Have a little more time to read this summer and need some inspiration? Menlo has you covered with 7 summer reading selections we know you’ll love. We picked the following books because they tell such great stories that you won’t even know that you’ll learn from them:

  1. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth

The admissions process for West Point is rigorous. More than 14,000 applicants begin the admissions process in their Junior year of High School. Of those, just 4,000 get the required nomination. 2,500 meet West Point’s academic and physical standards, and from that select group just 1,200 are admitted and enrolled.

One in five cadets will drop out before graduation with a substantial fraction of dropouts leave in their very first summer during an intensive seven-week training program named Beast Barracks. Or, for short, just Beast.

Who makes it? Grit is an inspiring read that will make you rethink the ingredients of success.

  1. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, Phil Knight

Fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his car, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year, 1963. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In Shoe Dog, Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic and profitable brands.

  1. O Great One!: A Little Story About the Awesome Power of Recognition, David Novak

Let’s face it, we all crave recognition. But when was the last time you told your colleagues how much you value them? David Novak discovered during his years as a hard charging executive that recognition can make a life-or-death difference to an organization, when people see that someone important really notices and appreciates their contributions.

O Great One tells a great story and provides “why didn’t I think of that” strategies for motivating and interacting with friends, family, colleagues.

  1. Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two, Jim Koch

If you have a passion that you want to turn it into a career, this book is for you. Another great story. Jim Koch, the founder of The Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and a key catalyst of the American craft beer revolution, provides an inside look of the beer business and shares lessons learned along the way.


  1. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg, author of Power of Habit (Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business) explores the science of productivity in this well researched and written book. This book is for you if you want how learn how to succeed with less stress and struggle and become smarter, faster, and better at everything you do do.

  1. TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, Chris Anderson

Whether you want to learn to be a better speaker, or learn about how TED Talkers learn how to get up and tell their stories, this is a fun and fascinating book. Chris Anderson has worked behind the scenes of your favorite talks. His insights and stories will surprise you.

  1. Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day, John H. Johnson Ph.D., Mike Gluck

Did you know that the space shuttle Challenger exploded in part because the engineers were reviewing a limited sample set? While everyone is talking about “big data,” the truth is that understanding the “little data”—the stats that underlie newspaper headlines, stock reports, weather forecasts, and so on—is what helps you make smarter decisions at work, at home, and in every aspect of your life. Everydata is filled with countless examples of people misconstruing data—with results that range from merely frustrating to catastrophic.

What are you reading? Let us know in the comments below, and we will pass along your recommendations too!