Get Smarter This Summer With 8 Great Beach Reads

a book on the beach

Here's our list of eight books that teach helpful career and life lessons, but also make great selections for when the sun's in the sky and your feet are in the sand.

Summer's here! After a busy school year, capped off by an exhausting finals season, you've earned a vacation. All you need is the sunscreen, a comfy chair and a great book to read on the beach.

This summer it's time to indulge in something other than the new love story by Nicholas Sparks or Sports Illustrated issue. But we know what you're thinking:

"Man, I wish there were an enjoyable book to read that would make me smarter, without making me look like a nerd."

We feel your pain. Here's our list of eight books that teach helpful career and life lessons, but also make great selections for when the sun's in the sky and your feet are in the sand. Enjoy!

Flash Boys – Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis almost literally changed the game in 2003 with his book Moneyball, which you might have caught on the silver screen with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. His latest, greatest book looks into a different type of game - so-called high-frequency trading on Wall Street. Essentially, he alleges that some people are using incredibly fast computers to get an unfair advantage in the stock market, a point that stirred up enough controversy through this book to start an FBI investigation last year.

The Power of Habit (Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business) – Charles Duhigg

Want to break a bad habit? Duhigg's must-read book continues to inspire readers of all ages. Using intelligent and engaging narratives, this book brings to life the understanding behind why habits exist and how they can be changed. It's so good, it's formed a habit of staying on The New York Times Bestseller List ever since it was published in 2012.

Never Eat Alone (And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time) – Keith Ferrazzi

Nowadays, there are so many different outlets of communication: talking, texting, tweeting, posting, Facetiming, pinning...the list is endless. Ferrazzi's advice is right on track with Never Eat Alone. This business classic outlines the power of connections and the importance of relationships in a constantly communicating world.

The Corner Office – Adam Bryant

This book explores the success stories of more than 70 CEOs. What better way to feel inspired? Bryant's novel invites you onto the path of success with candid advice and lessons from many different leadership perspectives.

Get a Financial Life – Beth Kobliner

This playbook is your guide for managing your money just as you're starting out in your early 20s — even if you have no idea where to begin. Kobliner covers financial answers for all ages and salaries in an easy-to-understand way. Buying this book alone might be the biggest return on investment you ever find.

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – Daniel H. Pink

No matter what your major is, you'll probably have to sell when you graduate. Whether it is as simple as pitching a restaurant idea to your friends or selling yourself to a potential employer during a job interview, sales is something we all do every day, without even knowing it. Pink's novel explains how this is actually a relatively new trend and offers a realistic view of the art of selling, with tips for you to perfect your pitch.

How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery – Kevin Ashton

Ever wonder where Coca-Cola cans come from? Or the secret to Steve Jobs' success? Technology pioneer Kevin Ashton examines the difficulty and beauty behind the art of creation through a group of people who created the most amazing breakthroughs.

The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger and Death – Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter

This one's near and dear to our hearts, because it's all about probability and risk. Instead of breaking down how risky one activity is over another through mind-numbing charts and graphs, The Norm Chronicles is a thoroughly entertaining read told through stories. The result is that, by understanding the risks around us in daily life, you'll actually feel so much better not worrying about worrying.

Have any others you'd recommend? Please let us know at Facebook and Twitter: and @InsureMyPath.

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