A Dozen Great Books for Your Summer Reading List

Ah summer, time for BBQs, block parties and the perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading list. After all, who doesn’t look forward to relaxing on the beach with cold drink and time to lose yourself in a good book?

Here at Concur, we set out on making the perfect list.. We received a ton of submissions, from the classics to business inspiration. And with so many great books on our list, we trimmed it to the most popular ones— from our Concur community.

The Art of Fielding
  by Chad Harbach

An entertaining book about life and baseball. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, "The Art of Fielding is mere baseball fiction the way Moby Dick is just a fish story" (Nicholas Dawidoff). It’s an expansive, warm hearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others.
 

 

Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas

Who doesn’t love a classic? Escape into the story of Edmund Dantes, self-styled Count of Monte Cristo — filled with intrigue, betrayal, escape, and triumphant revenge moves at a cracking pace. It’s the perfect tale of good vs evil where you are never sure if you want to love, hate or feel sorry for the hero.

 

Evil Plans

by Hugh Macleod

Any of the books by The Gaping Void, a.k.a. Hugh Macleod, are a great read for anyone looking to be happy in both life and work — that ever special work/life balance we are all searching for today. Here Macleod plots out a perfect evil plan to ACTUALLY start doing something he loves, doing something that matters.

 

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap, & Others Don't

by Jim Collins

A favorite book of ours, Good to Great, describes how to change a company’s mindset to help everyone achieve great things. Learn how mediocre companies changed their DNA to become great companies with great results which have sustained their rate of growth.
 

Inferno

by Dan Brown

Venture into a mystery filled with picturesque locations, dangerous adventures and artistic vision. A perfect read while relaxing on a boat or at the beach.

 

Influence Marketing

by Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella

Currently, this book is on my bedside table. I’m only halfway through it, but it has already taught me how to better identify and engage key people on social media, who  are discussing important issues which pain every Concur customer, especially in the world of expenses and invoices. The book helps one learn how to move influence marketing beyond simple brand awareness and into sales acquisition and customer life-time value measurement.
 

The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

by Clayton Christensen

Christensen writes that even the best-managed companies, in spite of their attention to customers and continual investment in new technology, are susceptible to failure no matter what the industry, be it hard drives or consumer retailing. Learn how to overcome this dilemma.
 

And The Mountains Echoed

by Khaled Hosseini


This is an unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else. Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, and at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

 

The People Code

by Taylor Hartman


As an author, psychologist, and leadership coach, Dr. Hartman offers a remarkably astute system for segmenting everyone into specific Motive-types denoted by a color: red (power wielders), blue (do-gooders), white (peacekeepers), and yellow (fun lovers). He then explains how to maximize effectiveness between all color combinations. (By the way, I’m a yellow —and ready for a fun summer!)

 

Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters

by Jon Acuff

Acuff has an honest but witty style of writing, and his book will have you thinking about your life in a serious manner, but with a smile on your face. Learn to live in the moment and start doing what you need to do NOW in order to make your dreams a reality.

 

What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences

by Brian Solis

Brian is one of my favorite thought leaders in the new media marketing world. His books are all about how to rethink how you do business, and this one is no different. In WTF, he discusses how to incorporate the power of "user" experiences. It provides an overview of real-world experiences— versus "user" experiences in relation to products, services, mobile, social media, and commerce, among others. This book explains why experience is everything and how the future of business will come down to shared experiences.

 

Win Forever

by Pete Carroll

My co-worker, Sean Goldie, is a huge football fan. So it comes to no surprise that his recommendation is by one of the most successful coaches in football today. Carroll developed his unique coaching style by trial and error over his career. He learned how to get better results by teaching instead of screaming, and how to help players grow as people, not just on the field. Carroll shows us that the Win Forever philosophy really works, both in football and business.
 

Thanks to the Concur community for helping us with our summer reading list. Special thanks to Rieva, Jason Miller, Steve Strauss, Ramon Ray, Jody Seibert, Thomas Marks, Rebecca Sheenan, Julie Chase and Sean Goldie for all their input.

There you have just a few of the books on our summer reading list. What’s on your reading list this summer?  Image credit: http://bit.ly/1a8XSen

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