Harvard Online’s Summer Reading List

Published July 6, 2023


Kick off your summer reading Harvard Online style with our recommended list of books written by our faculty. Whether you’re looking to explore a new topic or strengthen your knowledge in your field, there’s a book for every interest on this list.

Photo of a person's hands holding a book open in the grass


If you’re particularly interested in your chosen read, you can dive deeper into the topics by enrolling in the author’s Harvard Online course where you’ll study the topic in depth and learn how to apply the concepts within your own life.

Our Recommended Summer Reads:

Bold Move: A 3-Step Plan to Transform Anxiety into Power

By Dr. Luana Marques

Turn your anxiety into strength with Harvard-based psychotherapist and Building Personal Resilience course Professor Dr. Luana Marques’ 3-step method to living boldly—her clinically-proven approach inspires her clients from CEOs to at-risk teens and echoes lessons learned growing up in challenging circumstances in Brazil. This book is invaluable for people looking to jumpstart their dreams and for clinicians working with a diverse client community.

READ: Bold Move
ENROLL: Building Personal Resilience: Managing Anxiety and Mental Health

Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World

By Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani

Harvard Business School Professor Marco Iansiti and Harvard Online Professor Karim R. Lakhani (Open Innovation) show how reinventing the firm around data, analytics, and AI removes traditional constraints on scale, scope, and learning that have constrained business growth for hundreds of years. Packed with examples—including the most powerful and innovative global, AI-driven competitors—and based on research in hundreds of firms across many sectors, this is the essential guide for rethinking how your firm competes and operates in the era of AI.

READ: Competing in the Age of AI
ENROLL: Open Innovation

Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy

By Amy Edmondson

This book by Harvard Online Professor Amy Edmondson (Innovations in Teamwork for Health Care) shows that organizations thrive, or fail to thrive, based on how well the small groups within those organizations work. With Teaming, leaders can shape these factors by encouraging reflection, creating psychological safety, and overcoming defensive interpersonal dynamics that inhibit the sharing of ideas. Based on years of research, this book shows how leaders can make organizational learning happen by building teams that learn.

READ: Teaming
ENROLL: Innovations in Teamwork for Health Care

Confronting Cyber Risk: An Embedded Endurance Strategy for Cybersecurity

By Gregory Falco and Eric Rosenbach

Co-written by Harvard Online Professor Eric Rosenbach (Strategy Execution for Public Leadership), this book is an adaptive and practical cyber risk management guide for leaders. In this book, you’ll learn a new strategy for improving organizational cybersecurity and mitigating cyber risk. For CEOs and cyber newcomers alike, you’ll get concrete guidance on how to implement a cutting-edge strategy to mitigate an organization's overall risk to malicious cyberattacks in an evolving cyber risk landscape.

READ: Confronting Cyber Risk
ENROLL: Strategy Execution for Public Leadership

The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change

By Bharat N. Anand

Digital change means that everyone today can reach and interact with others directly: we are all in the content business. But that comes with risks that Professor Bharat Anand, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning teaches us how to recognize and navigate. Filled with conversations with key players and in-depth dispatches from the front lines of digital change, this book is an essential new playbook for navigating the turbulent waters in which we find ourselves.

READ: The Content Trap

Everyone Wins!: The Evidence for Family-School Partnerships and Implications for Practice

By Karen L. Mapp, Anne T. Henderson, Stephany Cuevas, Martha C. Franco, and Suzanna Ewart

Engaging families in education not only improves student achievement, but also strengthens families, boosts teacher effectiveness, and builds community. Everyone wins! In this easy-to-use guide, a Harvard-based team, including Harvard Online Professor Karen L. Mapp (Introduction to Family Engagement in Education), uses the latest research to help teachers, administrators, and FACE coordinators design and implement programs wisely and with confidence that all students will benefit.

READ: Everyone Wins!: The Evidence for Family-School Partnerships and Implications for Practice
ENROLL: Introduction to Family Engagement in Education

From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life

By Arthur C. Brooks

At the height of his career at the age of 50, Harvard Online Professor Arthur Brooks (Managing Happiness) embarked on a seven-year journey to discover how to transform his future from one of disappointment over waning abilities into an opportunity for progress. From Strength to Strength is the result, a practical roadmap for the rest of your life. Drawing on social science, philosophy, biography, theology, and eastern wisdom, as well as dozens of interviews with everyday men and women, Brooks shows us that true life success is well within our reach.

READ: From Strength to Strength
ENROLL: Managing Happiness

Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding From Anywhere

By Tsedal Neeley

Harvard Online Professor and leading expert in virtual and global work Tsedal Neeley (Remote Work Revolution for Everyone) reveals how to thrive in remote and hybrid organizations. Providing evidence-based answers to these and other pressing issues, key takeaways, and an interactive action guide, this book will help leaders and team members quickly develop an actionable plan and deliver results previously out of reach. This book is essential reading for navigating the enduring challenges teams and managers face in remote and hybrid work.

READ: Remote Work Revolution
ENROLL: Remote Work Revolution for Everyone

Science and Cooking: Physics Meets Food, From Homemade to Haute Cuisine

By Michael Brenner, Pia Sörensen, and David Weitz

Based on our popular Science of Cooking Harvard Online courses, Science and Cooking explores the scientific basis of why recipes work. Why do we knead bread? What determines the temperature at which we cook a steak, or the amount of time our chocolate chip cookies spend in the oven? This book answers these questions and more through hands-on experiments and recipes from renowned chefs such as Christina Tosi, Joanne Chang, and Wylie Dufresne.

READ: Science and Cooking
ENROLL: Professional Certificate in The Science of Cooking

The Path: A New Way to Think About Everything

By Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh

The first book of its kind written by Harvard Online Professor Michael Puett (The Path to Happiness) and Christine Gross-Loh, The Path offers a profound guide to living well through making small changes to our everyday routines. Covering subjects from decision-making to relationships, it shows how actions from greeting others and playing with children to running meetings can be opportunities to become happier and more productive. Professor Michael Puett's course in Chinese philosophy has taken Harvard by storm. In The Path, he and journalist Christine Gross-Loh make this timeless wisdom accessible to everyone for the first time.

READ: The Path
ENROLL: The Path to Happiness

Trust: Creating the Foundation for Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

By Tarun Khanna

Entrepreneurial ventures often fail in the developing world because of the lack of something taken for granted in the developed world: trust. Over centuries, the developed world has built customs and institutions such as enforceable contracts, an impartial legal system, and credible regulatory bodies that have created a high level of what Harvard Online Professor and entrepreneur Tarun Khanna (Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies) calls "ambient trust." This book shows how to create this trust within the existing structures to achieve entrepreneurial success.

READ: Trust
ENROLL: Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

Upcoming 2023 Summer Releases:

Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier

By Arthur Brooks and Oprah Winfrey

In Build the Life You Want, Arthur C. Brooks (Managing Happiness) and Oprah Winfrey invite you to begin a journey toward greater happiness no matter how challenging your circumstances. Drawing on cutting-edge science and their years of helping people translate ideas into action, they show you how to improve your life right now instead of waiting for the outside world to change.

Preorder the September 2023 release: Build the Life You Want
ENROLL: Managing Happiness

Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well

By Amy Edmondson

In her latest book, Professor Amy Edmondson (Innovations in Teamwork for Health Care) provides the framework to think, discuss, and practice failure wisely. Outlining the three archetypes of failure—basic, complex, and intelligent—Edmondson showcases how to minimize unproductive failure while maximizing what we gain from flubs of all stripes. She illustrates how we and our organizations can embrace our human fallibility, learn exactly when failure is our friend, and prevent most of it when it is not. This is the key to pursuing smart risks and preventing avoidable harm.

Preorder the September 2023 release: Right Kind of Wrong 
APPLY: Innovations in Teamwork for Health Care

Uncertain Futures: How to Unlock the Climate Impasse

By Alexander F. Gazmararian and Dustin Tingley (Data Science Principles)

Uncertain Futures proposes solutions to make more credible promises that build support for the energy transition. It examines the perspectives of workers, communities, and companies, arguing that the climate impasse is best understood by viewing the problem from the ground up. Featuring voices on the front lines, this book contends that making economic transitions work means making promises credible.

Preorder the August 2023 release: Uncertain Futures
ENROLL: Data Science Principles

What book are you picking up this summer? Share it with us on Instagram by tagging @HarvardOnline and you could be featured in one of our upcoming IG Stories. Happy reading! ☀️

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