A Consultant’s Guide to Summer Reading: 2020 Edition

Each of these 18 books offer a brand-new perspective.

Summer 2020 has looked unlike any other. With extended hours spent in quarantine overlapping with typical summer downtime, Propheteers are flying through their reading lists.  As free time has presented greater opportunities to learn and reflect, at a time when there’s a great need for learning and reflecting, many Propheteers have turned to new voices and stories. From untold tales of lived experiences to wild romantic journeys and inspiringly practical business IP, these reads are worth sharing. 

Our consultant-curated summer reading list: 

The Black Experience

Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A beautiful compilation of a father’s words of wisdom from Ta-Nehisi Coates to his son. This framework provides a template of a black father expelling his concerns and understanding of how the America we know today functions focusing on race. How can the world reconcile with this history and how do we change right now for future generations to come? 


by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama gives the reader the privilege of being let in on her path to greatness. Learn about the inner workings of one of the most powerful minds in the world as she shares her story from the South Side of Chicago to the White House and her ongoing legacy of empowerment, inclusion, and advocacy. 

Just Mercy

by Bryan Stevenson

Now a critically acclaimed motion picture, join in on the national sensation that is Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Follow Stevenson’s post-college career as the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice that provides legal defense to those in need. The story of his path to greatness centers around the case of Walter McMillian, a young black man who was sentenced to death row for a murder he didn’t commit. 

Actively Anti-Racist Reads

Black and British

by David Olusoga

Join Award-winning historian and BBC broadcaster David Olusoga as he explores the racially charged relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. Taking on the topic from a scientific perspective Olusoga presents research focused on genealogy as well as historical records, personal testimony complemented by interviews from the current day and age. 

Whistling Vivaldi

by Claude Steele

Author Claude Steele shares the experiments and studies that show, how exposing subjects to stereotypes—impairs their performance in the area affected by the stereotype. Steele brings new knowledge to America’s current perception of the racial and gender gaps we see in day-to-day life. 

Women Reclaiming Their Narratives


by Glennon Doyle

Framed around questioning the identities women have held for centuries, Doyle strives to encourage the reader to seek for more than the labels women are so used to receiving. Through Untamed women are given guidance to find their inner voice with the question in toe; what is my true life meaning?  

In the Dream House

by Carmen Maria Machado

Follow as author Carmen Maria Machado tackles her past with the wit and curiosity of her future. Through the horror genera, Machado explores her struggles with an abusive same-sex relationship. This candid memoir welcomes the reader through the narrator’s classic take on a modern untold story. 

Not-So Dystopian Futures

Station Eleven

by Emily St John Mandel

Set in a dystopian not-so-distant future this tale focuses on a group of nomadic actors and their encounter with a former Hollywood Star. Station Eleven provides a much-needed humorous perspective on the civilization’s demise through the need for art and humanity, in the Great Lakes Region.  

Parable of the Sower

by Octavia E Butler

The year is 2025 and the world is descending into madness.  Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods left just outside of what was Los Angeles. Lauren struggles with hyper empathy along the way which is a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others. The story focuses on the family’s attempt to salvage a culture out of rubble caused by drugs, disease, war, and lack of resources. 

The Past in the Present 

The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

Whitehead focuses on the story of Elwood Curtis, a college-age Black man living in the Jim Crow south during the 1960s. Through The Nickel Boys, the reader is brought alongside the protagonist as he faces the beginning of the Civil Rights movement coupled with a sentencing to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy. The Academy promotes “physical, intellectual and moral training” in order to produce “honorable and honest men.” 

Daisy Jones & the Six

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Follow Daisy Jones in her coming-of-age story that takes place in downtown LA. The time is the height of rock and roll. Enthrall yourself in Daisy’s tales of love, music, and the 1970s. A fun heartfelt summertime favorite that’s evokes the rock n roller in us all. 

Live A Little

Girl, Woman, Other

by Bernardine Evaristo

Told through the stories of twelve different characters Evaristo focuses on the energetic life that comes along with being a Black woman in modern Britain.  Mostly women, black and British, these stories focus on families, friends, and lovers alike. Go across the country and through the years with this wondrously vibrant glorious take on modern history.  

Red, White & Royal Blue

by Casey McQuiston

What happens when we mix the first children with the likes of Prince Harry? Find out when you read this fun political romance that follows the life of First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz and his international socialite exploits.  

Business Building Blocks 

Owning Game-Changing Subcategories: Uncommon Growth in the Digital Age

by David Aaker

Through examples and pragmatic tips, brand expert David Aaker highlights “must-have” subcategories that are highly relevant to consumers in the Digital Age. Discover strategies for driving growth as Aaker shares his latest thinking, rooted in real-world business case studies. 

How Women Rise 

By Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith

Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith highlight how women face specific, and different, challenges as they seek to advance in their careers. Learn about the habits that are holding women back and the next steps to take as women in power are on the rise.  

The Ride of a Lifetime

by Robert Iger

Learn about the life and business career of the CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Iger explains the ideas and values he implemented with hopes of reinvention for one of the most beloved brands in the world. Iger begs the question; how can you bring magic to life? 

The Definitive Guide to B2B Digital Transformation

by Fred Geyer and Joerg Niessing

Authors guide the reader through the explorations of three crucial transformative shifts B2B companies must take in order to achieve sustained and profitable growth in the digital age.  

Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions

by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran

Learn about the different means of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace. Authors Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran offer tangible steps for professionals who are actively seeking ways to combat microaggressions. This read provides individuals’ insights and tips for creating an inclusive work environment. 

“As free time has presented greater opportunities to learn and reflect, at a time when there’s a great need for learning and reflecting, many Propheteers have turned to new voices and stories.”


Whether we read to escape, amuse or educate ourselves, all books offer a lesson in empathy. There’s no better way to stand in someone else’s shoes than to step into their story.