2011 Book List – 26 Books in 1 Year

January 16, 2011 | 4 Comments | Relevant Reading

As I wrote about in some of my first blog posts, The Biweekly Book Reader, Part 1 and Part 2 , I’m on a mission to read 26 books this year, or an average of one every two weeks. I’ve actually read two entire books already, a marked improvement over the statistics of previous weeks and months, but neither were in the genres I intend to keep track of and write about here.

The books I’m hoping to read for my own education and for purposes of this challenge will have topics related to my work – specifically marketing, public relations, nonprofits, hunger, social media, writing/editing, and others along those lines. And both to keep myself accountable and get your input, I’m posting a list here of all 26. This list is subject to change, but I’m excited about it, as I feel it represents books from the following categories:

  1. Books many people in and out of my field that I respect seem to be familiar with or have recommended.
  2. Books written by people I know and/or interact with in real life or on Twitter and other sites.
  3. Books about best practices, niche markets, and cool tips and tools – unique books.
  4. Books about helping people – one of my greatest goals in anything I do.
  5. Books I own and have been intending to read for…a long time (or ones I won recently!).

I also got several great ideas from these book lists from Tom Moradpour and Dave Fleet.

In the spirit of “less is more” I’ve only posted subtitles where I felt the books were less familiar or the title was not self-explanatory. In semi-random order, here’s the list (images and links are to Amazon Associates affiliate pages – linked where possible to the edition I’ll be reading, which may not be the most recent):

Hopefully this gives a visual image of my bookshelf for you – if you’re curious why I chose a certain book, feel free to ask in the comments! I’ll be sure to add links to any reviews I write in between all this reading as I post them. I’ll also be sharing some of my strategies and ideas for reading soon, so be sure to check back or subscribe to the RSS feed for updates.


The Biweekly Book Reader, Part 2

January 6, 2011 | Comments Off on The Biweekly Book Reader, Part 2 | Relevant Reading

…But it would take more than Starbucks to get me reading again…my inspiration would end up coming from a world of hashtags, bit.ly links and succinct posts made up of 140 characters. The world of Twitter. Cont. from Part 1

Twitter: A Source of Inspiration

Good company in a journey makes the way to seem the shorter. – Izaak Walton

Somewhere in the middle of all this wishful thinking I came across fellow Twitter user @thebookmaven (Bethanne Patrick). Her bio says it all: Blogger, book reviewer, author interviewer, author –but above all, a reader. In other words, Bethanne loves books, as do I. I quickly learned that she’d started a popular meme on Twitter called #fridayreads. The idea was to post, every Friday, a Tweet saying what book you were currently reading.

The only problem was, I wasn’t reading any. I had plans to read books, but I wasn’t yet.

And then I came across this in my Twitter feed:

Thomas Moradpour

@TomMoradpour Thomas Moradpour
To all: do it! RT @davefleet: How to read 26 books in a year… and the books I read in 2010: http://bit.ly/fAyksP

26 books sounded reasonable! I read Dave’s article, and clicked through to a post he credited as his inspiration: How to Read a Book A Week by Julien Smith (co-author of Trust Agents with Chris Brogan – which no, I have not read yet). @julien’s article listed three tips that I found particularly helpful: 1) Use every moment 2) Stay ahead of schedule so you can take breathers 3) It’s okay to “cheat” with a short, easy read once in a while.

I was sold. I knew I could read the equivalent of one book every two weeks if I put my mind to it, but it wasn’t so pathetically easy that it wouldn’t be a challenge either.

I tweeted back:
@TomMoradpour @davefleet My “read more” goals have been nebulous or too vast lately; think I’ll take you/@julien up on the challenge. Thx!

To which I got these replies:

davefleet davefleet
@journeyscript @tommoradpour @julien Great to hear! Let us know how it goes…

Julien Smith
julien Julien Smith
@journeyscript Olivia it’s about time you stepped up to the plate. ;)

I appreciated the encouragement. And when a newspaper reporter asked me if I had a New Year’s Resolution, I was excited to share my plan. I could tell publicly stating my goal was helping me make even more of an effort towards achieving it. On Jan. 1st (a Saturday), I read my first book. I’m well into my second & the week’s not even over yet!

Journeyscript: A Biweekly Book Reader

I’ve decided to make my official list (which, like Dave’s, will be flexible) mostly marketing & social media related books, and count any others as gravy (e.g. the book I read on Haiti last weekend), so The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott, which is the book I’m working on right now, will be my first for the official list.

My other main goal for the year was to blog regularly (at least once a week), and it’s a nice added benefit that my reading will likely inspire some blog posts, both as reviews and also posts that apply and share what I’m learning in my reading. I’m looking forward to once again having books to discuss with friends and acquaintances.

If you want to join me in pursuing this challenge, it’s never too late to start. Remember, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I’ll post my book list (which I’m still formulating) soon; if you have one to share (or book recommendations), feel free to link up below…I’ll be sure to take a look!


The Biweekly Book Reader, Part 1

January 6, 2011 | Comments Off on The Biweekly Book Reader, Part 1 | Relevant Reading
When was the last time you read a book – a complete book – word for word?

For me, it was this past Saturday. But before that? Ask me when I’d read a full book and I would have had a very puzzled, contemplative look as I tried to remember. Oh sure, I’d skimmed books here and there…read a few chapters into Scott Stratten’s Unmarketing, leafed through Delivering Happiness by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, and absorbed the necessary sections of my psychology textbook…but no complete books. And as the new year approached, I had a strong sense that I wanted that to change.

The Bookworm

Growing up, books were my friends. A true bookworm, I would come home with stacks of books from the library and bargain with thrift store managers for deals on children’s picture books to read to my younger siblings or those I babysat. I became the family librarian and helped to catalog our fairly vast book collection using Readerware software. I took pride in knowing where certain books were located and finding the appropriate people to lend them to. And I always knew someday I wanted one room of my house, at least, to be devoted to books, comfortable seating, and stimulating discussion, with perhaps some coffee, biscotti, and a fireplace in the corner.

But as time went on, I became busy. I increasingly spent time on the family computer, and then later, my own. I learned to drive and had more events and social activities to go to, more challenging classes and homework to add to my schedule, and seemingly far more time to chat away on the computer or even read important articles on politics and privacy and public relations online than I had time to read books on those same topics, much less the fiction titles that once carried me away to other worlds and times in my imagination.

And Then I Went to Starbucks

The weeks leading up to my decision to become a biweekly book reader brought some unique sources of motivation. My desire and intent to “read more” in the coming year was equally as vague as it was strong. Somewhere in the back of my mind I faintly remembered a statistic I’d heard quoted about how many (most?) millionaires read at least a book a month and that they attributed their success, in part, to that practice. But I also knew based on previous experience that I’d be tempted to set an entirely magnificent, but quite unattainable, goal for myself –  maybe reading a book a day, or at least one a week.

Then one day, I decided to walk with some friends to the local Starbucks. On the way in we met Jake, one of the baristas, on his way out. He had his usual smile, a full beard, and tucked under one arm of his trench coat he was carrying a thick black paperback book. My curiosity was piqued, and my first thought was classy. It’s not everyone who walks around with a book anymore (although I certainly used to do so), and I thought, “you know, I really should carry a book around with me too.” While I was sipping my Toffee Nut Mocha, he came back in from his break, so I took the opportunity to ask him what the book was. It was winter break, so it wasn’t a textbook, but I really wasn’t sure what else it would be. It turned out to be a collection of poetry by Robinson Jeffers. Again, classy.

But it would take more than Starbucks to get me reading again…my inspiration would end up coming from a world of hashtags, bit.ly links and succinct posts made up of 140 characters. The world of Twitter. Continued in Part 2…