Those of you looking for summer reading might do well to skip those spy novels and trashy romances. Pick out something to help you maneuver better in your career.
Here are some titles to consider:
* "Team think - Using the Sports Connection to Develop, Motivate, and Manage a Winning Business Team" by Don Martin (Dutton, $23).
Here we have the management basics peppered with advice from top coaches, including Tommy Lasorda, Red Auerbach. and Pat Riley.
My favorite from Mr. Lasorda, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers: "In baseball and in business, there are three types of people: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wondered what happened."
* "Office Biology" by Edith Weiner and Arnold Brown (MasterMedia, $21.95).
When these people say "biology." they're not, kidding. This book is based on serious science. They even have words in there like "neurotransmitter epinephrine."
Humor on the Job
But relax, that just has to do with humor and how it can help relieve stress. The book is accessible and full of tidbits to help us better survive in the work environment.
Don't miss the chapter on gender difference. It proposes scientific explanations of why men's brains operate differently from women's.
* "Through the Brick Wall: How to Job-Hunt in a Tight Market" by Kate Wendleton (Villard, $13).
This book has been called the "parachute" book of the 1990s. and it was written by someone who counsels senior bankers, both in job search strategies and career maneuvering.
Many of the sample resumes, summary statements, and cover letters are from bankers.
Playing the Odds
Among the nuggets: Always have six to 10 things in the works, because five are sure to fall through.
* The updated version of "When Smart People Fail" by Carole Hyatt and Linda Gottlieb (Penguin Books, $12).
If you've ever beaten yourself up for having been laid off, letting a business fail, or falling short of your dreams, this book's for you.
The authors say that failure is really a judgment you make about an event. If you're the judge, you can alter that judgment.
That's what the book helps you do: figure out what went wrong and then reinvent Yourself.
* "Sharkproof - Get the Job You Want, Keep the Job You Love" by Harvey Mackay (HarperBusiness, $22).
Need some inspiration? Mr. Mackay is a master of this. He tells you how to overcome obstacles like fear, hopelessness, and rejection.
But he won't let you coast. He says, "There will always be a place at the table for the people who are willing to work harder and longer than anyone else in the game."
Look for appendix A, which gives some good answers to tough interview questions.
* For those of you who are parents, there is "How to Help Your Child Land the Right Job - Without Being a Pain in the Neck" by Nelia Barkley (Workman, $9.95).
Coach and Client
This is a step-by-step guide to help you do just what the title says.
First, Ms. Barkley suggests that you see yourself as the coach and your child as the client. This helps overcome children's natural reluctance to listen to parents.
Then, forget about pushing a young person into a "hot" career. Just remember that banking used to be "hot."
Instead, help your child discover his or her true calling. Honest enthusiasm will get you far in this world, even if it's not in a growing industry, she says.
* "Career Success/Personal Stress - How to Stay Healthy in a High-stress Environment" by Christine A. Leatz with Mark W. Stolar (McGraw-Hill, $14.95).
I really love this book. It's full of checklists and short, bulleted items, so it's easy to skim. And there are lots of good little ideas to help manage stress.