Summer’s dwindling away faster than I care to realize! Somehow my grandiose plans to read the enormous stack of books sitting on my nightstand failed. I’m not giving up that easy. Why don’t you join me in reading a few good books before the sun sets on summer 2011?

After all, not only is reading relaxing, it’s also good for you! Reading reduces stress, provides greater tranquility, and increases both vocabulary and memory. Studies show that reading helps people prioritize goals, improves analytical reasoning and enhances writing skills. One other big benefit to reading – when compared with other forms of entertainment, it’s just plain cheap!

If you care to join me, I’ve compiled a list of books that are WELL worth your time and effort. Let’s all carve out some time to read before things get hectic and the easy living of summertime is a memory.

4 REALLY GOOD READS!

The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andres

“Much like the best-selling books by Og Mandino, this unique narrative is a blend of entertaining fiction, allegory, and inspiration.  Storyteller Andy Andrews gives a front-row seat for one man's journey of a lifetime. David Ponder has lost his job and the will to live. When he is supernaturally selected to travel through time, he visits historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, King Solomon, and Anne Frank. Each visit yields a Decision for Success that will one day impact the entire world.”

The Collectibles by James J. Kaufman

“In his debut novel, James. J. Kaufman delivers a gripping and unforgettable story of two strong men from separate worlds – one touched by tragedy, the other by greed – brought together with unexpected results. In chronicling how their lives and those they touch are dramatically changed by their encounter, Kaufman reveals the power of relationships, the nature of love, and ultimately the meaning of life.”

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hildenbrand

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit.  Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter by Mark Seal

The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer-and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary. A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable thirty-year run of a shape-shifting con man. The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up.”

I don’t know about you but I hear a hammock calling my name! Happy Reading!