At the beginning of 2011, my friend and digital PR expert Arik Hanson posed a challenge on his blog: read a book every other week all year long. I took Arik up on his challenge, and discovered nearly thirty amazing marketing and business books this year in the process.
And now that I've gotten into the habit of regular reading, 2012 will be no different. Will you join me next year? Here's a few tips and 28 marketing and business books to encourage you to join me in the 2012 26 Book Challenge.
How to Read a Book Every Other Week
Getting through 26 books in a year doesn't just happen. It's the type of thing you have to plan for, both in terms of the time it will take and medium that will work best for you.
First, where do you find yourself having chunks of time where your brain isn't engaged? Nearly everyone has that half an hour or more per day where they're stuck in traffic, on the bus/train, walking on a treadmill, etc.
Next, what's the best medium for you to consume books during this free time? Between good old-fashioned paper books, electronic books (e.g., Kindle) and audio books (e.g., Audible), there's a way for nearly everyone to find time in your existing schedule where you could be reading and learning new things. Personally, I listen to books via Audible to and from work during my half-hour commute. That alone is responsible for most of the books I read this year.
28 Marketing and Business Books to Read in 2012
Some folks read for pleasure or simply to escape. I use my reading time to get through books on marketing and business. If you're looking to take the 26 Book Challenge in 2012, consider some of the gems* I read this year (you can also read my ever-growing list of Internet marketing book reviews):
General Online Marketing and Marketing Books:
- Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind - by Al Ries and Jack Trout - Rating: 4/5
- The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 2nd Edition - by David Meerman Scott - Rating: 5/5
- Engage, Revised and Updated: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web - by Brian Solis - Rating: 5/5
- Attention! This Book Will Make You Money: How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue - by Jim Kukral - Rating 3/5
Content Marketing, SEO, and Social Media Books:
- Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business - by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman - Rating: 4/5
- Content Strategy for the Web - by Kristina Halvorson - Rating: 5/5
- Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions - by Guy Kawasaki - Rating: 4/5
- The Facebook Effect - by David Kirkpatrick - Rating: 4/5
- I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 - by Douglas Edwards - Rating: 4/5
- In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives - by Steven Levy - Rating: 5/5
Marketing and Business Psychology Books:
- Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy - by Martin Lindstrom - Rating: 4/5
- Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long - by David Rock - Rating: 5/5
- The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work - by Shawn Achor - Rating: 5/5
- The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic - by Dan Ariely - Rating: 4/5
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard - by Chip and Dan Heath - Rating: 5/5
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die - by Chip and Dan Heath - Rating: 5/5
- Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy - by Harry Beckwith - Rating 3/5
- Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions - by Dan Ariely - Rating: 5/5
Personal Branding and Business Philosophy Books:
- The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life) - by Chris Hardwick - Rating: 4/5
- How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age - by Dale Carnegie & Associates - Rating: 3/5
- Anything You Want - by Derek Sivers - Rating: 4/5
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't - by Jim Collins - Rating: 4/5
- The Thank You Economy - by Gary Vaynerchuk - Rating: 5/5
- The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation - by Jay Elliot and William L. Simon - Rating: 4/5
- StrengthsFinder 2.0 - by Tom Rath - Rating: 5/5
- Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time - by Keith Ferazzi and Tahl Raz - Rating: 4/5
- Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) - by Ayn Rand - Rating: 5/5
- Poke the Box - by Seth Godin - Rating 4/5
*Note: there are Amazon Affiliate links contained in this list. Please buy something to subsidize my own reading habit. :)
A Complete List of 2012 Marketing and Business Books
What do you think of the books on this list? I need your help to figure out what's missing, what deserves to be there, and what people should avoid. What great marketing and business books can you recommend? Leave a suggestion (or a few) in the comments to help my readers and me as we set our sites on the 2012 26 Book Challenge. Be sure to also leave a comment if you plan on being a part of the challenge in 2012.
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