Summer school for retailers

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BY JULIE A. PALM

Here’s a reading list for the beach, lake or wherever your vacation takes you

As you pack for your summer vacation, be sure to include a few good books. It’s the perfect time to read: long blocks of free time, an empty hammock calling to you.

We won’t begrudge you the latest thriller or buzz-worthy novel, but we encourage you to include at least one title that will improve your life when vacation is over. We’ve compiled a dozen book recommendations. Some are new releases; some are older titles you may have overlooked. We’ve included a mix of how-to, business theory, biography, history and inspiration. We think you’ll find the titles engaging and enlightening. We promise this reading assignment won’t feel like work.

  • “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” by Daniel H. Pink

  • “Can You Learn to Be Lucky? Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others” by Karla Starr

  • “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

  • “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike” by Phil Knight

  • “What Works: Gender Equality by Design” by Iris Bohnet

  • “Dream Teams: Working Together Without Falling Apart” by Shane Snow

  • “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked” by Adam Alter

  • “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone” by Brian Merchant

  • “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity” by Kim Scott

  • “High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way” by Brendon Burchard

  • “Surviving the Tech Storm: Strategy in Times of Technological Uncertainty” by Nicklas Bergman

  • “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett

After vacation, when you return home and settle back into your routine, we encourage you to keep up your summer reading habit.

As Christina DesMarais, an Inc.com contributor writes in a May 12 article headlined “Why a Daily Habit of Reading Books Should Be Your Priority, According to Science,” regularly reading books helps people better understand the perspectives of others and be more empathetic, something useful whether you’re interacting with co-workers or customers. Reading also helps keep your brain sharp, improving your memory and staving off cognitive declines that come with age. This is especially true if you read hardbacks or paperbacks rather than downloading to an electronic device.

Read what they read

In a May 15 article, Business Insider’s Mara Leighton pulls together book recommendations from avid readers who also happen to be among the world’s most successful businesspeople. Here are three of their suggestions:

  • “Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition Is Reshaping Global Markets” by George Stalk Jr. and Thomas M. Hout, recommended by Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple

  • “The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing” by Benjamin Graham, recommended by Warren Buffett, chair and CEO of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway

  • “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety” by Jimmy Carter, recommended by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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