It’s summertime, so feel free to immerse yourself in mindless fiction while sitting on the beach or beside the pool.  You deserve it!

But if you want something a little more substantial, here are a few recommendations.

Saleshood: How Winning Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed
If you want to learn what modern sales organizations are doing to motivate their teams and drive greater salesfloor productivity, why not learn from the guy who led sales productivity for Salesforce.com during its rocket-ship growth?  Elay Cohen is a master, and this book is well written.  Easy read with great insights and ideas you’ll be able to put into practice right away.  Highly recommended for marketing managers as well who want to 1) improve sales efficiency with their counterparts, and/or 2) improve relations and communications with sales.

Agile Selling: Get Up To Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World
Jill Konrath has written a very different book from her past efforts, but I could easily argue that this is the most important of the batch.  What works in sales is changing rapidly, and learning how to leverage current opportunities, tools, buying conditions, etc. is important.  But equally if not more important is learning how to quickly adjust to those new realities, both now and moving forward.  This book gives you those tools and strategies to succeed.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business
This book not only explains how habits work, but also digs into which habits lead to other habits, and how to create the reinforce the habits you care about most to change behaviors and outcomes.  Great book with tons of stories to bring each point to life.  Fast read, and arguably the most important book I’ve read so far this year.

Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar
Anything by John Jantsch is worth reading, and I love the perspective he takes here on sales.  If Claude Hopkins were to have written a book about sales 90 years ago, this probably would have been it.  Worth reading for both sales & marketing professionals.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
This has become the “it” book to read among start-up leaders the past few months, and for good reason.  Stuff worth doing is inherently hard.  Here Ben Horowitz gives both leaders and doers a framework to dig into what’s hard, and get it done.

Proof: The Science of Booze
It can’t all be about business, right?  This book is just fascinating.  It explains the science of how yeast works, the chemistry behind distillation, why we have hangovers and more.

The Walt Longmire Mystery series
I don’t read a ton of fiction these days, but if you want something fun for the beach that’s also exceptionally well written, I recommend these books by Craig Johnson.  My wife got me into them last year.  I’m not quite caught up to the latest in the series yet, but the books are highly engaging and very well written.

Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say Fuck
I don’t even need to describe this book, do I?  It’s as good as it sounds.  A manners manual for the modern age.