Spring’s 2019 Summer Reading List
We love, love, love reading at Spring Plans. Immersing ourselves in data, research, and stories about people is how many of us spend our downtime. We vigorously wave our nerd flags, and each summer build our own individual reading lists to trundle through on our vacations.
Just like last year, we’re sharing some of our past and current favourites, as well as the books (audio versions too!), podcasts, and more that we’re looking forward to reading this summer. Join us – and if you haven’t dug into last year’s list – check it out here. You can also dig into some of our longer book reviews – including many, many books about money, wealth, and mindset – here.
If You…Want to Think About How Money Works:
The Financially Empowered Woman: Everything You Really Want to Know About Your Money by Tracy Theemes
I love reading money stories. Tracey is so down to earth and does so many things to help empower women. This book lifts me up and makes me think outside the box about how I could make a difference too. I often go back to this book when I am carving out my goals for the year and trying to think of how to give-back.
If You…Want to Think About How People Work:
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown
This book really answered a lot of questions for me about how we learn. If you have something to learn this year and you are dreading the studying process, I recommend this book to help you switch things up a bit and try learning in new ways.
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
For all people, not just for “leaders.” I devour anything written or spoken by Brené Brown, a research professor who studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. This book in particular because of the consistent message of living in integrity with values, and you all know that’s my jam. Her Texan lilt is fabulous to listen to on audiobook and her words are smart, daring and relatable.
Podcast: Work/Life with Adam Grant
Everyone on my team knows I listen to Adam Grant, quote him, and read everything he writes. I have dreams of being Adam Grant when I grow up, except I think he’s younger than me, so that might prove difficult. An organizational psychologist with a passion for making work “not suck,” his short, well-organized podcasts give great insight and actionable recommendations
Becoming by Michelle Obama
I have not finished this book because my audio app has corrupted the file! But I am halfway through and hanging on Michelle Obama’s every word. She is a brilliant storyteller. It is a compelling memoir with beautiful writing and spoken poetically by Michelle Obama herself in the audio version.
Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
I read this book on the plane to Vancouver in January and it was so still and powerful that I’m still thinking about it. Barbara is an Episcopal priest going through what she calls her “second naivete,” questioning and refashioning her faith around uncertainty and doubt. It’s beautiful.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink
(It’s on my “to read” list, so let me know what you think if you’ve already read it.) Daniel Pink is one of my favourite behavioural economists (yes, normal people have “favourite” behavioural economists, I’m sure of it). His previous book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us simply fascinated me, as a financial planner and a team leader. When claims to provide practical tools based on data on how best to live, work, and succeed. Pink is a great researcher and a great writer – I’m sure it’ll be worthwhile.
If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on my Face? by Alan Alda
Despite what might be the worst cover design since 1993, if you’re a communicator (and who isn’t?), you should read this book. This book covers the crucial importance of empathy when communicating complex (and not-so-complex) concepts, and some simple ways to build more of it.
If You…Want to Think About How the World Works
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
I’m an optimist and this is a factual book that spreads positive vibes around the world.
Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer
My best friend is a librarian and she recommended this book to me. Since I write a lot of documents, finding new ways to use language is a great asset to me. I’m also trying to get through Grades 9 and 10 English for the second time with my teenagers, maybe it will help all of us out!
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
Elliott is someone who has taught me a lot about colonization and trauma, among other things, mostly through Twitter. I fully expect to be devastated and convicted by this book. My library app tells me I’ll get it in four weeks (a vast improvement over the nearly six months it told me when I first put it on hold).
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah is uber intelligent, his comedy is outstanding and his book laugh-out-loud hilarious. It is fascinating to learn about a part of the world that I have never been to, through the experiences of someone so different. To entice you:
“Language brings with it an identity and a culture, or at least the perception of it. A shared language says ‘We’re the same.’ A language barrier says ‘We’re different.’ Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.”
He’s got such a powerful voice it is worth finding an audio copy.
If You…Want to Think About How Other Worlds Might Work
Anything written by N.K. Jemisin
I’ve only just found N.K. Jemisin’s work and am asking myself why it took me so long. Both the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms series (the gods have been enslaved by a ruling class and used as weapons of cultural hegemony) and the Broken Earth series (people can control tectonic forces and are have been carefully enslaved to do so only for the ruling elite, and then the world got – you guessed it – broken) are excellent.
Anything written by A Lee Martinez
Martinez writes supernatural fiction made hilariously normal. Current summer reads: The Last Adventure of Constance Verity and Constance Verity Saves the World – a superhero spectacularly failing to have a normal life. Gil’s All Fright Diner, Helen & Troy’s Epic Road Quest, Monster, Divine Misfortune, and Chasing the Moon are also extremely well written and funny social commentary, often told from the view of mythical individuals just trying to live their lives.
All The Strange Things
Reading is my escape. I don’t really watch TV – I prefer to decompress at the end of the day with some mind-bending science fiction. Time travel, spaceships, alternate realities…if you need to add a little weird to your life, check out the titles below. For more nerdy sci-fi recommendations, follow me on Goodreads.
- Aliens, monsters, and vampires: Blindsight by Peter Watts
- All-female space opera: The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley
- Hugely original short stories: Axiomatic by Greg Egan
- Submarine drug pirates and robot love: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
- Not science fiction, but beautiful, horrifying and dark: The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches by Gaétan Soucy
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