My go-to have always been the lighthearted romantic novels - you know - the stuff that real Hollywood movies are made of! Since having kids, carving the time to read gets to be harder and harder so whenever I get to go on a business trip, the first thing I do is hit the bookstands at the airport.
It's hit or miss, but in one of my trips I happened to browse the self-help section and stumbled across Womenomics by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay. These type of books don't typically catch my attention, but something about the title got me and I'm glad that it did because it has turned out to be one my favorite books. I have ear-marked pages, written notes, and put post-it marks all over it. Maybe it appealed to me because at the time I read it I was working as a Product Manager at a long standing privately held company that did not offer much flexibility. I was looking for more balance in my life - between a full-time job and being a new mother, I needed to find a way to work smarter not harder.
The concept driven by Shipman and Kay is a simple one - 'know your value and leverage it to find success'. Finding my value and knowing how much I contributed to the success of this company empowered me to ask for more flexibility to be a more present mother. I feared rejection, but I was instead greeted with praise for my dependability and my manager worked to make my job into a part-time position that would allow me to spend more time at home with my newborn baby.
Five years later with a new career in tow, I still refer back to this book. I used to think that self-help books were a lot of talk, but it wasn't until put the advice in actions that I saw the results I wanted. This is definitely one I recommend adding to your summer reading list.