Summer Reading

What are you reading this summer? Everywhere you look, the media is touting summer reading selections. Why is summer supposed to be a reading season? You would think people would have more time in the winter to read when there is no yard to mow, car to wash, house to paint, etc. There’s nothing like curling up in front of the fire with a good book. But somehow summer has earned the reputation as the time to pick up a good book. So do you enjoy a “mind candy” novel, read a self-help book, or dive into something non-fiction?

As far as career-related books go, there are tons on the market. My friend Martin Yate’s Knock ‘Em Dead series are a great resource for career info and I highly recommend them. What about books from which you can learn some insights? I’ve always thought biographies were a great place to learn things that you can apply to your own life and career. Autobiographies are even better because you get the real skinny, not just the view from a third person.

One of my favorites is Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton. Most people know very little about the tremendous, almost-miraculous, effort it took to put a man on the moon. It is amazing what that generation of Americans could do without the benefit of personal computers, calculators, and GPS positioning. It will leave you in awe of the men and women of our space program and give you a lot of insights into work ethics of that era, insights that should be applied to our times.

Another good read is Between Silk and Cyanide by Leo Marks. Leo Marks was Great Britain’s master code breaker during World War II. As we mark the sixtieth anniversary of that war, this is a tremendous read about how the code breakers contributed to the victory. The desperate efforts of the covert operations of the Allied Forces in making and breaking codes are amazing. Sheer mind power of hundreds of people tasked to break the German codes is detailed in this book in a framework that is easily readable and enjoyable.

Two great books for summer reading that contain a ton of insight into reaching success under the most grueling conditions. They will help you put the irritations of lost cell phone signals, dicky copy machines, and virus-infected laptops into perspective this summer.

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