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Summer Reading: What the Experts Recommend

Summer Reading: What the Experts Recommend

We love a good book here at Speakers Spotlight and often turn to our incredible roster of keynote speakers to find our next great read. Here’s what books they recommend to help you recharge and refuel for the fall. Happy reading! 

Happiness Expert Neil Pasricha Recommends:

The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt 

Neil Pasricha

I think this is the most important book of the year on increasing our collective happiness. It’s research-based call to arms by New York University professor Jon Haidt to protect our children by:

  • Raising the age of social media from 13 to 16
  • Making classrooms phone-free
  • Intentionally reintroducing the “free play” childhoods most of us grew up with.

Highly recommend! 

Mental Health Expert Jhanelle Peters Recommends:

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Jhanelle Peters

During the summer, I love to dive into books that mirror the season’s lightness and brightness. Here are some delightful reads that serve as a refreshing palate cleanser. Perfect for lounging in the grass or soaking up the sun in a cozy chair, these books celebrate life, community, and inspiration.

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

This novel will ignite your imagination as you envision the unique faces, personalities, and styles of the characters. As their stories intertwine, you’ll be eagerly turning pages, and luckily, summer has just begun, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the journey.

Hundred: What You Learn in a Lifetime by Heike Faller

This adult picture book will become your favourite. It’s like flipping through a thought-provoking photo album that reflects on every age you’ve lived and offers wisdom for the years to come.

Award-Winning Journalist Evan Solomon Recommends:

The Coming Wave by Mustafa Suleyman

Evan Solomon

One of the most important books to read right now is The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century’s Greatest Dilemma by Mustafa Suleymanm.

A long time AI pioneer who co- founded DeepMind and is currently leading the Microsoft AI division, Mustafa has brilliant and trenchant insights into the remarkable possibilities and perils of AI, which he

calls the “defining challenge of our era.” If you want to get a sense of the possibilities and scope of the AI revolution and, on the other side, how difficult it will be to regulate and contain, this is essential reading.

If you are not interested in AI for whatever reason, this is still an essential read because it will make you realize how urgently you need to be engaged. This book is the start.

Bonus Podcast Recommendation:

Other than our own incredible podcast, GZERO World, I am addicted to The Rest is History with the two ebullient, engaging, and brilliant hosts, Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook. These two do to history what rain does to seedlings, opening it up and making it come alive.

Every podcast, from the breathtaking series on the 100 Years War to the latest on Custer’s Last Stand makes you wish history was always taught this way. Dive into their library and make every run, walk, or drive the kind of conversation you always wished you had with your most fascinating friend.

Innovation Strategist Shawn Kanungo Recommends:

Aesthetic Intelligence by Pauline Brown

Shawn Kanungo

One of my favorite books is Aesthetic Intelligence by Pauline Brown, a former leader of the world’s top luxury goods company. She says “Aesthetic Intelligence” is the other AI. It is about our capacity to harness our senses in a way that sparks joy and awakens the imagination.

I LOVE this book because it’s about making things more meaningful, memorable, and delightful. I believe that innovation is 90% psychology, and this book hits home.

Bonus Podcast Recommendation:

On the flipside, I love listening to This Week in Startups with Jason Calacanis because he’s always talking about what’s shaping the future of technology. Most importantly, he’s been doing these incredible AI demos every week with another entrepreneur, Sunny Madra. This is not about the philosophy and theory of AI; this is SHOWING what people are actually doing! It’s tactical, actionable, and current.

Canadian Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Jill Heinerth Recommends:

Burn Book: A Tech Love Story by Kara Swisher

Jill Heinerth

Kara Swisher is an award-winning journalist at the nexus of the tech industry for decades with close connections to world-changing innovators from Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to Sergey Brin.

Her humorous yet scathing account of the digital sector since the 1900s is refreshing and authentic. The back cover of the book contains blurbs from some of her interviewees where she prints verbatim missives including comments such as one from Elon Musk that declares, “You’re an asshole.”