5 Self Development Books That Are Must Reads for Summer 2021

5 Self Development Books That Are Must Reads for Summer 2021

Take time off for the summer? Looking to kick back on the beach or spend your hotel evenings reading professional or self-development books? You aren’t alone! Summertime is a great time to relax with a good book, and if you’re well-read, you might be looking for new titles that were published in the past year to add to your library.

Here, we’ll share five professional and self development books published this year for you to read your way through.

1. Think Again by Adam Grant

When’s the last time you really challenged your thinking — what you think, why you think that way, and what made you think those thoughts in the first place? It’s not something people do on an everyday basis, but Think Again by Adam Grant suggests that maybe it’s something we should all be doing.

Being open-minded is a wonderful quality, and it’s something we’d all like to believe we are. This self development book shares a solid mix of scientific research and anecdotal evidence to help any reader understand the importance of unlearning previous thought patterns, rethinking things, and challenging their beliefs.

2. What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce D. Perry

Childhood. How was yours? Each and every human enters adulthood with a full life of experiences, and for some, those experiences can be triggering or traumatic. 

In What Happened to You? Winfrey and Perry alternate narrating chapters filled with personal and professional storytelling and scientific data. This self development book helps readers better understand how one’s upbringing influences their adulthood and how to break cycles and push past what’s happened in the past.

So why does this matter for you? Well, if you consider yourself one of the lucky ones to make it through your life relatively unscathed, know that your colleagues and friends may not have had the same experience. Learning about resilience through life will help you understand the people in your world better.

3. No Such Thing as Normal by Bryony Gordon

How many times in the past year have you wished that things would go back to normal? Have you ever felt like you weren’t normal? Most importantly, what is normal, anyway?

No Such Thing as Normal from Bryony Gordon is great for anyone struggling with mental health issues, but also for people who love and want to support the people in their lives who might be going through challenging times. It’s a self development book for people who want to learn more about mental health, and do so by reading about one woman’s journey to understand what mental health can teach you about mental wellness.

4. Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Don’t let the title scare you away. According to Jones, professional troublemakers are “people who are committed to not letting fear talk themselves out of the things they need to do or say.” In writing Professional Troublemaker, Jones encourages readers to expect more from themselves.

Think about it. What’s holding you back professionally at this very moment? Are you too nervous to ask for a raise because you know a colleague recently received a promotion, and you assume there’s no more in the budget left for you? Are you worried about putting your name in for a new position because you’ve been doing your job for so long and you’re nervous about starting fresh? It’s time we all challenge ourselves to do the best we can and live the best life we can. Professional Troublemaker is an amazing self development book because it will call you out while still supporting you to take the risks you need to.

5. How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Katy Milkman

Know you want things to change, but not exactly sure what you need to do to get from here to there? You’re not alone. So many people can identify what they’d like to change in their lives, but don’t know how to get started. Or, even if the starting place is clear, consistent effort toward the change may be hard to sustain. Enter How to Change, a self development book that explains how to get to where you want to be in life.

Wondering whether Milkman is the right person to share advice about changing? Well, we think so! According to her author bio, she’s “a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, host of Charles Schwab’s popular behavioral economics podcast Choiceology, and the former president of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making.” If that’s not enough professional experience, we don’t know what will be!

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Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila is a content strategist and writer who believes in the power of words and how a message can inform — and even transform — its intended audience. Reach out to her on Instagram at @ErinOllila, or visit her website erinollila.com.