The Value of a Good Book: Books I Have Read in the Last Year

Every April, I write a post that lists the books that I have read in the last year, along with the reviews that I posted about the books on Goodreads and

This allows me to highlighting some good books. But, maybe more importantly, it serves as motivation to get at least one book read a month.

With summer just around the corner, this post might give you some ideas.

If you follow me on Goodreads, you already know the books that I have read. In that case, you can skip the rest of the post. If not, continue reading.

Books That I Have Read Recently

“The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable” (affiliate link) by The Group of 33, Seth Godin. This book was written by Seth Godin and thirty-two of the world’s greatest thinkers. “The Group of 33,” as they call themselves, has written a book that is both informative and inspirational. The book was written in small blog-style chapters that can be read very quickly. I definitely suggest reading this book. And, the best part, 100% of the author royalties go to three great charities.

“Ogilvy on Advertising” (affiliate link) by David Ogilvy. Many people who work in marketing and advertising recommend reading this book. After reading it, I know why.

“Business Around a Lifestyle: How To Quit Your Job & Build The Life Of Your Dreams On The Internet (Volume 1)” (affiliate link) by Jim Kukral. Jim Kukral is a very smart guy. I have listened to some of his presentations in Webinars and podcasts. “Business Around a Lifestyle: How to Quit Your Job & Build the Life of Your Dreams on the Internet (Volume 1 – First Step: How to Dream Your Perfect Lifestyle, Then Go Get It!)” is a quick read that includes many examples of people who make a good living on the Internet. This is the first book in a three-part series. It sounds like the second and third books in the series will give more specific information and advice about how to make money on the Internet. That is the kind of information that I was looking for in this book. However, it was more of an introduction to the other two books. I look forward to reading the other two books in future.

“The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living” (affiliate link) by Mark Boyle. “The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living” is a very interesting book. Although I don’t agree with him about everything, he does make some good points and he tells a very interesting story. For example, I believe that capitalism and the use of money is a good thing, whereas the author tends to disagree. However, when he talks about using our natural resources more efficiently and the benefits of living a greener life, I completely agree with him. It never hurts to hear another person’s opinion. As he mentions at the end of the book, “None of us are teachers; we are all students, learning from each other’s experience. I hope you find something in mine. Take what you find useful and stick the rest in the recycling bin of ideas.” Well said. No matter what you believe, this book is worth reading.

“Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions” (affiliate link) by Guy Kawasaki. “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions” is filled with great advice. Guy Kawasaki not only offers insights based on his own experience, but he also points the reader to many other great books that offer a more in-depth analysis on each topic. I definitely recommend this book.

“Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind: How to Be Seen and Heard in the Overcrowded Marketplace” (affiliate link) by Al Ries and Jack Trout. In this book, the authors point out many of the flaws in the way that businesses approach the marketing of their products and services. They highlight the need for businesses to start with how consumers see their products and services and build from there, rather than assuming consumers will see things the way the company sees them. The authors also point out the importance of being first-to-market and that companies that are attempting to enter a market with an established leader should try to fill the needs of a niche market, rather than taking the market leader on head-to-head. This book was originally published in the 1980’s, but it is still very relevant today.

“No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing” (affiliate link) by Jason Falls and Erik Deckers. If you are looking for suggestions on how to use social media for marketing purposes, I’d suggest picking up a copy of the book and giving it a read. It is filled with useful information and valuable case studies that reveal what has and hasn’t worked for other businesses in the past. And, that’s no bullshit.

“Killer Facebook Ads: Master Cutting-Edge Facebook Advertising Techniques” (affiliate link) by Marty Weintraub. Many people have criticized Facebook ads in recent months saying that they don’t work. I’d challenge them to read this book. I’d bet that they would learn a thing or two that might help them achieve their goals or at least figure out a goal that can be achieved by Facebook advertising. Marty Weintraub’s detailed explanation of Facebook ads covers everything from setting KPIs to launching the ad campaigns and analyzing the results. Weintraub has been in the marketing world for many years and it is clear that he knows what he is talking about when he talks about Facebook advertising. I’d definitely recommend reading this book if you are at all interested in advertising to consumers on Facebook.

“Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing” (affiliate link) by Roger Dooley. “Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing” by Roger Dooley is a very informative book. In the book, Dooley points out many academic studies that provide insight into the mind of the consumer and then he explains exactly how businesses can make use of the findings. This is another book that I would highly recommend to anyone.

“Symbols of America” (affiliate link) by Hal Morgan. “Symbols of America: A Lavish Celebration of America’s Best Loved Trademarks and the Products They Symbolize, Their History, Folklore, and Enduring Mystique,” by Hal Morgan is filled with interesting stories about some of the brands that have become a part of all of our lives. The information provided in this book reminds us that even the largest brands in the world started out as fledgling companies founded on a hope and a dream. There’s something in this book for everyone.

“Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear” (affiliate link) by Dr. Frank Luntz. I highly recommend “Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear” by Dr. Frank Luntz. Although the examples that he gives are taken from politics and business, there is something for everyone in this book. After all, we can all benefit by learning how to communicate more effectively, right? That is what this book is all about. In the book Luntz not only gives the 10 rules of effective language, but he also provides examples that illustrate their importance. Furthermore, his research provides insights on what to say and, maybe more important, what not to say. As the subtitle of the book states, “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.”

“Call of the Mall: The Geography of Shopping” (affiliate link) by Paco Underhill. I recommend “Call of the Mall: The Geography of Shopping by the Author of Why We Buy” by Paco Underhill to anyone who is interested in marketing, retail, merchandising, or shopping, in general. If you liked “Why We Buy,” you will want to read this book. Paco Underhill is one of my favorite authors. His books are filled with useful information and insights.

“Marketing in the Round: Multichannel Approaches in the Post-Social Media Era” (affiliate link) by Geoff Livingston and Gini Dietrich. The reality today is that marketers and PR pros have to work together to create a seamless experience for the customer. That means that people from many different communications disciplines need to work together in harmony. In order to achieve that, it helps if people know something about what the other people in the group do, and the pros and cons of each approach. This book helps provide that information in a format that not only makes this a good book to read from cover to cover, it will also be useful to have around to look things up on an as-needed basis.

“What Women Want: The Global Market Turns Female Friendly” (affiliate link) by Paco Underhill. This is another great book by Paco Underhill. In the book, Underhill explains how changing gender roles in society have influenced the way that we live, the way that we shop and the products that we buy. It is a great book for retailers, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople who work in all industries. As an added bonus, in this book, Underhill provides some early observations about how social media is influencing our day-to-day lives.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned last year, your education doesn’t end when you receive your diploma. Therefore, a library card and a thirst for knowledge can go a long way in helping you gain additional insights and keep up with the latest trends in your industry.

That said, if you have some suggestions about books that you think I should add to my reading list, please feel free to offer suggestions below.

Also, feel free to connect on Goodreads.

Chad Thiele

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: