01 June 2018

Books of Summer

"A person only learns in two ways, one is by reading, and the other by association with smarter people."

--Will Rogers

Read any good books lately?

A close look at the U.S. populous finds millennials are the top readers. According to the latest Pew Research Center study on reading, 18-29-year-olds are the age group most likely to have read a book in any format in the past year. And they generally prefer print to e-books, which have plateaued since 2016.

The Pew study shows the typical American has read four books in the past year. 

What to read?

We love books. Our reading list generally comes from recommendations and reviews. 

Here are five books in our 2018 summer library that would contribute to your personal and professional development:

1. "Character." By Samuel Smiles. Serenity Publishing. 254 pages.

"Character is one of the great motive powers in the world. In its noblest embodiments, it exemplifies human nature in its highest forms." --Samuel Smiles

We can't say enough about this topic. Character is an often overlooked strength when interviewing and assessing personnel. Exemplary behavior, and its many attributes (honesty, integrity, manners), are needed now more than ever.

2. "Silence." By Erling Kagge.  Pantheon Publishers. 144 pages. 

"Twenty-five years ago, the Norwegian adventurer Erling Kagge trekked solo across Antarctica without a radio (actually, the aviation company that flew him to the coast insisted that he take one, and he did—but he dumped the batteries in the plane's trash bin). The experience of being alone for 50 days inspired this book: a meditation on the need for, and meaning of, silence."

--The Wall Street Journal BookShelf 

3. "On Grand Strategy." By John Lewis Gaddis. Penguin Press. 384 pages.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.   

"The best education in grand strategy available in a single volume ... a long walk with a single, delightful mind." --John Nagl

4. "Lead Yourself First." By Raymond M. Kethledge and Michael S. Erwin. Bloomsbury USA. 240 pages.  

A guide to the role of solitude in leadership, including profiles of historical and contemporary figures who have used privacy to lead with courage, creativity, and strength. 

--Publisher's comments.  

5. "Alone Together." By  Sherry Turkle. Basic Books. 400 pages.   

"Technology has become the architect of our intimacies. Online we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication. But this persistent connection leads to a deep solitude. As technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down."   

--Publisher's comments.

To quote Wordsworth ...

"Books, we know, 
Are a substantial world, both pure and good,
Round which, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,
Our pastime and our happiness can grow."

(C) Bredholt & Co.