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The 11 New Idea Books to Spring into Summer
My recommended reads for May and June span motivation, work, social change, and thinking.
A good book helps you think differently. A great book inspires you to act differently. My favorite new releases for May and June are geared toward finding motivation in unexpected places, designing more worthwhile jobs, and building a better future.
1. The Perfection Trap by Thomas Curran (June)
The world’s leading psychologist on perfectionism explains why it’s rising, how it wreaks havoc on our lives, and what we can do to stop fearing failure, ruminating about mistakes, and feeling that we aren’t good enough.
2. Anatomy of a Breakthrough by Adam Alter (May)
A marketing professor and master storyteller demystifies the science and practice of uncovering motivation, unlocking creativity, and unleashing change. If you’ve ever felt like you’re languishing, these pages hold the keys to regaining momentum.
3. The Case for Good Jobs by Zeynep Ton (June)
An MIT professor demonstrates that high-quality jobs aren’t just good for people—they’re good for workplaces too. Through her extensive collaborations with organizations, she shows how it’s possible to design good jobs that pay for themselves in any industry.
4. The Good Enough Job by Simone Stolzoff (May)
A journalist makes a timely, compelling case for designing work around our lives instead of squeezing our lives into the space around work. It’s a wakeup call for people who feel overworked and leaders who have lost sight of their humanity.
5. The Song of Significance by Seth Godin (May)
The popular author, TED speaker, and marketing blogger explores how we can give people the opportunity to do work that actually matters.
6. The Power Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman (June)
If you think power always corrupts, get ready to think again. These eagle-eyed journalists have spent their careers observing power up close, and they’ve written an evidence-based, practical guide to acquiring it honestly and using it responsibly.
7. Young and Restless by Mattie Kahn (June)
Some of America’s most important revolutions have been led by teenage girls you’ve never heard of. An award-winning writer shines a light on their stories and the lessons for building strong social movements.
8. Radical Inclusion by David Moinina Sengeh (May)
Sierra Leone’s education minister shares his quest to get every girl into a classroom and his work as a data scientist to build better algorithms. He challenges us all to pay attention to who’s being left out and offers guidelines for inviting them in.
9. Recoding America by Jennifer Pahlka (June)
The former White House deputy chief technology officer and Code for America founder reimagines government for a digital world. No one should be allowed to hold public office without reading this book.
10. Thinking with Your Hands by Susan Goldin-Meadow (June)
An influential cognitive scientist unpacks how our gestures don’t just reveal our thoughts—they shape our thoughts too.
11. Your Future Self by Hal Hershfield (June)
A psychologist offers a fascinating window into who you might become tomorrow—and how you can have more say in that evolution today. Your future self will be grateful that you read it.