18 Books For Your Summer Reading List

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Welcome back to our third annual Summer Reading List! Summer’s the time for reading. Absorb knowledge or just unwind. Some money books, self-improvement reads, fun ways to learn new topics, and life stories to help you laugh and/or provoke interesting ways of viewing things differently. Enjoy this list of my recent favorite reads.

And, if you want some accountability to finish books, participate in our BOOK CLUB! We get together every quarter to discuss a growth oriented book. Themes include money, business, and/or personal development. Our next one takes place on July 18th, 2017 here in Denver. Come join and invite your pals: BOOK CLUB: The Art Of Happiness by the Dalai Lama.

One more thing, for all of my fellow Parks & Recreation fans, you’ll notice a certain theme with some of the listed books 

High five!

Money & Business Themes

1) The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money

By Carl Richards

Why Read

  • Richards is awesome! He explains actionable strategies to help you make better financial decisions. For example, financial drawings are shown on cocktail napkins throughout the book. A good read for financial novices and experts.

Favorite Quote

“The moral: whatever you have to do to gain self-knowledge, do it. Find out who you are and what you want. Then you can stop wasting your life energy and your money on stuff that doesn’t matter to you – and start making financial decisions that will get you to your true goals.”

2) Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending

By Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton

Why Read

  • Two humorous writers explaining multiple research studies which narrow down five ways we can spend money to make us happier. Become a wiser spender with the guidance of this book.
  • If you want the gist, here’s a blog post summarizing the book

Favorite Quote

“Across the 136 countries studied in the Gallup World Poll, donating to charity had a similar relationship to happiness as doubling household income.”

3) Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

By Richard H. Thaler

Why Read

  • Economists love their theories. Yet, humans seem to disrupt economists’ rational thinking. Emotions, preferences, mental accounting, deals, and other human judgement’s strengths and weaknesses. Learn how Behavioral Economics slowly became adopted in academia, business, and public policy.

Favorite Quote

“The bigger lesson is that once you understand a behavioral problem, you can sometimes invent a behavioral solution to it.”

4) Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health

By Brad Klontz, Psy.D. & Ted Klontz, Ph.D.

Why Read

Favorite Quote

“Each of us has certain triggers, those emotions, situations, or events that precede and prompt our unhealthy behaviors. Common triggers for unhealthy financial behaviors follow the HALT acronym popular in 12-step circles: hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. To those four, we would add afraid.”

5) Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

By Spencer Johnson, M.D.

Why Read

  • A fun parable to help you identify with how you react to change and what you can do to improve. Learn how to handle when the cheese is moved in your maze!

Favorite Quote

“What you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.”

6) The Go Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

By Bob Burg

Why Read

  • Gaining new business isn’t about “me, me, me.” Craft your life from a place of generosity. Bob Burg shares a modern-day parable illustrating how giving can lead to success.

Favorite Quote

“All the great fortunes in the world have been created by men and women who had a greater passion for what they were giving – their product, service or idea – than for what they were getting. And many of those great fortunes have been squandered by others who had a greater passion for what they were getting than what they were giving.”

Inspire & Improve Your Human Spirit

7) The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

By the Dalai Lama

Why Read

  • The Dalai Lama smiles a lot. Learn the mental discipline the Dalai Lama uses in his everyday life.

Favorite Quote

“Compassion can be roughly defined in terms of a state of mind that is nonviolent, nonharming, and nonaggressive. It is a mental attitude based on the wish for others to be free of their suffering and is associated with a sense of commitment, responsibility, and respect towards others.”

Looking for a Book Club? Our group is meeting on Tuesday, July 18th to discuss this book. Read the book and come join for some great conversations!

8) Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

By Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW

Why Read

  • Do you describe yourself as a wholehearted person? Brené Brown’s work makes many people excited – including the TED talk community. Her light-hearted writing style makes you feel like you’re sitting with her at a coffee table. Open your mind to better understand yourself so you can overcome some of the mental barriers holding you back.

Favorite Quote

“Daring greatly means finding our own path and respecting what that search looks like for other folks.”

9) Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

By Jon Kabat-Zinn

Why Read

  • Mindfulness helps you slow down and ponder on how your internal nature reacts to the world. Mindfulness doesn’t always need to be practiced on a yoga mat or sitting cross-legged on the floor. Learn how to bring mindfulness into your everyday life.

Favorite Quote

“There is no successful escaping from yourself in the long run, only transformation. It doesn’t matter whether you are using drugs or meditation, alcohol or Club Med, divorce or quitting your job. There can be no resolution leading to growth until the present situation has been faced completely and you have opened to it with mindfulness, allowing the roughness of the situation itself to sand down your own rough edges. In other words, you must be willing to let life itself become your teacher.”

10) Yes Please

By Amy Poehler

Why Read

  • A character in her own right. Dive into the mind of Amy Poehler and learn about the human behind her comedy. Lots of inspiration throughout this fun read.

Favorite Quote

“If you can surf your life rather than plant your feet, you will be happier.”

11) Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

By Laura Hillenbrand

Why Read

  • Holy smokes! How much can one guy go through and stay resilient throughout so much adversity!? Get inspired while reading about the life of Louie Zamperini. Lots of twists and turns in the biographical story of a man worth writing about.

Favorite Quote

“Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen.”

12) Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Handbook for Delicious Living

By Nick Offerman

Why Read

  • The man behind Parks & Rec’s Ron Swanson takes the reader on an entertaining journey. Offerman tells his story as an actor, how hobbies help his overall life, and other deep thoughts about life. And of course, many bacon references throughout.

Favorite Quote

“The technique is: Let the others go first. At the airport, at the grocery store, at the Pleasure Chest (hey-o!). The calmer I become, the more I enjoy my day. The more I enjoy my day, the more people enjoy me and the more they want to see me in my enjoyment!”

Fun Ways To Learn

13) Star Wars & Philosophy: More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine

By Kevin S. Decker

Why Read

  • Want to explore life’s deep questions? Explore the theories of famous philosophers presented through the Star Wars stories. Lightsabers and thinking!

Favorite Quote

‘“Yoda criticizes Luke for his inability to focus on his present situation. Yoda says, ‘All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was… what he was doing.’ Yoda dismisses Luke’s lust for adventure and excitement as things a Jedi does not crave. Yoda is never distracted by frivolous desires for adventure or excitement, nor does he worry about things beyond his control. This too is characteristic of the Stoic, who enjoys equanimity and peace of mind.”’

14) Modern Romance

By Aziz Ansari

Why Read

  • Modern day dating differs from our parents’ generations. Learn fascinating stories about dating in different cultures and the challenges/opportunities facing young people today.

Favorite Quote

“We want something that’s very passionate, or boiling, from the get-go. In the past, people weren’t looking for something boiling; they just needed some water. Once they found it and committed to a life together, they did their best to heat things up. Now, if things aren’t boiling, committing to marriage seems premature.”

15) Status Anxiety

By Alain De Botton

Why Read

  • This book consumed me and I was excited to recommend it to lots of people. Botton documents society’s transition from previously labeling people as either fortunate or unfortunate to our modern-day labeling people as winners or losers. His research and theories will fascinate you while making you think differently about the classic phrase, “Keeping Up With the Joneses.”

Favorite Quote

“For those made most anxious or embittered by the ideals of their own societies, the history of status, even crudely outlined, cannot but reveal a basic and inspiring point: ideals are not cast in stone. Status values have long been, and in the future may again be, subject to alteration.”

16) Batman & Psychology: A Dark & Stormy Knight

By Travis Langley

Why Read

  • You don’t need to pick up a textbook to learn about psychology. How does the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents influence his childhood development? Does The Riddler have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Explore the history of psychological theories explained through the characters of Gotham.

Favorite Quote

“Understanding Batman requires us to look hardest at him and his foes. The villains mirror and warp his darkness, his fears, his needs for puzzles to solve and criminals to hurt, and his hopes too. Having a dark side does not make him mentally ill as long as he manages it, as long as he walks the edge [Steve] Englehart talked about without falling into the abyss.”

Leisure Reading

17) Watchmen

By Alan Moore

Why Read

  • Considered a modern day classic for many reasons. This graphic novel explores many different big questions like politics, ethics, and humanity. Trust me, the book is way better than the 2009 movie flop.

Favorite Quote

“There’s a notion I’d like to see buried: the ordinary person. Ridiculous. There is no ordinary person.”

18) The BFG

By Roald Dahl

Why Read

  • Travel to Giant Country where you’ll soon be smiling with the good-hearted BFG. Laugh and get in a good mood with the BFG’s quirky way of speaking when trying to communicate with Sophie.

Favorite Quote

“‘Meanings is not important,’ said the BFG. ‘I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.’”

If none of these fit your fancy, you can check out the previous lists through these links:

Happy Reading!

This article originally appeared on Well Rounded Success

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About the Author

Dan Andrews, the Leader and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ of Well-Rounded Success, enjoys guiding and encouraging millennials through their 'adulting' responsibilities. His behavioral-finance style focuses on helping individuals in the Well-Rounded Success community define his/her own definition of success, make good decisions, and to also be philanthropic while along their journeys.

Do you know XYPN advisors provide virtual services? They can work with clients in any state! View Dan's profile

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