I love reading fiction, especially novels that contain fully developed, complex characters, realistic dialogue, descriptive scenes and unexpected plot twists. If left to my own devices, I would probably continue to read fiction exclusively. The pandemic, however, has created more spare time for me and many other people and when faced with a large gap of time, it’s important to use it wisely. With more time to read, I thought it would be a good idea to delve into the nonfiction genre. (I do read nonfiction books on occasion, but my ratio of reading fiction to reading nonfiction is probably 8:1.)
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss
Although this was a long read, which the author acknowledges by suggesting that you skip over sections that don’t resonate with you, I found this one of the most valuable nonfiction books. There are numerous pearls of wisdom contained within these pages. The book is really a summary of Ferriss’s podcasts, thus the book’s format can make for a bit of tedious reading. Fortunately, I had never listened to any of his podcasts so the material was fresh for me. The book is divided into three sections: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. I found Healthy somewhat challenging since there are many recommendations for specialized exercises and supplements, which the average person (including me) may not be able to afford. Wise was the most valuable section.
We all know how important it is when planning a business meeting to have an agenda of discussion and action items so that the meeting keeps on track. Parker, however, argues that all gatherings, whether they be a 50th-anniversary party or getting together with your gal pals for dinner should have established goals. By creating gatherings with deep meaning for your guests including impactful openings and closings, your guests will feel a sense of purpose and connection and the event will be that much more memorable.
Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America by Scott Adams
Valuable advice about tackling your goals, especially when facing inertia. Begin with one small step and you’ll be surprised to find that you build momentum with that one step and you’ll be motivated towards the next step. The value of creating systems and habits in order to achieve success. What detracts from the book is the author’s propensity to constantly refer to his success as the creator of the Dilbert cartoons. Also, Adams is a fan of Trump and does not remain politically neutral in his book despite an outward attempt.
The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump
This memoir by the current President of the United States was referenced in Tools of Titans so I was curious to learn what advice Mr. Trump had to impart to his readers about dealmaking. It was interesting reading about Trump’s early days as a New York City real estate developer and the way in which he negotiated with other parties to win his contracts. After reading the book, I learned that many of the projects including a few Atlantic City casinos that Trump developed had gone bankrupt, which diminishes the business methods encouraged by Trump in his book. Keep in mind that this book provides a one-sided and quite inflated profile of the author.
Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life by Rory Sutherland
Sutherland illustrates through a number of examples that consumers do not always make decisions based on logic; therefore, marketers need to employ strategies – that may seem illogical and counter-intuitive – that appeal to consumers’ emotions.
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini
This book provided a lot of insight into how we can influence individuals and groups to warm up to what we have to offer. Of course, this is valuable information for marketers, but Cialdini, a social psychologist, notes that it is also valuable for consumers as they will understand how marketing tactics can affect their purchasing decisions. Written in a humorous and sometimes self-effacing manner, this book is an important read for anyone in business.
Let me know in the comment section if any of the above nonfiction books appeal to you.
You might be interested in reading, “What Movies, Books, TV Shows to Enjoy While Stuck at Home“.