5 New Business Books That You Should Read (But Probably Never Heard Of)

Mitch JoelPosted by

There is a lot of great business book reading happening right now.

Three of the bigger (and more well-known) business book authors within my tool shed of interest have (or are about to release) brand new books. Seth Godin releases his latest, Poke The Box, today, Guy Kawasaki releases his next book, Enchantment, on March 8th and Gary Vaynerchuk is about to unleash his sophomore effort, The Thank You Economy on March 8th as well. I’ve had the pleasure of reading all three of these books already, and they do live up to the hype (I’ll give my top pick to Godin’s Poke The Box). It’s probably going to take most Marketing professionals the rest of the year to get through these three popular business book titles, but the truth is that there are five other fascinating books sitting right here that are next up in the cue and deserve some attention. Because I have yet to read these books, I’ve grabbed their descriptions from their respective websites (so, please mind some of the Marketing blather)…

5 New Business Books That You Should Read (but probably never heard of):

  1. Alone Together – Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle. "Alone Together is the result of MIT technology and society specialist Sherry Turkle’s nearly fifteen-year exploration of our lives on the digital terrain. Based on interviews with hundreds of children and adults, it describes new, unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy and solitude. It is a story of emotional dislocation, of risks taken unknowingly. But it is also a story of hope, for even in the places where digital saturation is greatest,there are people — especially the young — who are asking the hard questions about costs, about checks and balances, about returning to what is most sustaining about direct human connection."
  2. The Art of Immersion – How The Digital Generation is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and The Way We All Tell Stories by Frank Rose. "After centuries of linear storytelling, we are witnessing the emergence of a new form of narrative that’s native to the Internet. Told through many media at once in a nonlinear fashion, these new narratives encourage us not merely to watch but to participate, often engaging us in the same way that games do. This is ‘deep media’: stories that are not just entertaining but immersive, that take you deeper than an hour-long TV drama or a two-hour movie or a 30-second spot will permit."
  3. Curation Nation – How To Win In A World Where Consumers Are Creators by Steven Rosenbaum. "Being a human aggregator is the key to growing an existing business or starting a new one. In fact… curation is the only way to remain competitive in the future. Overwhelmed by too much content, increasing numbers of people are seeking a ’boutique’ online experience. Whether you’re a brand, a publisher, or a content entrepreneur, you can provide it. You can create a manageable, inviting online experience. You can extract value from an otherwise useless chaos of digital noise."
  4. Measure What Matters – Online Tools for Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships by Katie Delahaye Paine. "In an online and social media world, measurement is the key to success, If you can measure your key business relationships, you can improve them. Even though relationships are ‘fuzzy and intangible,’ they can be measured and managed-with powerful results. Measure What Matters explains simple, step-by-step procedures for measuring customers, social media reputation, influence and authority, the media, and other key constituencies."
  5. Unthinking – The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy by Harry Beckwith. "A rumination on the psychology behind our responses to advertisements from marketing expert Beckwith. With our susceptibility determined by our childhoods and culture, much of our response is unconscious. We consistently respond positively to any product that reminds us of play – the iPhone with its bright colors and fun features is a perfect example. We respond to music, to rhyming ads – ‘it takes a licking and keeps on ticking!’- and gravitate toward the comfort of the familiar; we like Krispy Kreme and Starbucks precisely because they are popular. Despite our continual penchant for optimism and the quest for beauty and convenience, however, we are a fickle, difficult-to-please bunch."

I know what you’re thinking: "I have a lot of reading to do!" The feeling is mutual. Anything new and/or exciting on your business book shelf?

28 comments

  1. I am currently reading through Guy’s book as well. Really enjoying it, and it has a lot of great takeaways for anyone, not just the marketers.
    Thanks for sharing today’s list. Two book caught my eye, Curation Nation and Unthinking. Putting those on my list after I finish the Enchantment.

  2. I like to mix it up with fiction and historical non-fiction. e.g. There are many lessons to be learned in biographies. I just finished “Unbroken” – an incredible tale of endurance and forgiveness. By the author of “SeaBiscuit” it’s the true account of a US Olympic runner whose WW II bomber was shot down in the Pacific ocean. he survived 40+ days on a open life raft only to be captured and tortured by the Japanese. If you want to learn about “stick-to-it-ness” and letting things go, read this book.

  3. Thank you for the book list! However, I must first get through my latest purchases:
    Poke the Box and Linchpin, Seth Godin; The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development, Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits; Honest Signals, Alex Pentland; The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Carmine Gallo, and I’m almost finished reading Content Rules, Ann Handley and C.C Chapman.

  4. Even though it was published last year, I still go back often to “Open Leadership” from Charlene Li. I learned many things reading it, especially around the theme of convincing upper management of the benefits of social media

  5. The Art of Immersion is going straight on my wishlist.
    I’m catching up on my reading but The Dragonfly Effect and Content Rules are currently on my nightstand/Kindle.
    Huge fan of Seth, Guy and Gary so no doubt they’ll be making their way there soon in the coming weeks.
    Thanks for the tips!

  6. Interesting books.
    Let’s be inspired. At this point, we need to boost our entrepreneurial spirit. I just finished ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell, and by now I know, I need ‘Curation Nation’.

  7. Marketing in the age of Google – Vanessa Fox.
    At first i was like… yeah yeah yeah, I know all this. Then it dawned on me that Vanessa lays out a great method for telling this story to those who don’t get it. People like… my clients.

  8. Ah! I want all of these books. I knew I shouldn’t have opened this one. I think I ran across a business book condensing website once. Anyone know what it is?

  9. Well, you mentioned the book in your previous blog post;-) I started reading Poke the Box by Seth Godin.
    BTW I have ordered The Six Pixel of Separations too. I will keep you posted on my thoughts.
    Best,
    Claude

  10. I’ve got a few books on the go at the moment including Linchpin and Making Ideas Happen, but one I’m really loving is Social Marketing to the Business Customer. Really useful for B2B.
    Great roundup!

  11. I do hope those commenting realize how fortunate they are to have come upon this blog. I read Six Pixels around a year ago. Afterward, I started following Mitch’s blog, listening to his podcasts, etc. This is one of the most valuable resources I engage with each week.
    Mitch, I consider you to be one of the best curators and resources I have had the opportunity to follow. Thanks for being our eyes and ears.

  12. Reading quickly through the comments lot’s of great books have already been mentioned, and yes I think the feeling is more than mutual as every day it seems another great idea comes down the pipe.
    Finished Poke The Box yesterday (Wow), and looking forward to picking up Gary’s Book on the 7th – AOM, and Then the audio shortly after.
    Currently, sitting on the book shelf to “STILL” read –
    Content Rules by Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman
    Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur and another 400+ People
    Making Ideas Happen (little older) – Scott Belsky
    Unmarking by Scott Stratten
    Thank goodness there is that thing called Audible (or maybe not…)

  13. thanks for the recommendations. i have been wondering if the branding of Unthinking is a bit of a rip off of Unmarketing? The book cover also feels the same.

  14. Very well could be. You would have to check out the issue you dates, authors and acknowledgments for both books (as it might be from similar people).

  15. I’ve seen both and they are two – completely – different books on different topics. The only real similarity is the word “un” – you can look back to all of Harry Beckwith’s books and note that his book cover art style has been consistent for years as well.

  16. yep i understand they are different, but i wouldn’t be surprised if scott was shaking his head at this one.
    as far as cover design, i know his style is consistent but it’s also the first one that has a construction paper look to it.

  17. In a recent Domino Project post, Seth Godin says, “An ebook might be faster to get and easier to carry around, but it doesn’t offer the prestige or interior decorating benefits of a hardcover. We don’t devalue the book when we price it lower as an ebook, because we’re actually not selling the souvenir/lendable element we sell with the hardcover. They’re different products for different readers.
    The market is clearly willing to buy ebooks, and now our job is to price them in a way that makes them an irresistible habit.”
    Are ebooks purchased based on their convenience, lower price, early adopters love the technology, or a combination of all the above? Will hardcovers eventually disappear?

  18. it took a while for me to really love e-books. for starters the 1st generation of kobo devices that i have, are problematic. the app is great though so i use a combo of the two.
    one big problem: non-fiction books have a lot of diagrams and asides, so formatting is often completely lost on these Canadian e-readers. nonetheless, the savings and the convenience make it all worth it.

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