Subscription Options

December 26, 2008

My five best "reads" of 2008

As I have commented here a lot, since discovering Audio books I have not read many books, and now blast through two to three books every week in the gym or while traveling. It is becoming a very addictive habit.

(I can hear it now "First it was the business books, then the fictional novels. By the time he was listening to the self help stuff he was beyond salvation!")

Anyway, as a compulsive reader / listener I have been through many, great books this year. This is my top five for your interest and information. I hope it is of use to you. Why five? Ten was too many, after five it all becomes pretty relative I think.

NOTE: These are not your standard tips and techniques business books. They are starting to get pretty repetitive. These are books that really blew me away.

1. Tribes 

What can I say that hasn't already been said. A simple concept well written, as all brilliant concepts are in essence.

This book rekindled a lot of things in me. Things that I had learned when I built and sold a marketing company in Latin America. (For a song I might add)

I am sure it has changed my future, it has definitely changed my present, and I dip back into it regularly. This book, above all others here, changed me this year.

2. The Man Who Owns the News 

This was brilliant for a range of different reasons. Politics aside, I really like Murdoch. I like him because he is tenacious, an outsider, and he doesn't mind mixing it up. In fact, he revels in it apparently.

Although a biography, this book had a lot to say about success, how to achieve it, how to hang on to it, and how to place big bets on high probabilities of success. I found it to be very inspiring, as well as incredibly objective!

(There must be incredible pressure on a Journalist to write a book about Murdoch that is either slavishly sycophantic, or stridently attacking - this one cuts it down the middle I thought.)

3. Warren Buffets Way 

I reviewed this today here. The real value in this book, aside from the no nonsense approach to investing capital, was the lessons about how to help your clients.

It points out very clearly, in business terms, what the real drivers for successful management of any organization are, and it really helped me to refocus my consultants' thinking.

4. The Back of a Napkin 

Absolutely brilliant book. I have always been a white board and flip chart nut, but this book gave me some really solid reasons to keep going with that. And some fantastic techniques and tips to help me take it further.

I keep this one with me right now, and over the last 6 months I have revamped my entire course structure for three separate courses, and integrated some of the lessons (fully attributed of course) into one of my longer courses on presentation skills.

Although not number 1, this has had a dramatic impact on me and will do long into the future. Huh, a book on

5. A Whole new Mind 

This was actually uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because I am a left brain thinker trying to be a right brain thinker. (So I found out) It really challenged me on a number of levels and I am trying to put some of the teaching into practice now. (Still)

A really thought inspiring book, I have yet to be really sure just how far ranging the impacts of the teaching here will have on my life. I am pretty confident it will not be small.

It is hard to strip this down to only five books. I also love The Dip as a motivational book, as well as Meatball Sundae and basically everything Seth Godin  writes. Search  was a brilliant book on how the web is changing everything and iCon  about Steve Jobs was also brilliant. Free Agent Nation  confirmed the approach I have taken to my own career and Protecting your #1 Asset  from the Rich Dad Advisor series was a brilliant book on IP.

And then there's Slide:ology , Presentation Zen  and the biography of Einstein .. wow what a year I have had!

I suppose that's why they call it a top 5.