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Top Five Reads- Building a Reading List

As the colder weather descends – Thanksgiving is always the turning point in my neck of the woods (New England that is) when sweaters are necessary and thoughts of curling up with a good book, cup of tomato soup and a blanket occur randomly. Sometimes a fire in the fireplace is involved.

Anyway, I LOVE books, all kinds of books and wanted to share some of the best reads this year in the Business Genre, ones that I read and actually learned from. Maybe it is all the Turkey juice (L-Tryptophan) still flowing through my veins, but here it goes. Here are five to start you off. More to come in later posts.

Play to Win by Larry Wilson – This book is about the most important adventure you will ever have – your life. You can choose to live fenced in all your life with herd mentality or you can break through and go your own way. This book examines how to think clearly and deeply and avoid decisions that will not allow you to succeed. He defines the Play to Lose attitude which I see a lot in my classes. Because I recognize it now, I address it head on in class and it really helps. I read this book every couple of years.

Intelligent Selling by Ken Burke – This book was recommended by a web designer I use. He examines what makes websites that sell commodities like real estate really work. This includes other products that actually are sold at a brick and mortar site. Because it is NOT real estate specific you can compare your website to his ideas and see how you stack up. This one is full of sticky notes and highlighter marks. He focuses building customer relationships, personalizing the customer experience and understanding personalization techniques. Great Read!

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The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – called a “facile piece of pop sociology”, I found this book to be business altering. His concept that little events can have amazing effects really made me reexamine how I do business and make sure I was taking advantage of tipping points in my life. In my TOP TEN books of all time. There is even a definition of a tipping point in Wikipedia. Here it is: “Tipping points are the levels at which the momentum for change become unstoppable.” Gladwell speaks about the three agents of change in his book:

  • The law of the few – the success of any social epidemic is dependent on a group of people called connectors with a rare set of social skills
  • The stickiness factor – a message that is memorable and makes impact
  • The power of context – human nature is sensitive to and strongly affected by its environment. You will have to read the book for this one . . . fascinating.

The Great Connection – Arne Warren. Told as a story, it is a narrative of personality styles. Because you read about the interaction of the main character with others you get a keen insight on how different people and personalities get along and how you can benefit from knowing this. Whether you have a difficult associate or employee or you want to read your clients better, this is an easy and fun read.

Good to Great by Jim Collins. This book uses tough benchmarks and examines companies that were “good” and made the leap to “great” and sustained it for 15 years. The book can relate to any size company and makes you think. Here is a chart of some of the good and some of the great. One surprise here is his rating of Bank of America, but this was before the banking debacle.

So please, I need more books to read, for business growth. What would you recommend? I have gift cards waiting to be used. Please help.

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Written By

Amy is a national technology speaker who can inspire, train and help people implement technology strategies into their business. To find out about her training, coaching or webinars visit her website at



  1. sheilabragg

    November 30, 2008 at 1:57 am

    Top Five Reads – Building a Reading List: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this post- we PR..

  2. Jim Grapes

    November 30, 2008 at 9:06 am

    I would definitely recommend Chip and Dan Heath’s “Made to Stick.” It’s a keeper for use as a reference when writing content for web sites or for clients. I noticed they are regular contributors to the Fast Company magazine.

  3. Matt Thomson

    November 30, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Matthew Kelly’s The Dream Manager. It’s short, quick, and an incredibly inspiring story about running a business.

  4. Amy Chorew

    November 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks – Made to stick is on my 2009 list and I will check out the Dream Manager.
    Does anyone use a Kindle?

  5. Lisa Sanderson

    November 30, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Captain Obvious recommends Tribes and all other Seth Godin books. I haven’t read a’one yet but with all the bits & pieces I’ve gotten through osmosis and reading Seth’s blog, I think it matters not.

  6. Sherry Chris

    November 30, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I would suggest Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi for networking tips, and my favorite Seth Godin book is Purple Cow. Even though it is a few years old, I think ti is very timely right now. It talks about how to make yourself stand out in a crowd… how to be different.

  7. bryanslist

    November 30, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for the reccomendations Amy.

    Already read two of them, looking forward to the other three.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Vicki Moore

    November 30, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I love books. I’ve added them to my wish list. I have to get through the ones I’m already reading.

    Don’t have a Kindle but want one!

  9. Don Moody

    December 1, 2008 at 6:41 am

    A must read – The No Complaining Rule by Jon Gordon.

  10. Steve Simon

    December 1, 2008 at 6:47 am

    The only difference between you last year and you this year is the People that you’ve met, and the books that you’ve read…
    My own view is non-fiction, to learn and continue to add to the skill pool. Books saved my life.

  11. teresa boardman

    December 1, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I have only read one of these, the tipping point. On my own must read list I would add “Small is the New Big” by Seth Godin. Bye have to go check out the other 4 books on your site. Every year as part of my training budget I budget for books . . often more valuable than any classes I take. Thanks for the list.

  12. Linda Davis

    December 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I’m currently reading “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. A fascinating read for a business book.

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