My own summer reading assignments for school included The Crucible, Birth of a Nation and Albert Camus' The Stranger. All definitely classics, but after that I have to say I wanted to read something current -- even forward-looking. I picked up Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and loved it. It tells the story of a great man who created one of the most influential companies of the modern age. His rags to riches story tells us that we can all change the world if we try hard enough and force ourselves to think way outside the box. The book is simultaneously a cautionary tale about treating others well and not forgetting those who are truly important to us.
As great and innovative as Jobs was he was equally as flawed, and towards the height of his career he began losing his humanity. A once caring person he neglected his daughter, belittled his employees and lost touch with his friends. Aside from this personal transition, the most interesting thing to me about this book was the origin of Apple and how the company evolved over the years. From a few guys in a garage to a multi-billion dollar corporation, Apple has certainly changed the world. The book does an excellent job of telling that story and the stories about the people who remained behind the scenes. This was possibly the best thing about Jobs - he surrounded himself with people smarter than him to help him. This story reminds all of us that we can achieve great things, but also that we must remember who we are and we got here first.