School is out, the sun is shining, and the temptation to forget about structured finance and pick up a trashy novel for beach reading is overwhelming. But those who are determined to get ahead of the MBA pack and beat out the competition for jobs in the increasingly competitive business world know that getting through an ambitious summer reading list is an assignment worth accepting.
The best thing about a summer reading list is that you can customize it to meet your interests as though you're your own professor. Also, you can complete it at your own pace, whether you're reading on a chaise poolside or waiting for the bus you take to your internship. And you don't have to do it on your own. You can start with suggestions from some professors at top American business schools, who recently shared their suggested summer reading lists with BusinessWeek.com. Another good source is BusinessWeek's list of best-selling business books.