Our Favorite Summer Reads for 2017

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.” -George R.R. Martin

We love to read at SSPR. Pretty much everything we can get our hands on. While it’s trending industry news and thought leadership content during the day, this summer vacation we’re pulling out some of our favorite books (and Kindles). These books run the gamut from deeply thought provoking to inspirational to kickass empowering to simply hilarious. Check out our team members’ favorite, can’t-put-them-down summer reads.

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson

The title says it all. This book shares why happiness isn’t just about being mindlessly positive; it’s about learning what you should care about, what you shouldn’t worry about and how to live a life where you’re not caught up in the little things. “Let’s be honest, shit is f*cked and we have to live with it.”

Maggie Shepherd

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

Originally published in 1985, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel has been turned into a blockbuster hit on Hulu. Her writing style and character creation are so thought provoking but don’t require one hundred hours of reading. Breezed through this in one afternoon!

Kristen Broyles

“Yes, Please!” by Amy Poehler

Amy’s comedy is awesome, but her wisdom is even better. It’s a light, quick read, subtly empowering of womanhood but also just hilarious. Get ready to laugh out loud in public like a fool.

Julianne Weinman

“Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book is a great read on creative living, thinking about creativity differently and how we can all live beyond fear.

Katrina Jakobsze

“My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman

Nothing sparks your creativity more than reading a mystery novel from the point of view of a seven year old. This book is full of quirky characters who go to extensive lengths to make the world a better place for those around them. It’s AMAZING. Read it.

Sarah Davis

“Red Sparrow: A Novel” by Jason Matthews

Russian spy versus U.S. spy. I think they have to give the premise that it’s a novel, because given the current climate, it could be a little too believable if they didn’t.

Jake Katz

“Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning” by Claire Dederer

A great book about waking up in your life and wondering if you made the right decisions.

Loni Freeman

“Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator” by Ryan Holiday

A bestselling book by the marketer, public relations director and media strategist Ryan Holiday – it’s definitely a snark-fest, but explains the dark side of our current media landscape and offers a lot to think about once you’re finished reading.

Kristen Broyles

“The Nightingale: A Novel” by Kristin Hannah

If you want an enthralling story about two kickass women in the midst of WWII, read “The Nightingale”! You won’t want to put it down … be sure to carry tissues at all times, though.

Sarah Davis

“The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown

The most engaging Olympic saga. Ever. It’s an inspiring read playing into competitiveness, unconditional support and the drive to overcome an underdog’s challenges.

Lauren Lloyd

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling

Actually almost peed my pants with this one. Mindy is hilarious and self-deprecating, but also just an inspiration, showing us it’s okay to be the awkward funny girl. You’ll probably read this in an hour and your face will hurt.

Kathleen Bisset

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte

My all-time favorite for so many reasons, but then you have to read “Wide Sargasso Sea” immediately after if you want to know a hypothetical origin of the crazy first wife! Reading the two together speaks to themes of English colonialism, the concept of otherness and the simultaneous allure and disgust toward things we don’t understand.

Cindy Anderson

“A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story” by Donald Miller

This book taught me to fall in love with the concept of “story.” The author grapples with turning a real-life memoir into a movie and having to quite literally edit his life into a more compelling story. In one of my favorite parts, he talks about showing up at the Pearly Gates of Heaven and not having anything to talk to God about. He said his life was not memorable and not a good story. So, he sought to change that. Seriously awesome read.

Julianne Weinman

“The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch

This is an amazing read for anyone looking for inspiration, hope and cathartic healing. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” -Randy Pausch

Shannon Lee

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

This book is so deeply touching, following the forever-altered lives of two young people on opposite sides of WWII. Their stories are subtly and beautifully woven together, painful glimpses of hope in an otherwise dark time. Okay, so this isn’t your typical “summer read,” but it’s a hard one to put down and stays with you long after you finish.

Kathleen Bisset

Happy summer reading from SSPR!



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