Pop Culture and Media

9 new books that will make you smarter, wealthier and happier this summer, according to Amazon

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
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Leave it to one of the world's largest online booksellers to help curate your summer reading list. Earlier this week, Amazon released its list of Best Books of 2019 (So Far).

The entire list of books — all released this year between January and June — is pretty massive. But the nine must-reads below will help to elevate your finances, success and overall happiness in life (you'll also end the summer feeling more motivated and resilient).

1. "Raise Your Game: High-Performance Secrets From the Best of the Best"

By Alan Stein Jr. and Jon Sternfeld

Co-authors Alan Stein Jr. and Jon Sternfeld address three common problems faced by decision-makers today: Ineffective leadership, team dysfunction and low performance.

In "Raise Your Game," Stein Jr. shares the effective strategies he spent 15 years developing to optimize the performance of NBA players. As it turns out, those strategies are just as effective when applied to the business world.

Today, Stein Jr. consults organizations such as Starbucks, Pepsi and American Express on how to improve employee productivity, focus and performance.

Kevin Durant, one of the athletes Stein Jr. coached, said, "[Alan] played a huge role in my development on and off the court. His guidance helped me get to where I am today. This book is a must read."

2. "The 30-Day Money Cleanse: Take Control of Your Finances, Manage Your Spending and De-Stress Your Money for Good"

By Ashley Feinstein Gerstley

The title pretty much explains it all. But there's a lot of good stuff here if you're serious about getting your finances in order by taking on a month-long challenge.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley graduated with a degree in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and ended up getting a job as an investment banker. Despite her 10 years of experience in the financial industry, she often found herself stressed out about her own personal finances.

The realization inspired her to quit her job and be a certified money coach. Her new mission: To change the way society treats and talks (or rather doesn't talk) about money. As a solution, she invented a 30-day system to help people get their finances in order.

"The 30-Day Money Cleanse" will teach you the basics of how and where to invest, how to break bad money habits and ultimately create a financial plan that fits your lifestyle.

3. "Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist and Our Lives Revealed"

By Lori Gottlieb

Not only is Lori Gottlieb's new book a New York Times best-seller, but it's also being developed as a TV series with actress Eva Longoria on ABC, Deadline reports.

As a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist, Gottlieb draws from the stories of her patients (don't worry, she says she got written permission to write about them and went to great lengths to disguise their identities) to help process her own pain and face the demons of her past.

"For those of you thinking: Self-help books are just not my jam — they aren't mine, either. Trust me, my woo-woo detector is very sensitive. But this book is so much more expansive than that," writes Erin Kodicek, an Amazon book review editor.

4. "The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You"

By Julie Zhuo

Facebook VP of Product Design Julie Zhou encapsulates everything she's learned about how to be a great manager at a fast-growing company.

When hiring candidates, Zhou told CNBC Make It that she focuses her attention on the applicants who are interested in making a difference at the company.  She wants employees who'll "continue to learn and grow," she says, "and do what you know is going to help the team the most."

"If you're a first-time manager, you'll learn how to hit the ground running, and experienced managers will level-up their game," says Lyft co-founder Logan Green.

5. "Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up"

By Jerry Colonna

Jerry Colonna, one of the startup world's most in-demand leadership coaches, explains how readers can realize their potential, find meaning, build healthier relationships and hold themselves responsible for their choices.

In tech circles, Colonna is famous for empowering CEOs to take on their own mental health issues, which he also tries to do in the book by opening up about his early struggles with depression.

Psychologist and Wharton professor Adam Grant calls "Reboot" an "unusually raw and revealing exploration of how our leadership journeys are shaped by the defining moments of our childhood."

6. "Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life"

By Brian Solis

Be honest: Have you ever found yourself endlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed? If so, this one's for you.

Brian Solis, a best-selling author, digital analyst and futurist, explores why we become so vulnerable to boredom that we end up surrendering ourselves to hours of Netflix or social media. It's a habit that can lead to dangerous consequences, he warns.

"Each time we waste time by falling into rabbit holes of digital distractions, we're paying an opportunity cost. And we're not just losing time we could invest better elsewhere, we're teaching ourselves that it's okay to waste time," he writes in the book. "Meanwhile, our distraction is eroding our productivity and undermining our mental health and well-being."

Solis provides readers with deep insight and alternatives to get rid of an awful habit that ultimately leads to stress, anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and depression.

7. "Formation: A Woman's Memoir of Stepping Out of Line"

By Ryan Leigh Dostie

Novelist and Iraq veteran Ryan Leigh Dostie describes the brutal, eviscerating five years she spent in the male-dominated U.S. Army, where she struggled with PTSD and skeptical commanders. At the same time, she had to face the challenges of an unexpected war.

"Formation" is a powerful and honest account of one woman's inspiring journey to proving her resilience and worth to disdaining comrades in an unforgettably chaotic environment.

"True life rarely hews to a predicable narrative structure, and Dostie refuses to perpetuate that myth, penning a memoir that inspires, terrifies, enrages, and prompts triumphant fist-pumping all at once," writes Adrian Liang, a book review editor at Amazon.

8. "Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business"

By Paul Jarvis

Freelance designer Paul Jarvis, best known for his creative work with big companies like Yahoo, Microsoft and Mercedes-Benz, makes a strong case against the idea that bigger is better.

In "Company of One," he gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at how he makes a six-figure income working for himself out of his small home on an island off of Vancouver. With no plans to expand the business beyond himself, Jarvis explains how leaving a high-pressure corporate world led him to a happier, more successful and productive life.

If you're tired of blindly chases success defined by someone else — and who isn't? — allow Jarvis to provide you with invaluable insights on how to prioritize a rich life over riches and practice self-reliance, creativity and joy to your work.

9. "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World"

By David Epstein

After examining the world's leading entrepreneurs, athletes, artists and inventors, investigative reporter David Epstein uncovers an unlikely pattern: Generalists (a.k.a. those who often find their path late and juggle multiple interests) have an easier time mastering the skills required to succeed in today's world, compared to their more specialized peers.

Generalists, according to Epstein, are more creative and agile. As a result, they're more likely to outperform their more specialized peers who tend to be more siloed in their expertise.

If you've yet to nail down your "niche," this book can be an encouraging revelation. Amanda Ripley, author of "The Smartest Kids in the World," calls Epstein's book a "21st century survival guide" that is "full of hope."

"I want to give 'Range' to any kid who is being forced to take violin lessons — but really wants to learn the drums; to any programmer who secretly dreams of becoming a psychologist; to everyone who wants humans to thrive in an age of robots," she says.

Dave Schools is a freelance editor and brand storyteller. He is the founding editor of Entrepreneur's Handbook, a top-50 Medium publication, and the co-founder of Party Qs app. His work has appeared in Axios, Inc., Smashing Magazine, The Next Web, Business Insider, Quartz and Crunchbase.

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