OK, we know that financial books are likely no one's idea of a riveting beach read.
But summer can be a great time to pick up a book that might empower you to think differently about your money. Or at least explain away all the financial confusion that's clouded the world the last couple of years.
To get some recommended reads, we asked a dozen local financial professionals for their favorite picks, both financial and personal. And they dived in, coming up with a refreshing list that bounces from the economy to baseball to psychology. Take a look:
Jeffrey DeBoerPresident, DeBoer Financial Group, Roseville
Favorite financial books: "The Millionaire Next Door" and "The Millionaire Mind" by Thomas J. Stanley. Great stories about how most wealth in America is the result of hard work, diligent savings and living below your means, which is different than many people's perceptions.
Personal: The books on my shelf I haven't gotten to yet: "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson; "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future" by Robert Reich; and "The Brower Quadrant" by Lee Brower, which is about passing on your experiences, values and beliefs to future generations. And I'm a big John Grisham fan and really want to read his latest novel, "Calico Joe," a baseball story about a father-and-son relationship.
Cindy AdamsCertified financial planner (CFP), Sacramento
Financial: "Money, A Memoir (Women, Emotions and Cash)," by Liz Perle, is a great book about women and their relationship with money. It identifies underlying money issues that women may not realize affect their everyday lives.
"The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall. A wonderful book (and movie) about the relationship between wealth and happiness. As I like to tell clients: "There is more to money than just money."
Personal: "Tread Lightly" by Peter Larson and Bill Katovsky, about running form, footwear and the new minimalist shoe craze.
"Lake Tahoe's West Shore" by Carol Jensen and the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society.
Keith MersonCFP, Sierra Wealth Advisors, Cool
Financial: "The Four Pillars of Investing," by William Bernstein, because it provides a well-rounded education for investors without any hype.
Personal: I wish I had time.
Cynthia S. MeyersCFP, Sacramento
Financial: Among my recently read books is "The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career" by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, and Casnocha make the bold claim that all humans are born entrepreneurs..
Personal: "The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America" by Timothy Egan is a timely, riveting tale set in August 1910 when several small wildfires joined forces to create a huge unstoppable blaze that whipped through the national forests of Idaho, Washington and Montana, burning 3 million acres and five towns.
"The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach is a winner on many levels, incorporating baseball, campus life and "Moby Dick."
"Juliette Gordon Lowe: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts" by Stacy A. Cordery. No better way to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Girl Scouts than by reading a well-written biography about its inspiring visionary.
Ramit SethiFormer Sacramentan and personal finance blogger/author, "I Will Teach You to Be Rich," New York.
Financial: "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More than We Think" by Brian Wansink: A book that's not just about our eating habits, but about why we behave the way we do. A terrific analogy to money.
"The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money" by Carl Richards: Why we say one thing about money, yet do another.
"Age of Propaganda" by Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson: A psychology book on why we do what we do.
I love these books because they highlight how personal finance is not just about charts and math. It's at least 50 percent about human behavior. We already "know" what we should do so why don't we?
Chartered financial consultant and "green investing" expert, Sacramento
Financial: "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," by John Perkins. It explores how multinational corporations affect the world economy. A book I want to read is "The Big Short," by Michael Lewis, about the causes of the economic near-collapse of 2008.
Personal: I'm finishing "Borderlands: Riding the Edge of America" by Derek Lundy, a Canadian who drove his motorcycle along the U.S./Mexico and U.S./Canada borders. It's part road trip saga, part American history from a Canadian point of view, part cultural anthropology. Next up: "Babe Ruth and the American Dream" by Ken Sobol.
CFP, Lighthouse Financial Planning, Folsom.
Financial: "Boomerang" by Michael Lewis, which does an excellent job of walking through the hows and whys of the European debt crisis. I love Lewis' writing style: It's entertaining and informative.
Currently, I'm reading "Debt: The First 5,000 Years" by David Graeber. Great book! It's an anthropological view of money and debt: why, how, history, etc.
Personal: "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman and "Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What's Right and What to Do About It" by Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel
In addition, I religiously read "Yoga Journal" magazine. It amazes me, the parallel between practicing yoga and working with folks on their financial plans.
Tony BellManaging director investments, Bell & Co. Private Wealth Management, Sacramento
Financial: "A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing" by Burton G. Malkiel and "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham, which shapes the foundation of how solid investors should think about investing. Each time I've read it, I gain new insights.
Currently reading: "Why Nations Fail" by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson and "Quantitative Strategies for Achieving Alpha" by Richard Tortoriello.
Personal: My all-time favorite book is "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss.
Stanley LeongCFP, Leong & Associates, Roseville
Financial: "Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth," by Nick Murray, captures the true "essence" of investing. It's not about trying to get rich quick; (it's about) investing in the overall productivity of our global world.
"The Six Principles of Successful Investors," by Stanley Leong. (Obviously I'm biased because I wrote it.) Discusses the biggest investing mistakes people make and how to avoid "gambling" with your retirement.
Personal: "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman and "MoneyShift" by Jerry Webman.
John F. CicotteCFP, Roseville
Financial: "The Retirement Savings Time Bomb," by Ed Slott, who was named "best source for IRA advice" by the Wall Street Journal. This book is the Bible for people planning for or in retirement.
Personal: "Babe Ruth," by Julia Ruth Stevens and Bill Gilbert. Ms. Stevens was adopted by Babe Ruth when he married her mother, Claire. It's a real treasure for any baseball fan, especially those of the pre-steroid-era players, like me. I also look forward to reading "Poke The Box," by Seth Godin.
Laura Harger PajakCFP, Foord Van Bruggen Ebersole & Pajak, Sacramento
Financial: "The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall. An inspiring story of how an uncle, through a year of life lessons, transforms his financially irresponsible nephew into a young man who becomes the steward of the family's wealth.
Other picks: "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis. And a personal favorite: "It's Not About Your Money; It's About Your Life" (by the four partners at Pajak's firm) Tools to build your own financial plan and clients' stories to keep you interested between surfing sessions.
Personal: On my summer reading list: "The Post-American World 2.0" by Fareed Zakaria. The first edition, published in 2008, does a great job analyzing the "rise of the rest," the growth of emerging markets.
"American Gridlock: Why the Right and Left Are Both Wrong Commonsense 101 Solutions to the Economic Crises" by H. Woody Brock. This book makes both sides of the aisle mad. That's enough for me to want to read it.