Are you getting ready to go away for the summer? Do you have space in your case for something to read on the beach? These days, you don’t even need to pack ‘real’ books. You can stuff your e-reader with great books. It saves a lot of space in your bag and you can take a far greater selection than if you were taking paperback or hardback reading material.

If you are anything like me, you find it really hard to switch off during a vacation. I like to keep in touch. Not because anyone at the office needs me, but because I enjoy my job. As a result, I’ve learned that the best way to feel like I’m keeping in touch and still being a project manager while relaxing in the sun lounger is to read a couple of project management books while I’m away. It’s great for my career as I would never have the chance to read so much while I am at home, and it keeps me connected to the world of project management without having to bother my team for project updates.

Here are my top choices for summer holiday reading this year. Get them as ebooks where you can and you’ll find they fit in your case with no hassle at all!

Zombie Project Management by Derek Huether

This is available on Amazon and it is light, entertaining read. It’s an antidote to all those heavy project management textbooks your PMO manager probably encourages you to read, and it has great illustrations as well. Huether talks about how to spot zombies on your project team and in your stakeholder community – and how to deal with them.

Strategies for Stakeholder Management by Ron Rosenhead, Peter Taylor and Vicki James

You might remember that I’ve referred to this book in a couple of articles over the last month or so. It’s a good read, not too difficult to get through and it is full of great ideas for getting stuff done. For a book that was written by 3 people, you can’t tell, as they have edited it to read smoothly and with one voice. It’s published by Management Concepts.

Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers by Anthony Mersino

This is a great book, now in its second edition. You can read what I thought of the first edition here. Subtitled ‘The people skills you need to achieve outstanding results’ it does exactly what it says it does. Published by Amacom, it covers all the people skills that project managers need to get the job done. So if you think you could do with brushing up on your soft skills so you return to the office all refreshed and ready to get your team motivated, get yourself a copy of this

Practical Project Management for Agile Nonprofits by Karen R. J. White

If you work in a nonprofit you probably barely have time to think about project strategy, let along deliver it, as it’s a high-pressure environment with squeezed resources. Your vacation could well be the only time you get to do some serious reading about how to improve your projects. This book from Maven House Press is a guide to being Agile and working in project environments that are mainly characterised with lots of volunteers on the team. Even if you work in a volunteering capacity trying to get projects done for your charity of choice you can find something useful in this book, as it will help you get the most out of the limited resources available to you.

Shortcuts to Success: Project Management in the Real World

I hope you’ll forgive me for including one of my books, published by the BCS, in here. I’ve chosen this one because it’s an easy read with short chapters which makes it great for the plane. You can dip and out, focusing on topics that are relevant to you now. This second edition includes about 30 new case studies, so if nothing else you can enjoy reading stories of what went well and what went wrong on other people’s projects! It might give you some motivation to do things differently when you get back to the office.