One of the most popular posts that I publish every year is my list of books. I frequently hear from people that have found interesting books to read from my list and recommend additional titles for me to read. I’ve even inspired someone to start reading on a regular basis. Typically I publish a list of books that I’ve read at the end of the year, but I’ve decided to post my reading list on a quarterly basis in 2014.
Here are the books I’ve read so far this year, as well as a short description of each book:
- Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella Meadows – This is a book about thinking about business as a series of systems and processes. It describes the fundamental components and how they interact. I found this book interesting, but was much more academic than practical.
- Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords by Perry Marshall – This is a must read for anyone that’s running a pay-per-click campaign through Google Adwords. It’s a little bit dated now, but has some extremely helpful campaign management tips and tricks.
- Fail Safe Investing: Lifelong Financial Security in 30 Minutes by Harry Browne – This book describes Harry Browne’s investment diversification strategy that propones having a wide variety of investments (stocks, bonds, cash, etc.) so that you’ll have investments that are doing well in any economic environment. I expected this to be another relatively boring investment book, but found it to be thought provoking and educational.
- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldzmith – The core message of this book is that the skills needed to get to one level of business are not the same skills needed to get to the next level of business. For example, the skills that would get you to a six figure business are much different than the skills you need to take a six figure business and make it a seven figure business.
- The 30-Day MBA: Your Fast Track to Business Success by Collin Barrow – This is a book that provides a crash-course in topics that are taught in MBA programs. It’s somewhat academic, but does a great job of helping any business person speak “MBA language.”
- License to Pawn by Rick Harrison – This is a book written by the host of History Channel’s Pawn Stars. It tells the backstory of their shop and talks about how the production of their show came to be.
- Sugar, Salt, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss – This book tells the story of modern convenience food and how the food industry has changed during the last century to include an increasing amount of unhealthy ingredients (i.e. sugar, salt, fat) into our diets. The history in the book is interesting, but I found the title to be a bit too long and difficult to get through.
- Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham – This is a book that contains lessons about entrepreneurship that the authors have learned throughout their business careers. This is one of the better business books that I’ve read in the last couple of years.
- The Eventual Millionaire by Jaime Tardy – This book outlines the author’s transition to entrepreneurship and provides step-by-step instructions for anyone looking to get into internet business. It’s a must-read if you listen to her podcast, the Eventual Millionaire.
- Stop Acting Rich by Thomas Stanley – This is a followup to Stanley’s best-selling title, The Millionaire Next Door. In this book, Stanley demonstrates that most people that appear rich are high-income earners that spend all of their money and that people that are rich in terms of assets (having a lot of money in the bank) have much different tastes.
- The Unwritten Laws of Business by W.J. King and James G. Skakoon – This book contains a series of short lessons about business. It’s geared toward corporate employees and managers more than it is entrepreneurs, but there are some good nuggets inside.
- Go It Alone by Bruce Judson – This is a book about solo-entrepreneurship and building businesses without the help of venture capital. It’s very much in-line with the message of the Lean Startup.
- Angel Investing in Early Stage Ventures by Tom McCaskill – This book provides a primer in angel investing. This book is a bit dated and provides an international viewpoint about venture capital, but contains valuable insights to anyone that’s looking to get started investing in private companies.
- Silo 49: Going Dark and Silo 49: Deep Dark by Ann Christy – Regretfully, these were the only two non-fiction books I’ve read this year. They’re a follow-up to Hugh Howey’s “Silo” series and tell a neat story about the Silo series universe.
- How to Be Rich by Andy Stanley – This is a book written to Christians about generosity and stewardship. It contains much of the same information that was included in Stanley’s sermon series with the same name, but is a great reminder about holding on to money loosely and managing it wisely.
Hopefully you’ll find a book or two to read off of the list of 15 books I’ve read so far this year. If you have any suggestions for me to read, please post them in the comments below.