Memorial Day always kind of confuses me. The purpose of the day here in the US is to honor those who have fallen in service, and also to thank those who are still with us who have served in the armed forces. The initial idea of the holiday was to visit the graves of your loved ones and spend all day with them, which is where the picnic came in. Pretty somber stuff. But somehow Memorial Day has also evolved to mark the beginning of summer, which is exciting and happy and joyous. I’ve pondered how to send greetings for Memorial Day. You don’t really want to say “Have a happy Memorial Day!” It’s darned confusing.
So, what to do for a post that lands on Memorial Day? Well, we thought we would offer some reading recommendations for your summer. Whether it’s right or not, Memorial Day is when people tend to really think about what they’re going to do to pass along those hot summer days, and to my mind, few things are better than plopping down with a cold drink and a great book. Here are some of my favorites. Let me know if you enjoy them (or already have!). By the way, none of the links below are affiliate links.
Cloud Atlas: You may have seen the movie, which in my opinion kind of stank. The book is a real page-turner until the end, which ticked me off 🙂
The Testament: My first and so far only John Grisham read (I know, I know). This was another page turner and would be a great beach read. Again, till the end, which ticked me off!
Minor King: A first novel by Jim Mitchem, it is quite the commentary on today’s culture. I can’t say anything about the ending of this one. You’ll have to read it 🙂
The House of the Spirits: My first and so far only Isabel Allende read. This is a fascinating, sort of mystical tale. I really enjoyed delving into the characters.
Ok, my non-fiction reading tends to be historical in nature most of the time, so just be ready for that bias.
The Shelby Foote Civil War Trilogy: So, this is not as much a summer read as it is a multi-year journey, but if you are remotely interested in the Civil War, you need to read all of it. The whole thing. It’s kind of like sitting on a porch while Mr. Foote tells his amazing tales. Parts of it made me laugh out loud and other parts made me cry. Really.
Natalie Jill’s 7-Day Jump Start: I discovered Ms. Natalie a couple of years ago. She has a ton of workout videos available on YouTube and I really enjoyed her approach. Her philosophy about eating is equally no-nonsense. This book is great because it gives you motivational stories along with easy advice to follow.
Listening In: If you’re interested in the 1960s and the Kennedy Administration, this book is for you. It includes actual transcripts from recordings made of meetings Kennedy hosted and telephone calls he made. It offers you a very real, sort of personal look into not just his presidency, but the kinds of things any President has to face.
Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters were two African American women who lived to be over 100 years old. This book tells an amazing tale as they span a century worth of life and wisdom together.
The Jim Henson Biography: I kind of dreaded reading this because I knew the ending would make me cry. However, this book gives a lot of personal insight into the actual man Jim Henson was. He has kind of passed into myth at this point. It also reveals all of his struggles to make his movies and shows successful, which seems extremely hard to believe. What were people thinking?!
Soul Models: OK, I totally adore Angela Daffron, but Im pretty certain I would love this book even if I didn’t know her. Read the stories of people who have overcome incredible obstacles, whether it was the loss of a loved one or a loss for themselves, yet harnessed that loss and created something giving and helpful for others. If it sounds amazing, it’s because it is!
Since this IS a marketing blog at heart, I can’t leave you without some business book recommendations. Nothing says summer vacation like reading books related to work, right?
The Entrepreneur Equation: Amongst all of the “fake it till you make it” drivel you see, this book shines as a genuine, objective resource for anyone who wants to start his or her own business. It offers pros and cons and a good dose of friendly “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” tips.
The Referral Engine: No matter what new technology arises, this book will stand the test of time. John Jantsch talks about how to not just win referrals, but also how to generate them. I wanted to act on all of his advice as I was going through it.
The Social Media Strategist: How would you like to get some advice from the person who was responsible for GM’s social media presence during the 2008-2010 bailout period? Needless to say, there is a ton of great advice in this book, no matter how big or small your company may be.
Social Media Commerce for Dummies: Although some of the specifics may be out-dated now, Marsha Collier does a great job of making this whole complex universe make sense. This read is especially valuable if social media in general is a bit new to you, but it’s still valuable if you’re a social pro.
Spin Sucks: More than a PR book, Gini Dietrich provides here an understanding of how to reach out to other professionals in order to promote your business. Some best practices still exist and should even be adhered to. Who knew?
Those are some of my recommendations. What would you recommend for summer reading?