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Summer is a great time to disconnect, slow down, and find some time to read all those books that we put on our list over the past year.

I asked my team what books everyone should read at least once in their life and below are recommendations by some of the PMG team. They’ve recommended books ranging from history to technology, autobiography to sports, and even a touch of self-help with a healthy dose of our favorite classics. All are thought-provoking, and we hope they motivate you to action and a healthy life balance.

Kfir’s Picks

If you are a VP of Marketing responsible for your company’s pipeline, Head of Demand Generation group, or running enterprise sales, Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine With The 100 Million Best Practices Of Salesforce.com should definitely be a part of your reading list.

In his book, Aaron Ross tells us how he built this machine for Salesforce and lived to tell the tale.  While some of the concepts and ideas are best practices in the industry, the way he connects the dots and provides insights would help any organization take a good look at their sales and marketing processes.

This book is especially useful for companies who just raised money and would like to switch gears and increase deal flow; companies that want to improve their sales and marketing processes and hit their numbers; and marketing and sales leaders who want to take a step back and see how they can make their current methods even better.

Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer, is not your average long distance open water swimmer. By the age of 16, she swam from Catalina Island to California’s mainland (41 KM), and crossed the English Channel twice – breaking the world record. But she is not only an impressive and inspirational swimmer, she is also a dreamer. She persuaded the Soviets to allow her to swim the Bering Strait – an adventure so heroic that Gorbachev mentioned her in one of his speeches.

As a novice open water swimmer myself, reading her book was a source of inspiration, especially because we share the love of the sea. But her well-written story is also one of endurance, tenacity, the power of teamwork, and how one person’s passion and vision of the future can become reality.

Jen’s Pick

I love reading about history, but sometimes you just want something lighter, and summer is the best time to read a light-hearted, fun book. Luckily Jonas Jonasson combines the best of both worlds in one of my favorite books, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

On his 100th birthday Allan Karlsson runs away from home, and during his ensuing journey, the reader learns about this extraordinary man’s life. While the book is fiction, it references genuine historical events, but with a twist. Even though this is a light read, it still has an important underlying message: don’t judge someone before you get to know them.

In today’s world where personal interactions are decreasing, and are often limited to quick or virtual communications, it is important to remember that there is more to everyone than what we see.

Farrah’s Pick

It’s no secret that humans are addicted to technology, especially our phones. For many of us it’s the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we look at before bed. If you’re like me, you might be trying to find ways to curb this addiction and change the way you interact with your phone. In that case, I highly recommend Manoush Zomorodi’s book Bored and Brilliant: How Time Spent Doing Nothing Changes Everything. It’s based on the Bored and Brilliant Challenge that was launched on her podcast Note to Self.

Manoush’s book addresses the ways technology is affecting our lives and impacting our creativity. From dating to raising kids, the book aims to change the way we interact with, and rely on, our smartphones, so that we can go back to being comfortable without constant stimulation or consuming information all the time.

Through being bored we can get back to connecting with our creativity, and maybe even come up with some truly brilliant ideas.

Tali’s Pick

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist takes us on the journey of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd, who is on a “personal journey” to find his treasure in Egypt. Throughout the novel, Santiago experiences various ups and downs, including periods where he loses everything and is forced to start from the beginning, or is tempted to stop as soon as he is able to build a comfortable, albeit uninspired life. Even with the surprises that life throws at him, he perseveres with his original journey, pushing through the fear and uncertainty of what will be.

I chose this book since it focuses on messages that I think people forget at times. We must not forget or give up on our personal goals and dreams, no matter how crazy they may seem to everyone, including yourself. Be open to life experiences, good and bad. Trust your instincts. Do not be afraid of the what-ifs. And always get back up – even if you experience serious setbacks and obstacles.

Mariela’s Picks

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely is a New York Times bestseller, which uses behavioral economics to show us the journey of our irrational decision-making process. The book presents a strong argument for how we are subtly and unconsciously influenced by other factors such as emotions, social expectations, and our environment.

The book is easy to read, quite entertaining, but also thought-provoking as it outlines the psychological traps and irrational tendencies we all act on. Reading this book gave me pause to consider the external factors that impact my own decision-making processes.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery tells of a pilot stranded in the desert. He meets a Little Prince who tells him how he has visited many planets, and left his most treasured possession – a rose – at home, on an asteroid. Looking deeper, this is a story of a grown-up meeting his own inner child, personified by the Prince.

A beloved classic, this is a philosophical book that discusses humanist values. Every time I read it I discover new insights. It has a hidden, timeless wisdom that will always make you see your life from another point of view.

Benny’s Pick

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson’s collaborative biography, When the Game was Ours, tells the tale of a true sports rivalry between Bird and Johnson – two legendary players from completely different backgrounds who changed the world of basketball.

One black and one white, one shy and one extroverted. However, both have the same goal: to win. Both became the best, leaders who made their teams as good as they could be. Both grow in a world full of racism and found their own way to push aside all personal differences to compete and be the best in their field.

I love this book because, more than anything, this is a story of how your mind controls your body and how self-motivation can take you as far as can be!

That’s it! You have our summer book recommendations, so now it’s time to take a cold beer in one hand and a good book in the other, sit back and enjoy!