World Book Day 2016: My Recommendations
So, it's World Book Day today, and whilst many primary aged children across the UK (and no doubt further afield) dress up as Harry Potter or Where's Wally I thought it would be interesting to share some of my own book recommendations.
I love to read and to be honest apart from maybe the odd biography most of that reading has nothing at all to do with my day job, and that is just how I like it. Reading for me is as much about relaxing as it is about amassing knowledge. I go through real phases in my reading habits which means there are also a few books in there that are kind of like my guilty pleasures. I will also add this side note, whilst I love reading I don't do anywhere near enough of it.
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There was a time when I would only read thrillers, this all started with Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code, in fact, although I now class this as a book among my guilty pleasures I have to credit the novel with getting me reading again. This led to the discovery of books in the same ilk by Steve Berry and Chris Kuzneski. In fact if you like conspiracy style thrillers and you haven't read any of the Cotton Malone series by Steve Berry then it is worth starting at the beginning with The Templar Legacy.
Whilst Dan Brown and Steve Berry are both quite populist authors I have tried to diversify what I read that is deemed fiction. 2666 and The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano are books that really require your concentration and give a real sense of achievement upon completion. I love Bolano's writing style and have another 6 of his books on my shelf at home waiting to be read.
It is always hard when people ask me what my favourite book is as it really depends on what I am doing at that point in my life but a novel I always recommend is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, a huge tome of a book at close to 900 pages, it is a fantastic read for the modern age and flows along nice and quickly so that you forget the book is so long.
Another series of books that I just relished were the Patrick Melrose series by Edward St. Aubyn, a semi-autobigraphical series of fictional novels. Each one is short and fast-paced meaning they need to be voraciously consumed. Start with Never Mind and read them all in order. These books are dark, and at times brutal, but leave you wanting more.
I could go on and on with books that have influenced me or driven me to another path of reading but this article will become far too long. If you have enjoyed it so far then read on through my non-fiction notes and drop me an email if you have any recommendations you think I might enjoy or if you want some more ideas.
More recently I have been reading a bit more non-fiction and what I read tends to be dictated by what I do for a living. I read eCommerce, business, management and marketing books to try and give me information or guidance on how to solve a certain problem I am facing with Billiards Boutique. Sometimes though I will just read something that damn well interests me.
A book that is very relevant in the eCommerce spectrum is The Long Tail by Chris Anderson a look at how businesses can be very successful, and profitable, by selling small quantities of a lot of niche and specialist products, Amazon itself is the biggest example of the long tail in action with millions of products available for pretty much anything you might need.
Now into it's fifth revised edition The New Rules of Marketing and PR is a fantastic read if you work, or aspire to work, in the digital sphere. I read this when it was first released and have been meaning to revisit a later edition to see what other nuggets of information it may contain.
My last two picks for this blog article are books that I have read very recently, I have found myself procrastinating, like lots of people with so much distraction in the modern world, so picked up a book called 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman on a recent trip to London. The emphasis of the book is about getting the right things done and using an 18 minute plan every day to work out tasks that need to be achieved on any given day. The 18 minutes in question are actually broken up into smaller chunks throughout the day I must add. Some of the techniques are excellent and I have started implementing them into my work.
Lastly, The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau is one of the best business books I have ever read, very easy to read, very clear and concise language and very inspirational. In the current age, a successful business can be launched with very little capital, Guillebeau's book offers real world examples of how this can be, and has been, achieved.
I really hope you have enjoyed this post, hopefully you will pick up one or more of these books and really enjoy them as I myself have. Likewise if there is something you think I must read then please drop me an email.