Summer has finally arrived and if you are still looking for some inspiration for your lazy day reading list, I have put together my top 4 for June.
1. Teri Agins – The End of Fashion
This has been my absolute favourite book recently. I got it as a really thoughtful Christmas gift and from page 1 I was so captivated by all the background information about the fashion industry that I just could not put down this book. Teri Agins with her year-long experience in fashion will take you back to the times when designers like Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger and Giorgio Armani started their empires. Not only is it interesting to read about their stories as entrepreneurs but also does Agins give you a very detailed insight into their business models and strategies. This is definitely not a “shallow fashion book”. For (aspiring) entrepreneurs in whichever industry, this is a must read.
2. Mark Lamprell – The Lovers’ Guide to Rome
Well, Rome. What shall I say. Many of you will not be surprised that there is a book about one of my favourite cities in the world. I think it is the perfect read if you are planning a beach vacation. For all those of you who love the way of storytelling in movies like Love Actually as much as I do, this is your book. Lamprell tells us the love stories of three main characters: the young artist Alice who is looking for inspiration before finally settling down with her long-term boyfriend. Meg and Alex who want to relight the fire of their year-long love and the friends Constance and Lizzie who bring the ashes of Constance’s husband back to Rome. All of these stories have interesting twists. But the most beautiful thing about this book is the setting in Rome. It takes you to the narrow streets of the Eternal City and it will be tough for you to return home after this virtual trip.
3. Nick Hornby – Funny Girl
I am a confessed Nick Hornby fan. For some reason though, it took me some time to finally get to read his most recent novel. Barbara was just crowned Blackpool’s beauty queen but just when she was about to make that final step into this new life, she decides to move to London and become a TV comedian. Hornby takes you to the London of the Swinging Sixties and reading Barbara’s rise to fame gives you a different view of this bustling city. It shows how torn the country was between the new movement – the Beatles, mini-skirts and Bobs – and the conservative values and humour of the older generation. Barbara herself will be the subject of these two poles. Even though some declared Hornby fans told me they did not like it as much as About a Boy or High Fidelity and despite some lengths at the end of the book, I do think it is a very good read.
4. Chin-Ning Chu – The Art of War for Women
Every business graduate here will probably have read – or have been made to read – Sun Tzu’s the art of war. For all those of you who have not: Sun Tzu’s ancient strategies – sometimes a bit cryptic – have become one of the most recommended books by successful business leaders. I have read it too and due to all the time I have spent in China, I really enjoyed it – maybe not solely as business advice but as general life coaching advice. The Art of War for Women is a new interpretation and expansion of Sun Tzu’s strategies. Women are often said to struggle with networking and strategically using networks to advance their careers. While this might be a stereotype, I do think that this book offers some useful insights – for women and men alike – if you are planning your next move.