Over the next few weeks, a lot of us will be planning some Summer downtime. Whether that’s at home or away, we find that one of the classic dilemmas this time of year is what you should read during your break. To help you out, we’ve pulled together a selection of books that the team at Proxima have enjoyed over the last year.

For inspiration and insight on developing your leadership skills, try:

What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen Schwarzman

As the co-founder of the US investment behemoth BlackRock, Stephen Schwarzman is one of the most experienced business leaders in the world. In this compelling read, he tells his story and provides a roadmap for how to build, transform, and lead thriving organizations.

Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss

This book makes the case that the best leaders are the ones who focus their time and effort in making those around them better. It argues that this approach leads to more engaged and productive teams – and challenges the orthodoxy of traditional leadership literature that it’s all about ‘you’.

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger

Robert Iger took the reins of Disney during a time when the company was perceived by many as having lost its way. A decade and a half later Disney is once again admired as one of the most innovative and lucrative media companies in the world. In his book, Robert Iger tells us how he did it and provides his principles for leadership.

For compelling discussion about how the future world is shaping up, you might like:

A World Without Work: Technology, Automation and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind

Daniel Susskind’s writing at the University of Oxford on the future of work have been notable for some time. In his latest book, he argues that advances in artificial intelligence mean the threat of technological unemployment is real – and outlines how the world should respond.

The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World by Andrew Scott and Lynda Gratton

What does leading longer and healthier lives mean for the world? That’s the big topic tackled in this new book from the authors of The 100-Year Life. This handbook shows businesses, governments, and people how they can adopt to the multigenerational world to come.

Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace by Matthew Klein and Michael Pettis

The Financial Times has called this “a very important book”. For those looking to understand the trade conflicts re-shaping the global business environment it’s a must-read. Its central argument is that we have misunderstood trade wars as conflicts between countries with competing national interests, when in fact they are reflection of domestic political choices and conflicts.

Or if you’re looking for something lighter, our fictional top picks are:

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Winner of the Booker Prize in 2019, this novel follows a cast of twelve British characters on their personal journeys through Great Britain and the last hundred years.

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (combine with earlier books from the trilogy – Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies)

Described by The Washington Post as a “a masterful finale”, the conclusion to Hilary Mantel’s Oliver Cromwell has drawn critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

David Mitchell is best known for his hugely successful novel Cloud Atlas (later made into a film featuring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry). His latest novel has drawn similar acclaim and offers some much needed summer escapism.

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