10 Books for Beach or Poolside This Summer
A guidebook to life for college graduates, another work by two-time Pulitzer winner David McCullough and a meditation on thought and genius.
Bloomberg, May 23, 2019
It’s that time of year! Memorial Day is almost here, and the season to sit on the beach or poolside and enjoy your favorite authors is upon us.
Here are my top 10 most promising titles for this reading season. There are many, many books on my wish list, including a number recommended by readers. (The complete list of more than 50 suggestions is here; all of our past summer and winter reading lists are here).
A few caveats: As always, most of these are new releases, with one or two older titles mixed in. Second, this list is based on my personal interests (they are decidedly not based on pitches by publicists). Third, I link each book to Amazon.com, which lets me track lots of data about each title (including how many of you actually buy the book). It throws off a few dollars, and I donate any revenue your book purchase generates to a literacy program.
On to the book list!
• “The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning,” by Scott Galloway. Galloway should be familiar to readers as the brand-strategy professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, as a regular guest on Masters in Business and as the author of “The Four,” about the dominance of the big tech companies. He usually writes about technology and business, but concern with students’ life issues led to creation of a 10 minute YouTube video that garnered almost 2 million views. That became this lovely short book, which is likely to be a graduation and holiday gift for years to come.
• “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries,” by Safi Bahcall. How does group behavior and the science of phase transitions manifest itself? The author, a physicist and entrepreneur, tries to show why some wild new ideas become game changers. I was skeptical, but when someone like Daniel Kahnemansays, “This book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world,” I pay attention.
• “The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West” by David McCullough. Ever since I read McCullough’s “The Wright Brothers” (on an earlier summer reading list of ours — and it was fantastic) I have been a fan of the two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning historian. This tale of how the American Northwest Territory was settled looks intriguing.
The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan
Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle
Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter