As summer approaches and students begin to return their textbooks and bury notebooks at the very bottom of their drawers, it’s time for some reading that isn’t required by curriculum. Not sure which paperback to pick up next? Read on to see a specially curated list of books, audiobooks and newsletters The Wire has picked out in order to engage and inspire.
Book: “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis
Synopsis: With baseball season underway, “Moneyball” serves as both a relevant and educational read. Based on a true story, “Moneyball” follows Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and his quest to change the team’s drafting process. With limited funds and employees who are hesitant to change their ways, Beane faces obstacles at nearly every turn. If you’re new to the world of baseball, don’t fret: Michael Lewis, who is also the author of “The Big Short” and “The Blind Side”, is adept at combining sports and business, as well as making it easy for novices in both fields to follow the storyline.
The Bottom Line: If you want an engaging story about an individual who dared to bring reason, logic and statistics to a wholly reluctant industry, “Moneyball” is for you.
Book: “Sharing the Work” by Myra Strober
Synopsis: Before Sheryl Sandberg wrote “Lean In”, Myra Strober penned “Sharing the Work”. In an honest memoir about her early life and professional career, Strober shows— not tells— her readers what a bold woman does in the face of inequality and adversity. Though she is a university professor and labor economist by trade, Strober’s roles as a mother and wife are prevalent in the book as well. Her story demonstrates that career advancement, happiness in marriage and fulfillment as a mother are more nuanced than we think.
The Bottom Line: For a refreshing and easy-to-read take on balancing life as a professor, mother and wife, be sure to pick up “Sharing the Work”.
Audiobook: “Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible” by Jia Jiang
Synopsis: Talking about failure is almost trendy. When you walk into an interview or attend a lecture, one of the most common questions you’ll hear is: “What was your biggest failure?”. Talking about rejection, however, is almost nonexistent. “Rejection Proof” is a brutally honest account of one man’s experiences leaving a steady job in the corporate world, starting his own business and learning how to cope with rejection. In his book, Jiang attempts to face his fear of rejection by actively seeking it out. Sometimes he fails spectacularly, but other times, he defies all odds and succeeds.
The Bottom Line: If you’re tired of the run-of-the-mill self-help books, “Rejection Proof” is the breath of fresh air you’ll need this summer.
Audiobook: “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely
Synopsis: “Predictably Irrational” is the book that our economics professors said would be good for outside reading, but we never actually got around to picking up. As it turns out, our professors were onto something. “Predictably Irrational” explores the factors that influence decision making, like why we might choose to date one person over another, and how different types of deadlines (i.e. rigid deadlines versus self-imposed deadlines) can affect the quality of our work. Inspired by a tragic accident in his early life, Dan Ariely has been relentless in his study of human behavior and economics throughout his career. In “Predictably Irrational,” he shares his research and inspires us, too.
The Bottom Line: Whether you pick up the paper version or the audiobook, “Predictably Irrational” is surprisingly engaging and an absolute must-read for this summer.
Newsletter Subscription: The Broadsheet
Synopsis: The Broadsheet is a short, easily digestible newsletter from the writers at Fortune. Like a more business-oriented version of theSkimm, The Broadsheet dishes on what some of the world’s most powerful and daring women are up to. If you’re interested in learning more about the individuals who are making waves in the corporate world, The Broadsheet is for you.
The Bottom Line: The Broadsheet is free, educational, and extremely well written. Plus, it pairs well with your morning coffee. What else could you ask for?
Newsletter Subscription: TipOff
Synopsis: TipOff is a short, yet gloriously informative newsletter about the world of sports. The plot twist? It’s not for sports fans at all. On the contrary, the publication is for those of us who can’t tell a hockey puck from a baseball. Recognizing that sports are relevant in most casual networking settings— like at the water cooler or during happy hour— the writers at TipOff aim to help sports novices keep up with the conversation.
The Bottom Line: Sports may not be your thing, but it is America’s thing. Stay informed with this biweekly newsletter that requires minimal effort to consume.
Whether you’re looking for ways to keep up conversation with your co-workers, or just a leisurely read between sips of lemonade at the pool, these books and newsletters are for you. The school year may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean we have to put our education on pause too.