Need something for the beach or poolside (or the backyard hammock) this summer?  Here are some options I’ve enjoyed recently.  Mostly work, a little fun.

Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer’s Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business by Adele Revella
Adele is the queen of personas, and as far as I’m concerned has done more than anybody except perhaps Ardath Albee to popularize and mainstream the idea of disciplined, documented buyer personas to guide sales & marketing messaging, story-telling and execution.  This book is a must-read for B2B marketers.

Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Re$ults by Ardath Albee
Speaking of Ardath, her latest book (released earlier this spring) offers more no-nonsense but essential advice for companies trying to get out of pitch mode and into telling compelling, long-tail stories that align with customer needs and outcomes.  Ardath is a fantastic writer.  This is a quick read but get your highlighter ready.

The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing it All” Gets Nothing Done by Dave Crenshaw
I had the pleasure of seeing Dave speak a couple months ago.  Story after story, exercise after exercise, in just 45 minutes pretty much put the multi-tasking myth to bed for me.  This book (short, a two-hour plane ride read) is a worthy alternative.

Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics To Turn Your Social and Content Marketing Up To 11 by Jason Miller
Have you ever seen Jason speak?  It’s like a rock concert in PowerPoint.  Jason is a rock & roll addict, plus one of the best content marketers in the country.  This book is tactical and actionable, full of best practices and rock legend quotes.  What’s not to love?

Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte
If you have plenty of time left in the day, if you get everything done, if you constantly wonder what to do with all your free time – don’t both reading this book.  If you’re like the rest of it, put this at the top of your list.  Process recommendations, cognitive strategies galore.

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks
It’s Warren Buffett’s favorite business book.  Story-telling at its best with incredibly pertinent business lessons.  Fun to read too.

Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey by Reid Mitenbuler
Yes, this is the stuff I read for fun.  It’s an entertaining story of the history of whiskey in America but in parallel is a great story of the growth of America and some of its greatest attributes – freedom, entrepreneurship, failure and rebirth – and good drink.

The Top of His Game: the Best Sportswriting of W. C. Heinz edited by Bill Littlefield
This has been a particular good year so far for nonfiction sports books (particularly baseball books), but this extensive anthology is so far my favorite.  You just don’t see this kind of writing anymore (except in Grantland occasionally).  It’s an amazing “you were there” style covering a sports world that itself no longer exists.  Fascinating and entertaining read.

Would love to hear what you’re reading this summer as well!