Summer Fling: Books to Help You Get Away

Summer is the perfect time to relax poolside with a good book. And while some reads advance our professional endeavors, others are enjoyed purely for their entertainment value.

To help add to your summer reading list, we asked the Arketi team to share their personal recommendations. Check out the list below – we guarantee there is something for every type of bookworm!

The Shambling Guide to New York City

The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty: A travel writer takes a job with a shady publishing company in New York, only to find that she must write a guide to the city - for the undead. As if this isn’t strange enough, her new coworkers include a death goddess cube-mate and blood-drinking boss. To see what happens when the careful balance between human and monsters starts to crumble, check out this fun read. Recommended by Arketian Charles.

The Pause Principle

The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward by Kevin Cashman: While we live and lead in an increasingly volatile and complex world, the author contends that leaders today must not merely act more quickly, but pause more deeply. He specifically looks at three critical growth areas: personal leadership, development of others, and fostering cultures of innovation. Our Arketian recommender Mike says, “Leadership is often taken for granted once you reach the C-suite; however, the truth is leaders need to work on improving their leadership skills constantly. This book will give any leader pause (pardon the pun) to rethink if they are leading or managing.”

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim: This comic memoir by Arngrim chronicles her experience growing up as one of television’s most memorable characters – the devious Nellie Oleson on the hit television show Little House on the Prairie. With behind-the-scenes stories from the set, as well as tales from her bohemian upbringing in West Hollywood and her headline-making advocacy work on behalf of HIV awareness and abused children, this book is a must-read for fans of everything Little House. Recommended by Arketian Jim.

Live Wire

Live Wire (the 10th Myron Bolitar book)by Harlan Coben: When Myron Bolitar gets involved in the family drama of his former tennis star client and her rock star husband, he discovers secrets about his own family, specifically his brother who abandoned the Bolitars long ago. Our Arketian recommender Mike says, “If I was not a PR professional, I would be OK being Myron (name and all). With a friend like Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III), life would always be interesting.”

Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: This book is worth the read (or re-read) with the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster hitting theaters later this year. After a disastrous first contact with an alien species coming to earth, humanity has to find new ways to fight back. To do so, government agencies breed child geniuses – not bound by land or two-dimensional warfare – and train them as soldiers. Ender, the book’s protagonist, is the result of genetic engineering to create the perfect general. Join him on a mission to save world… if he can. Recommended by Arketian Charles.

The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality

The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides: An acclaimed expert in Christian mysticism travels to a monastery high in the Trodos Mountains of Cyprus and offers a fascinating look at the Greek Orthodox approach to spirituality. In an engaging combination of dialogues, reflections, conversations, history, and travel information, the author continues the exploration of a spiritual tradition and practice little known in the West he began in Riding with the Lion. Our Arketian recommender Sami says, “Change starts from within. As one experiences the journey in The Mountain of Silence, one travels one's own journey.”

The Girl with Curious Hair

The Girl with Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace: This collection of short stories is filled with the author’s remarkable and unsettling reimaginations of reality. Though the stories are not related, many of them share the theme of society's fascination with celebrity, even using real celebrities as fictional characters. If you read the book (or even if you don’t) check out the author’s “This is Water” speech given to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College; it has since been adapted into a short film and essay, and it is hailed as one of the best commencement addresses of all time. Our Arketian recommender Joy says, “I was really inspired by his voice and outlook.”

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley: This is a delightful murder mystery set in 1950s England. The detective is Flavia de Luce, an 11-year-old with an aristocratic but dysfunctional family, a penchant for chemistry experiments (especially involving poisons) and a marvelously sardonic outlook on life. Our Arketian recommender Rory says, “While it sounds like a children's book, it's definitely not – the mystery is a head-scratcher until the very end, and the whole story is terrifically entertaining.”

-> more after the jump

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: You may have seen the 2011 American mystery thriller but it all began with Larsson’s book, published post-humorously in 2005. The author’s #1 bestseller features Lisbeth Salander and combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel. The trilogy also includes The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Recommended by Arketian Mary Rose.

Odd Apocalypse

Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz: This book is part of a series about a character named, Odd Thomas – a young fry cook who sees the dead and tries to help them. Odd’s extraordinary eye for the uncanny detects disturbing secrets that could make Roseland, a magnificent West Coast estate, more hell than haven. Our Arketian recommender Kerri says, “These books have a science fiction slant (not my preferred genre), but I love reading them because they are suspenseful and yet funny, which is hard to accomplish.”

You Should Test That

You Should Test That by Chris Goward: Part science and part art, conversion optimization is designed to turn visitors into customers. This book guides you through creating an optimization strategy that supports your business goals, using appropriate analytics tools, generating quality testing ideas, running online experiments, and making the adjustments that work. Our Arketian recommender Micky says, “This book is a must-read because it sets up the rationale and need for applying more rigorous testing to improve marketing results.”

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz: This book is set up like a guide for the reader to apply four basic principles to help achieve personal freedom from negativity and self-doubt. As beliefs are transformed through maintaining these agreements, the author – a shamanic teacher and healer – asserts lives will "become filled with grace, peace, and unconditional love." Recommended by Arketian Kerri.

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing by Jeffrey and Brian Eisenberg: This one’s an oldie but a goodie. The book explores Persuasion Architecture, a proven persona-based methodology that enables marketers to anticipate different angles from which customers frame their questions and then coordinate messaging to create predictive models of customer behavior. Our Arketian recommender Rory says, “This is an excellent exploration of persona-based marketing, plus thought-provoking discussion of the new world in which the customer controls the sales process. I keep returning to this book and finding new ideas.”

Maya’s Notebook

Maya’s Notebook by Isabelle Allende: This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya Vidal, a remarkable teenager abandoned by her parents. Fans of the author will find this a great example of how she brings Chilean culture into her writing. Yet the book, at its essence, speaks to self-discovery and family bonds. Our Arketian recommender Jackie says, “It’s a great summer read, albeit a bit heavy.”

Ctrl Alt Delete

Ctrl Alt Delete by Mitch Joel: As one of the world's leading experts in new media, the author warns that the time has come to “CTRL ALT DELETE” to reboot and re-build your business model. If you don't, not only will your company begin to slide backwards, but you may find yourself unemployable within five years. Our Arketian recommender Micky says, “This book really speaks to how marketing continues to evolve and why we all need to stay on top of change.”

The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: You don’t have to be unhappy to enjoy this compelling account of the author’s twelve month journey to happiness. She outlines things you can do to discover more about yourself, your relationships, the things you like, the things you hate and much more. Our Arketian recommender Amy says, “I always want to be bettering myself and my happiness, but I’m not a fan of the title because I think it turns people away from reading the book. I actually might take tape and cover the title and re-write my own – The Self-Enlightenment Project.” 

Did any of your favorite reads make the list? We’d love to hear any recommendations you have to share with us. Please send your feedback to along with your comments, compliments or criticisms.

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NOTE: Book descriptions taken from, where all of these books are available for purchase.

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