Summer 2018 Reading List – A Book A Week Challenge

It’s officially summer! That means sunshine, warm weather, and maybe some quiet time to finally get around to that dusty bookshelf or Kindle. To celebrate, the Xtiva team has put
together our summer 2018 reading list – 12 titles to dive into this summer at the beach, on the dock or in your yard (one for each week!).

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Why we love it?

We’ll start your week-by-week reading list with a work of fiction that won the Pulitzer prize for being funny, witty, lyrical, and at the same time very real. After all, this is a story of a writer trying to avoid an awkward wedding – and that’s something we’re all a little familiar with during the summer wedding season. Time will fly reading this book and will definitely get you into the summer mood.


Big potential by shawn achor

Why we love it?

Shawn Achor’s claim to fame were previously his several books on happiness and his 12 years at Harvard University studying happiness. In fact, he was the first person in the world to do so. He also has a viral TED talk discussing how to be happy, and his findings on happiness around the world. We think this book is particularly great for summer as we embark on memorable time spent with family – some would say, maybe a little too much time. This book is all about the things we do for ourselves and the people around us, and how to do them in a way where we reach our goals and allow our relationships to develop at the same time.


brave leadership by KIMBERLY DAVIS

Why we love it?

At Xtiva we’re always on the lookout for new thinking on leadership, business, entrepreneurship and good corporate citizenship. This book meets all of that criteria because Kimberly Davis has put together a professional, well-researched guide on what it means to be a good leader. Her emphasis is definitely different than what you’d find in text books or older tomes – her focus is on empathy, humanity, and emotional intelligence. This is a book you’ll want to read and then pass around. If everyone followed this model we believe workplace culture would skyrocket.


adaptive markets by andrew lo

Why we love it?

If you like to question why things are the way you are, you’ll love Andrew Lo’s scientific examination of financial markets and human behaviour – are we ration and efficient, or irrational and inefficient? Or both? This is definitely a read that will make you feel very smart and very dumb at the same time as you try to peel back the curtain on the actions investors take and how markets are affected. Anthropology meets sociology meets evolutionary biology meets the stock market.


never split the difference by chris voss

Why we love it?

This is another book you’ll want to pass on to kids, friends, and anyone else who deals with other people at all in their day – so mostly everyone. This book is not just about negotiating in business or persuasion – it gives concrete steps to take in your life in order to get things done (or avoid doing something). This isn’t a white-collar, meeting room type of book. It gets into the nitty gritty of everyday scenarios that are still extremely useful for your professional life but pack a ton of learning for everything other than the 9-5 too.


the power of habit by charles duhigg

Why we love it?

We don’t always have great habits. How many times have you thought, “Okay, tonight I’ll definitely not look at my phone before bed?” Or, “I’m definitely going to NOT stop at Chik Fil A on the way home”? Maybe you have a teen who can’t be bothered to turn in homework on time or stop texting while driving? This book is a well-researched piece by a New York Times writer that not only teaches us why we have bad habits, but how to replace them with good ones. This knowledge is half the battle in changing behaviours that can be dangerous, and stick with you for years.


bored and brilliant by manoush zomorodi

Why we love it?

If this book doesn’t describe your summer goals, we don’t know what does. We particularly loved this book because it does a few things we’re not usually okay with – it confronts that nagging part of your brain that even when you had a productive day, is telling you that you just did do enough, AND it tells you exactly why it’s okay to be bored. Our gadgets, apps, and 24-hour work days have filled every empty space in our minds and Manoush Zomorodi offers a practical and funny guide on how to get that space back through boredom. Become more creative. Feel more fulfilled. Don’t kill time playing solitaire on your phone. This book lets you do more with less.


when by daniel h. pink

Why we love it?

Not only is this book the key in helping us to understand more of our bad habits, but it dives into explaining the phenomena of timing, procrastination, energy levels, and all the other stuff that determines how your day goes. Relevant for any age, this book is an insightful but short 272 pages full of great content. Each chapter has takeaway points any reader can apply to their own lives, and lessons you’ll literally keep forever as you consider timing in your own life.



the future of humanity by michio kaku

Why we love it?

Fresh off the heels of Insite 2018, where author and professor Michio Kaku was a speaker, we were enticed to read his book, which comes off a little bit like whatever inspired Elon Musk to do what he’s doing. If you’re interested in the future and futurist ideas, and want to get caught up with what is currently foreseen for this century and beyond in physics and the human race, this book is a great read to get you pumped for uploading your consciousness into a computer.


everybody lies by seth stephens-davidowitz

Why we love it?

You may have heard a thing or two these past months about some big companies stealing, selling, losing, mining, hoarding, or in some other way abusing your data. You may also have heard that not everything on the Internet – from your friends’ social media accounts to the news – is what it seems. This book has won a bunch of awards for book of the year because of it’s take on the insights true data online shows us, and what that means for society and humanity. It’s an interesting read loaded with fun facts about what’s really going on online.



chasing excellence by ben bergeron

Why we love it?

What’s better than hitting the gym and getting fit this summer? Reading about other people doing it. No, seriously. This book is not only one coach’s inspirational philosophy on life and muscles, but actually shows a powerful evolution of what people believed the human body could do between 10 years ago and today. Not only are the Crossfit Games (the competition with crowns the ‘Fittest Person on Earth’) absolutely insane, but this coach has been directly involved in pushing the boundaries of physical limitations. The book is pretty good – and you can supplement your imagination with watching The Fittest Person on Earth on Netflix, about the competition and the competitors, one of whom wrote the foreword to this book.


furiously happy by jenny lawson

Why we love it?

This comedienne has a number of hilarious memoirs but maybe this one is significantly poignant as a recent and relevant look at living with depression, anxiety, and finding ways to laugh about all of it with friends and family. This book is about being okay with not being okay, but told in Jenny Lawson’s signature style of self-deprecation mixed with the powerful assertion that everything is going to be just fine.

Now that you have our book recommendations, also check out 11 Finance Podcasts You Won’t Want to Miss.