Happy summer, #TMGInsights readers! Whatcha up to over the next three months? A trip to the beach? Maybe some pool time? Hanging at home for a little staycation perhaps? Wherever summer 2019 is taking you, make a point to put down the phone, relax, and dive into a good book. Not sure where to start? We have you covered! Read on to see what we’ve been recommending to each other for sweet summer reads as members of our team jet off on their summer getaways.
Michael Robbins – Founder & COO
How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World – Neil Irwin
This is a practical book about adapting to forces in the world so you can succeed in business (and life). It provides thought-provoking examples of how to better use data to adapt to change, broaden skill sets so as not to be a specialist but more of a generalist, and advice for having vision for forthcoming trends and changes. It also focuses on working smart, not just hard, and how working too many hours can actually become counterproductive, which is something I personally struggle with. The book also has interesting data points on good management styles, which I hope to better employ going forward. I read a review of the book in Axios, mentioned that it sounded interesting to my wife, and she got it for me for my birthday, which makes the book even more special.
Sarah Heine – Vice President
Okay, so I am a little late catching the Brené Brown train. This book, her most well-known, was actually first published back in 2012, but millennial that I am, I wasn’t aware of Dr. Brown or her work until I saw her Netflix special, which came out earlier this year. Dr. Brown has spent the majority of her career conducting research at the University of Houston, where she studies shame and vulnerability. Sound boring? It’s really, really not. Her book (and her special) take a look at the role vulnerability and shame play in our lives and she shares how her research has shown that vulnerability is necessary for creativity and compassion- both of which are critical for humans to be successful personally and professionally.
As someone who finds vulnerability to be very scary, her work has been transformative for me, and I could not more highly recommend this to anyone on their own journey towards personal growth.
Still skeptical of spending $12.99 for the Kindle version of her book and happen to be one of the tiny percent of folks without access to your own (or your parent’s, or your friend’s) Netflix subscription? Check out the TedX talk that really put her on the map- it’s only 20 minutes long AND it’s free.
Come join me in the arena. I dare you.
Boyd Bailey – Vice President
When Crickets Cry – Charles Martin
My recommended read for the summer is When Crickets Cry. It’s a sentimental story that takes place in a small Southern town and deals with the complexities of the human heart – both literally and figuratively – with the main character as a heart surgeon. All the characters are genuine, and the book is redeeming and heartfelt. Suspense is also built into the storyline and ends with an emotional punch. Settle yourself in for a special treat when you read When Crickets Cry.
Susan Fielders – Vice President, Office Administration
Get Stuff Done – Dominic Mann
For people who feel that they have not accomplished anything in their day, I recommend reading Get Stuff Done by Dominic Mann. The book explains how the 80/20 rule can be applied to your work day, making it productive vs non-productive. This rule taught me to plan and schedule 20% of my day working on a priority task, which resulted in 80% completion. It is also advised to schedule this time during the day when you are most productive. There will always be daily unexpected tasks to be completed, but with the 80/20 rule, it allows you to have the bulk of the priority task completed and work on other items before the day ends. This book is a short and concise read that offers many techniques, including focus, productivity, procrastination, and multi-tasking.
Rebecca McTear – Digital Strategist
100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways To Make The True Essentials – America’s Test Kitchen
Is this a book you will want to bring with you to the beach? Absolutely not. It’s too heavy. But it is filled with 100 tasty recipes and is essential to add to the TMG reading list because even business professionals need to eat. One of the best parts of this book are the stories of trial and error the chefs went through to come up with the best version of each recipe. Recipes can vary from throwing things together for a quick weeknight meal to more elaborate weekend culinary adventures. Make sure to try to Peruvian chicken; it is a crowd pleaser.
Ellen Huber – Communications Strategist
Becoming – Michelle Obama
My favorite (of many) takeaways from Michelle Obama’s superb memoir, Becoming, is that women can always redefine and reaffirm their independence. Women are often expected to take a back seat to their partners’ ambition, in the name of familial care, societal pressure, or running a presidential campaign and then presidency. Michelle was as accomplished as Barack when he decided to run for office. Before the campaign, she struggled to juggle her career with childcare, as many women do, and then she faced leaving her career entirely to support of Barack’s goal. In Becoming, Michelle is honest about the pain—and loss of sense of self—this decision caused. The point is that she channeled her energy into initiatives where she could make the biggest impact as First Lady while establishing a new sense of self that’s still evolving today. She wasn’t passive in her role. She is an example of a strong, ambitious woman who continues to invest in herself even when outside forces try to close her into a box. I think it’s important for today’s woman, facing pressure from the office, from home, and from the world, to see that no matter what role you adapt to, you can still carve out meaning and independence in your life.
Jody Greene – Digital Associate
The Agony and the Ecstasy – Irving Stone
Sometimes, you read a book because it’s what all your friends are talking about. Sometimes, it’s recommended to you by your favorite blog (this very post, anyone?). And sometimes, your mother tells you that the only way she’ll let you join her in Florence is if you read an 800-page biographical novel of Michelangelo Buonarroti. While the driving force behind me reading The Agony and the Ecstasy was quite literally being forced to, the book drew me in and provided a glimpse into the Florentine Renaissance, as well as the incredible mind of Michelangelo. This book inspired me in more ways than one: It reminded me that creativity is driven by passion and that it takes hard work and grit to prove yourself to those who doubt you. It also sparked a deeper interest in ar, and inspired me to think creativity both inside and outside the office. While it may not be an easy read, The Agony and the Ecstasy is a substantial work of literature that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a bit more perspective outside of their daily bubble.
Rebecca Hendrickson – Associate
Born a Crime – Trevor Noah
As someone who has a hard time getting into fictional writing, here’s a must-read for all my fellow memoir (and The Daily Show)-lovers out there: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. In this book, Trevor Noah details the adventures and the hardships of his childhood in apartheid South Africa born to a black Xhosa mother and a white Swiss father. Living under the threat that the South African government could take him away at any point, Noah spent much of his early childhood hiding indoors. As a boy with intersectional roots, he notes the struggles of trying to find his place not just in his own country, but in society as a whole. Born a Crime is a great read full of ups and downs, all sprinkled with that classic Trevor Noah humor.
Kellen Blake – Fellow
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
As a graduation gift, my father gave me an inspiring book called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I finally got around to reading and let me tell you, this is book is nothing short of amazing. It gives an inspiring story of a man who dreams of finding a treasure that he sees in his dreams. While the journey is rough, the book outlines the journey of life and trying to achieve your dreams. If you’re looking for a light book you can take to the beach or the pool this summer, this is the one!
Teddy Gordon – Intern
The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
In our fast-paced world, it is only getting easier to become caught up in what we don’t have, or how we’re falling behind. The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck sticks out because of its title, as well as its counterintuitive approach to life. This book taught me how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. The author, Mark Manson, talks about putting our egos aside and allowing ourselves to accept life’s inevitable imperfections. The book also highlights the idea of finding what you value as important, and how to eliminate life’s many distractions. This stuck out to me because I often feel loaded with responsibility, but as my mother always said, “control what you can control”. Personally, I’m not an avid reader, but I never wanted to put this one down, making it a great summer read.
Social: Looking to put your phone down and read a book this summer, but not sure where to start? Check out our latest #TMGInsights blog with all our best summer reads recommendations. Spoiler: not all our recommendations are suited for the beach (cough cough Rebecca and Jody).