2019 Summer Reading List

9 min read

Summary: Are you planning on traveling soon and are you still looking for a good book? Let yourself be inspired by my summer reading list. Some books are only available in English and others only in Dutch. My list mainly contains books in the field of self-development and gaining more knowledge.

Voor Nederlands, klik hier.

I have not been able to read much in past months. This was due to personal circumstances and work that took a lot of my time (but gave a lot of fulfillment). As a result, many beautiful books stayed on the shelf.

At the end of December 2018 I shared my favorite books from 2018 with you and in August 2017 these books were on the summer book list.

In this article I am letting you know what I am going to read this summer (and probably beyond).

99 Problems but the boss ain’t one

Lennard Toma and Cedric Muchal are the authors of this Dutch book. They are also the owners of the IT and marketing company Keytoe. It is certainly not a standard company because despite the fact that Lennard and Cedric are the owners, there is no standard “boss” from who you need permission to take holidays or to ask for a raise. It is a flat organization and everyone is called a “Kolllega” (Kolleague). Kolleagues determine the salary and can fire each other. The book describes the successes and challenges of Keytoe. Cedric and Lennard also have a Dutch podcast “Hoe dan?!” Which they record in their car. One of the Podcasts is in English where Lennerd tells you more about Keytoe.


In my coaching and training I am always looking for the talents and core qualities of my clients. I am convinced that it is much better for you to meet your challenges with these innate powers than to learn a new behavior (or trick) that is not at all in line with you and your character.

I recently got the strengthsfinder booklet Gallup & Tom Rath. It is written in honor of Don Clifton. In psychology, people often looked at what is wrong with people (as presented in the DSM-5). Don Clifton was more interested in what’s good with people. He discovered 34 strengths (such as discipline, positivity, or responsibility) that humans have. These themes of strengths are based on research on the behavior of hundreds of thousands of people.

The booklet briefly describes the 34 strengths, how you can recognize them, how you can empower them and how you can deal with someone who exhibit this strength. Of course it is an invitation to gain insight into your own strengths for more self-awareness and to develop yourself.

The Trillion Dollar Coach

I am looking forward to read this book. It is about the unknown (football and executive) coach Bill Campell and how he coached icons such as Steve Jobs from Apple and the founders of Google (Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt) on personal effectiveness and leadership.

Bill Campell was active in the background. He did not give major seminars and did not write much. His coachees were so impressed by him that they wrote a book about what they learned from him.

The 5 AM club

This book has been lying my nightstand for a while and I can’t seem to finish it. It is written differently than normal. It is about a successful trainer, inspirator and speaker, the “spellbinder”. He dies on stage during one of his performances. Of course, everyone is in shock and the book describes how three attendees look back on what they have learned from the “spellbinder”.

The underlying idea is that you get the most done when everyone is still in bed at 5 am. It has not yet motivated me to get up earlier. Who knows … What did you think of this book? I’m curious!

The Power of Reflection (De kracht van reflectie)

A brand new book in Dutch by Fred Korthagen and Ellen Nuijten. I have written about this duo before in my last article about core reflection and the article about character strengths. “The power of reflection” is aimed at the education field but it certainly also applies to other professional groups such as that of trainers, facilitators and supervisors.

The book contains many examples and shows how teachers can learn systematically. I have been reflecting for years and am always looking for new ways to improve this.

A Geek in Japan

This book was recommended in an email from Tim Ferris and since I am going to Japan with my family this summer, I thought it would be good to check out this book. In the Netherlands we have a similar book “Undutchables” about how Dutch people treat each other and others in the eyes of foreigners. “A Geek in Japan” is a very comprehensive book that covers everything from Anime to the tea ceremony in Japan.

The intention is that it goes with me to Japan so that I am well aware of the culture and customs there. It’s just a bit heavy so maybe I will buy a digital version …

We are us (Wij zijn ons)

This Dutch book was mentioned in a tweet from someone in my network. Mark van Oostaijen writes about various everyday themes in the light of sociological insights. Among other themes, it is about Sinterklaas, the Bitcoin, the internet, soccer as a religion. I see it as an enrichment of my thoughts on these themes.


The Spiritual Exercises of ECK

I have had this book for a while but I have not done all the exercises so I will give it my attention again this summer.

Nowadays meditation is “in” and you do this to have a moment for yourself, for focus or to relax. There are numerous apps that guide you in meditation. Even though it is helpful to many people, I still find this form passive. You listen to the music, mantra or voice and try to switch off as many thoughts as possible in order to achieve inner peace. The spiritual exercises of ECK also bring you inner peace and then help you to work actively on themes that play a role in your life this moment. Think of creative exercises to solve problems, exercises for more balance in life or exercises for more discipline or setting goals.

Highly recommended for someone who wants more overview in his or her life and wants to tackle challenges in a more sustainable, more loving, safer and deeper way.

Thinking fast and slow

I received this book from my sons for father’s day and it was written by Daniel Kahneman. He has received the Nobel Prize in Economics, despite being a psychologist himself. The book is an overview of all his research and is about 2 thought systems. The first and fast system is instinctive and emotional. The second is slower, more logical and deliberative. Given the small font and the 400+ pages, I will take the time to read this book.

Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way

During my studies I spent a month in the Ardennes of Belgium doing an internship with a forester. For a month I cut down trees and chopped them. There is still a chainsaw in the attic because I thought it was great.

Yesterday, I received this book by Lars Mytting. It is a manual for everything that has to do with felling, chopping and stacking and setting fire to wood. Now, I don’t have a forest in my back yard, but soon I can cut one down in my sister’s yard. It is high time to further develop myself in this area too!

I hope this list of books will inspire you to read this summer. Which books do you read now? I and the other readers of this article are looking forward to reading from you!

Thank you for reading up to here & sharing this article with your colleagues, friends or family. And please SHARE this article with your network on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google + by pressing the buttons below so that they can also find inspiration from this list of books.

Have you seen an error in this article? Let me know! I am grateful!

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