It’s that time of year! Memorial Day is almost here, and the season to sit on the beach or poolside and enjoy your favorite authors is upon us.

Here are my top 10 most promising titles for this reading season. There are many, many books on my wish list, including a number recommended by readers. (The complete list of more than 50 suggestions is here; all of our past summer and winter reading lists are here).

A few caveats: As always, most of these are new releases, with one or two older titles mixed in. Second, this list is based on my personal interests (they are decidedly not based on pitches by publicists). Third, I link each book to, which lets me track lots of data about each title (including how many of you actually buy the book). It throws off a few dollars, and I donate any revenue your book purchase generates to a literacy program.

On to the book list!

• "The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning," by Scott Galloway. Galloway should be familiar to readers as the brand-strategy professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, as a regular guest on Masters in Business and as the author of "The Four," about the dominance of the big tech companies. He usually writes about technology and business, but concern with students’ life issues led to creation of a 10 minute YouTube video that garnered almost 2 million views. That became this lovely short book, which is likely to be a graduation and holiday gift for years to come.

• "Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries," by Safi Bahcall. How does group behavior and the science of phase transitions manifest itself? The author, a physicist and entrepreneur, tries to show why some wild new ideas become game changers. I was skeptical, but when someone like Daniel Kahneman says, “This book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world,” I pay attention.

• "The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West" by David McCullough. Ever since I read McCullough's "The Wright Brothers” (on an earlier summer reading list of ours -- and it was fantastic) I have been a fan of the two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning historian. This tale of how the American Northwest Territory was settled looks intriguing.

• "Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us about Economics and Life," by Alan B. Krueger. From the economist who revealed the mysteries of the minimum wage comes this look at the economics of the music industry. The music industry offers important financial lessons, from the role of technological disruption to the economics of songwriting and concert tours. Krueger, an economics rock star himself (he was former chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers) left us much too soon.

• "The Silk Roads: A New History of the World," by Peter Frankopan. The trade routes that connected the East and the West also led to the spread of ideas, cultures and religions. In the midst of our budding trade war, perhaps some history on trade between China and the world might shed a little light on current affairs.

• "Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World," by Bradley Hope and Tom Wright. Is financial fraud becoming its own subgenre? This look at the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia reminds me of tales about scandal before it, but what distinguishes this one is the size: It involved $5 billion.

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