your roots and make something pretty. Sure, you can find them just about anywhere these days, and on any topic, so find one that fits you best and get coloring.
For the Office Gossip:
Joseph Epstein - Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit
Don't we all know someone who wants to spread gossip day and night at work? This historical look at spreading tales actually addresses the human need to gossip, and how it's just about as natural as communication itself. Learn about the great gossips of history (that may or may not include Linda from accounting) and you might get some perspective on humankind's insatiable desire to talk about stuff, whether it's in the royal court or in modern formats like the spread of gossip on social media.
Tales of a Blogger Made Good:
Samantha Irby - We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays
New book by blogger Samantha Irby is not one to share with anyone under the age of 18…this is definitely mature content, but hilarious stuff at that. When you need some inspiration for turning a "for fun" hobby into something lucrative (or at least "book money"), then this is the one for you. Irby's first book, Meaty, was drawn directly from her blog, but these essays take her tales on to another level. She's not just the latest writer to turn a blog into book…this is such a worthwhile success story that will have you spitting out your rosé with every page.
For the Boss:
Robert I. Sutton - Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst
Even a boss needs a little boost sometimes. With this book, Stanford professor Robert Sutton works through different ways to make being in charge less of a negative and more of a positive. Sometimes the book highlights someone to emulate, and sometimes someone to run far far away from. When you can figure out what kind of boss you want to be, you'll be in great shape. This book can help you get there.
Give This One to Someone Struggling:
Eric Barker - Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong
Before you give someone advice at the water cooler, maybe treat them to a little book on recognizing great routes to success. They can get help to see what is a successful person, and how it might not be the path they'd think. This book takes anecdotal evidence along with data to show how the people we think are going to be top dog often aren't in the long run. Hopefully by the end of reading it, they'll have a better idea of how to succeed with their own career path.
To the Recently Promoted:
Candela Iglesias Chiesa - Build Your Dream Team: Leadership Based on a Passion for People
If you're moving into a new role, you might be elated, until the reality sets in that leadership maybe hasn't been a part of your training thus far. This book can help you look at your team with fresh eyes, and help you build a great relationship with everyone you work with as you head on towards a common goal. Before you let "imposter syndrome" get the best of you, try some simple self-introspection. Even if you've been in a leadership role for a while, but need help dealing with a crisis, check out what Build Your Dream Team has to offer you.
For the Recently Fired:
Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant - Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy
From one of the authors of Lean In, comes a lesson in dealing with disappointment. Didn't get that promotion? Or worse, didn't keep your job? Here's the first place to start. Sandberg and Grant (a Wharton professor) talk through life's greatest setbacks and how to cope. Strategies for getting through the dark waters of life's greatest floods are great for keeping your own issues in perspective and finding a way to get through the terrible stuff. At the end, they hope you'll find joy.
Read This Late at Night:
Sharon Salzburg - Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
It's often those sleepless nights that keep all agency folk with a permanent set of dark circles and a string of cranky mornings. One of the best ways to get that sleep you so desperately want is to turn off your screens before bed and pick up a good book. Real Happiness at Work has some great tips on meditations that will help you not only calm your brain before bed (or any time, really) but also find your (literal) mantra to help you achieve your goals with a sense of calm, not dread.
For a Great Commute:
Tina Fey - Bossypants
One of my favorite things to do when stuck somewhere is to pull out my digital copy of Bossypants and take in one hilarious chapter after another. Tina Fey talks you through her awkward adolescence, her regrettable college social life, and her uproarious acting and writing career. Every story makes you want to sit down and watch episodes of 30 Rock till you laugh yourself silly. Already read Tina Fey's autobiography? Try the audio book to hear her voice go through every story like it's new.
To Break Writer's Block:
Danielle Krysa - Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative
Do you get hit with creative block time after time? Or just feeling the cold hand of doubt on your shoulder? There's a way to fight off the mental doubt with this book which takes potential roadblocks with each chapter and shows you how to deconstruct them to blaze a path to success. Just have a little time to read every day? No problem. Just try to digest a chapter and mull it over. See how it applies to your situation, whether you're a writer, designer, illustrator, or even a strategist with a creative edge – this book can help. (Or at least the illustrations are pretty entertaining.)
Fight Work Stress:
Michael Carroll - Fearless at Work: Timeless Teachings for Awakening Confidence, Resilience, and Creativity in the Face of Life's Demands
Things can seem tough, even in the summertime. When you need a leg up on stress, don't turn to Happy Hour margarita night, try a little mental vacation with some meditation and some good advice. Fearless at Work uses Buddhist philosophy to help you find your inner peace. We all need a little confidence boost every now and then, and the lessons here can help you keep your sanity, even in the most rough and tumble work situations.