For me, the most exciting part of Christmas is planning what I’m going to read.
As a rule, I read business books quickly and non-business books slowly. With a business book I want to find the two or three insights I can implement straight away.
First on the list is The Advertising Solution, by Craig Simpson and Brian Kurtz. At first glance, this book appears to be a summary of the great direct direct response masters. Currently it’s on the ‘to scan’ list.
Next, The Book of Gossage, by Howard Gossage. I re-read this every year or so, and always see something new in it every time I read it. Unlike many business books it’s entertaining, beautifully written and a joy to read. Gossage was doing things with coupons in the 1960’s that mimicked what we would consider ‘social media’ today. He was a true adverting contrarian, and absolutely worth your time to study.
The Book of Gossage is out of print. I paid about £30 for my copy, which is about what it sells for today. (See here, for example).
I also have Steve Harrison’s biography of Gossage, Changing the world is the only fit work for a grown man. I would read The Book of Gossage first, but Harrison’s biography is also excellent and offers a modern day comment on Gossage.
Next on the list is Understanding Media, by Marshall McLuhan. I’ve had this for a few years without every getting round to it. McLuhan was a media studies academic who became friends with Howard Gossage. The book looks interesting but dense, which is what puts most people off.
Finally on the list is History of Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding. Tom Jones is regarded as one of the great novels of the 18th Century.
That’s my current list. What’s yours?
P.S. If you would like a couple of additional recommendations, Richard Koch’s new book Simplify is essential reading. And while I am biased, I think my booksare worth adding to your list too.