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This Year's Top Five Inspirational Books For Your Summer Reading List

Now that the weather is scorching hot (seriously, fellow East Coasters, what happened to spring?), we all could use some new reading material.  Here are my top five books from the first half of 2011 that will inspire you as you huddle by your air conditioner this summer:

Poke the Box1.  Poke the Box by Seth Godin

Seth Godin has incited a following (or Tribe, as you might know it as...) for a reason: he's incredibly inspiring.  His latest book, published under his new experimental publishing platform, The Domino Project, falls nicely into this category of inspiration.  

Poke the Box is a quick read packed full of ideas about how to stop asking for permission and just do.  It will call you to action and encourage you to take initiative.
So shake up your life and read it!

Do the Work
2.  Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

Do the Work is Steven Pressfield's followup to The War of Art, the book where the thought-provoking author introduces the concept of Resistance to the world.  

This new manifesto is designed to take you through a project from A to Z, helping you work through the entire process of its creation - from the inevitable sticking points in the middle to the fear-inducing shipping point at the end.  Do the Work will inspire you to not only do your real work, but to finish and ship it as well.

I love this book.  Read it.  Enough said.

Just kidding.  I'll give you a little more information - but I do just absolutely love Evil Plans.

For one thing, the title rocks. 

And the book itself is incredibly inspiring.  It introduces the idea that everybody needs an EVIL PLAN to get away from boring, dead-end jobs they hate, and to start doing something they love.

Ignore Everybody will inspire you to do something that matters - and to have fun along the way.

For anyone interested in business (and we all should be - who really wants to be a starving artist?), the newest book by Apple's former chief evangelist is a must-read.  

The book outlines Kawasaki's method of how to enchant and draw customers into your business by using technology, and emphasizes trust and likability as key points on the road to success.  

Whether you're part of a small business, an artist or entrepreneur, Kawasaki's art of how to influence others is a fascinating, inspiring read.

Bossypants5.  Bossypants by Tina Fey

Yes, I realize this book doesn't fit in exactly the same category as the others.  It's not a self help-book, and won't tell you what to do to change your life.  But the 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live star is insanely funny, and hey, everyone needs a good laugh sometimes.

Plus, Tina Fey's story is incredibly inspiring - being a woman comic takes balls (chuckle), and she's got 'em.  While you may not be itching to become a comedian superstar anytime soon, her life may just infuse you with so much warmth and fuzziness that you become motivated enough to do what you were always meant to do in this world.

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