Reading Makes You Human: Some Recommendations From A Written Word Junkie

Contrary to what you expect from a self-proclaimed narcissist, I don’t just read my own writing and listen to the sound of my own voice.  😉  I have, indeed, always relied on inspiration from others to shape my view of the world and understanding of future path.  I spend a good amount of time reading non-fiction books related to my profession and passions, as well as a good amount of essential fiction.

I think having a good mix of non-fiction, “business” books, pop culture fiction and literature is important for any well-rounded consumer strategist…and really a good foundation for any well-rounded human.  Knowing the way the world operates and how it is and has been reflected in popular culture and media keeps us on our toes and grounded.   Sure, there are other forms of media besides the written word that can do that, but there is something about ink on paper (or digital ink on virtual paper) that is incredibly immersive and inspirational.  I think we tend to personalize things we read a lot more than what we watch.  Possibly because to really understand what you are reading you have to give it your undivided attention and make a point to do the work of visualization in your own head.  The mental exercise increases the strength of our comprehension.

That being said, I wanted to share some of the books that have really made an impression on me.
Fiction / literature that paint empathetic cultural portraits or present an anthropological  / sociological narrative:
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Women of The Silk by Gail Tsukiyama

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Walden Two by B. F. Skinner

Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson


Non fiction books that give you perspective on how to manage your human existence:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

True North by Bill George

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse

The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams

Sticky Wisdom by Dave Allan, Matt Kingdon, Kris Murrin, Daz Rudkin

The Five Faces of Genius by Annette Moser-Wellman


Inspirational business books that affirm the idea that we can make the world better through the power of consumerism:

Grow by Jim Stengle

Firms of Endearment by Rajendra S. Sisodia, David B. Wolfe, Jagdish N. Sheth

Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken

The New Capitalist Manifesto by Umair Hauque

Chief Culture Officer by Grant McCracken

The Rise of The Creative Class by Richard Florida

Igniting Inspiration by John Marshal Roberts

Drive by Daniel Pink
I’ll leave out the marketing books here, but:

You can find a copy of my reading list at the bottom of  my LinkedIn profile here:
Or check out some highlights on Pinterest here:
Now go out and read something else besides this blog!  🙂

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