Books provide different perspectives and take us to new worlds. They give a voice to the voiceless. Books help connect us to people from all walks of life.
If you read a new book every two weeks, you would read about 25 books a year. Bill Gates claims to read a new book every week — about 50 per year. Oprah calls reading her “personal path to freedom.” Reading forces us to learn new words and think higher thoughts.
Here at DW we love to read. Whether we want to learn about branding strategies or environmental causes, we recognize there’s power in great books. In this post, we’ll share some of the books on our reading list that have changed our thinking.
Branding and Marketing Books
The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes – Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson
This book will help you learn about archetypes and the unconscious mind. By harnessing the power of archetypes, companies can drive corporate strategy and gain a competitive advantage. Really knowing how the meaning of a brand works — and how to use that meaning strategically — can make all the difference.
The Art of Client Service – Robert Solomon and Ian Schafer
Great account service can determine the fate of an agency. According to the author, a precise skill set is necessary to provide great client service. Definable, actionable methods help too. This is a fantastic read to add to your reading list for anyone who works at an agency — or any client for that matter.
Branding and Marketing honorable mentions:
- The Content Formula – Michael Brenner and Liz Bedor
- Everybody Writes – Ann Handley
- The Win Without Pitching Manifesto – Blair Enns
- Buyology: The Truth and Lies About Why We Buy – Martin Lindstrom
- Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype – Jay Baer
- Make It Bigger – Paula Scher
In Progress – Jessica Hische
You’ve probably already seen Hische’s work without even knowing it. She’s a legend in the hand-lettering world. In this book, you can view everything from her rough sketches to finished artwork. Her talent is inspiring and will make you want to grab a pencil.
101 Things I Learned in Architecture School – Matthew Frederick
This book provides 101 insights into the world of design, drawing, color, and presentation. Frederick walks you through his creative process and makes complex ideas easy to understand. It’s a reference to keep on your shelf for years to come.
Design honorable mention:
- Taste: The Infographic Book of Food – Laura Rowe and Vicki Turner
In the Woods – Tana French
The Washington Post called Tana French “the most interesting, most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years.” In the Woods is a fascinating murder mystery about going home when home is a rough memory. The writing is smart and the plot is killer. The best part about French’s books is that the end doesn’t always get tied up with a neat bow. Like life, answers can be just as confusing as not knowing the truth.
Wonder – R.J. Palacio
This book helped inspire the Choose Kind movement. It may have been written for kids, but every adult should read it — especially in our culture, where bullying is all too common. This is a story about not blending in when you are destined to be noticed.
Fiction honorable mentions:
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
- The Road – Cormac McCarthy
- The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
- Century Trilogy (Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, Edge of Eternity) – Ken Follett
- The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne
Hyperbole and a Half – Allie Brosh
Allie Brosh’s blog Hyperbole and a Half is well loved by the internet. This book includes her most popular posts along with some new material. Equally hilarious and filled with complex emotions, Brosh’s book uses simple line drawings to show you how amazing and dark the world can be.
The Perfect Meal: The Multisensory Science of Food and Dining – Charles Spence and Betina Piqueras-Fiszman
The experience you have while eating a meal affects the way food tastes. In this eye-opening book about dining, the authors focus less on flavor and more on the elements that shape a multisensory experience. This is a must for your reading list.
Non-fiction honorable mentions:
- Educated: A Memoir – Tara Westover
- Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
- Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
- Vacationland – John Hodgman
- In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
I Want My Hat Back – Jon Klassen
This book is loved by kids and adults alike. Using smart dialogue and clever illustrations, Klassen weaves an irreverent tale about a bear and a hat that has a delicious twist at the end.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site – Sherri Duskey Rinker
What’s not to love about a goodnight tale told with construction machinery? This bedtime favorite will make you want to shut off your engine and park yourself next to your favorite little person as he or she falls asleep.
Kids honorable mentions:
- Danny McGee Drinks the Sea – Andy Stanton
- Belly Button Book – Sandra Boynton
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
- Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson
- Twitch – Judi Fors (yeah, it’s written by Marc’s Mom)