Summer Reading, By Kate Lorenz, Editor

According to a Harris Interactive survey, 35 percent of Americans say reading is their favorite pastime. But let’s face it, for many of us, it’s hard enough to find time to read a book review — let alone an entire book!

Fortunately, the slower pace of summer — with its long days and trips to the mountains or beach, offers more opportunities to crack open a book or two. Here are eight recommendations for career-conscious individuals who are reading for both pleasure and profit.

Best Books for Job Hunters
Those looking for work will find comfort, humor and practical advice from the following:
“What Color is Your Parachute?” by Richard Bolles. Often called the gold-standard of job-hunting books, Bolles has done a masterful job of continually updating this career-planning bible.

“Landing on the Right Side of Your Ass” by Michael Laskoff. Harvard-educated and highly entertaining, Laskoff offers his advice and perspective on making the most out of losing your job. Drawing from his personal experience, the often-fired Laskoff shares practical tips for dealing with anger, insecurity and fear and moving on to a better future.

“Knock ’em Dead 2006” by Martin Yates. Learn how to prepare for and ace the job interview with this comprehensive, yet highly readable book. Yates takes you inside the mind of the interviewer and covers everything from phone screens to salary negotiations. He also includes fresh and thoughtful answers to the most common interview questions.

Best Books to Enlighten (and Impress)
Don’t get caught with your pants down next time your job interviewer or CEO asks if you’ve read any good books lately. The following titles will broaden your perspective and get the higher-ups thinking about you as “management material.”

“Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management” by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton These two authors, both Stanford men, suggest that corporate decision makers have been foolishly chasing industry best practices with little regard for what’s best for the individual organization. Pfeffer and Sutton show management how to make decisions based on hard facts and solid evidence. They slice and dice current business wisdom.

“Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell is a columnist for The New Yorker magazine and is being hailed as one of the most important thought-leaders of the century. In this insightful, yet fun read, Gladwell explores decision-making and why snap-judgments and gut reactions can be more accurate than analysis.

Best Books for Personal Effectiveness
Want to learn how to get more done, sell your ideas or become rich? These page-turners will help you do all three, without making your eyes glaze over:

“Never Check E-mail in the Morning” by Julie Morgenstern. Citing e-mail and interruptions as the biggest time-suckers of the modern workday, Morgenstern offers effective strategies for gaining energy, getting more from your time and achieving work-life balance.

“The Little Red Book of Sales” by Jeffrey Gitomer. To get ahead in life, you need to know how to sell your ideas and yourself. Whether you’re a professional sales rep or just want to increase your influence, this highly readable book explains “why people buy” and offers Gitomer’s philosophies and insights (which he charges his corporate clients thousands of dollars for) into how to make a sale.

“Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth” by T. Harv Eker. A good job doesn’t guarantee financial success. “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” describes how rich people think and act differently than the rest of the pack. This book helps you identify your personal money and success blueprint and explains how your childhood influences shape your financial destiny. Eker also includes action steps you can take to change how you think about money and increase your income and net worth.

Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Pasted from