We have a long weekend coming up and I wanted to pick your brains for some good reading material. In recent years, I’ve constantly tried to keep a handful of books on my “To Read” list, but lately I’ve had trouble finding the time to search out and discover new material.

So, I’m leaving it up to you.

What have you read lately that…

A. Inspired you to be a better person
B. Motivated you personally / professionally
C. Made you laugh / cry
D. Twisted your idea of… (insert topic here)

Get it? I want you to give suggestions on what should I read next.

In turn, I’ve listed five of my all-time favorite books for you – with the idea that when we share knowledge we become a better community.

Orbiting the Giant Hairball, Gordon MacKenzie
Always the top of my list… Originally given to me by my friend and mentor, Mike Wagner (White Rabbit Group / Own Your Brand). It’s a fun, yet startling eye-opener that will inspire you to rethink how creativity can be integrated into the “corporate world.”

The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier
Kind of an obvious one – seeing as though I’m The Brand Chef – but it’s seriously the base of my branding perspective and one of the most dog-eared book in my collection.

Made to Stick, Chip & Dan Heath
Ever wonder why some ideas “Stick” and others fade away like last week’s meatloaf? Chip and Dan Heath have created a wonderfully structured path to assure the “stickiness” of your next idea, marketing plan, or advertising campaign… Constructed from academically-tested theories and proven methodology, they take the techno/psycho-babble out of the equation for all of us to put to use in our next campaign. (Trust me, it was hard enough for me just to write that…)

Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs
One of a handful of non-business books I’ve read this year, “Scissors” is painful and amusing all at once. In a masterfully crafted memoir, Burroughs narrates some of his own personal triumphs and failures growing up in a… well… dysfunctional family (to put it mildly). Emotive and disturbing, Burroughs’ writing shows you a perspective of mental illness, alcoholism, and dysfunctional family-life that very few get to see.

When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box, John Ortberg
Have you ever wondered your fate in honest, realistic, and spiritual terms? Ortberg, using the “game of life” as a metaphor for our “earthly” lives, neatly sorts out what’s fleeting and what’s permanent in God’s kingdom. Being “Master of the Board” is not the point. Winning the game of life on Earth is a temporary victory… Not my typical read, but an eye-opening conversation that contrasts well with my venture into Augusten Burroughs’ world.

As you can see, I have a pretty eclectic reading list. I welcome all ideas / genres… And I look forward to your suggestions. I will report back as soon as I’ve pick one…

Until next week…

Keep Cooking!
Andrew B. Clark
— The Brand Chef

  1. Can’t go wrong with the Hairball – Gordon McKenzie is a hoot in person as well

  2. I wish I had the opportunity to meet MacKenzie. His book changed my life (literally) from being a satisfied “worker bee” in a “Top Down” company to a more creative-thinking, independent, and inspiring (I hope) instigator of conversation… br /br /You’re a lucky one, Zebradan! I’D LOVE TO HEAR MORE.br /br /Until then…br /br /Keep Cooking!br /Andrew

  3. Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is an absolute must-read.

  4. This weekend reading “Marketing Outrageously” by Jon Spoelstra. Older book, great read though. Refreshing take on marketing.br /br /Also reading David Meerman Scott’s “New Rules of Marketing and PR”.

  5. Thanks, Sara and Steve!br /br /I’ve put “Atlas Shrugged” on my reading list and if I can dig up my “Marketing Outrageously” copy from my basement office, I plan to re-read that as well… I forgot how good that was.br /br /I eventually went with “When You Are Engulfed In Flames” by David Sedaris, on the suggestion of a coworker. He’s a great storyteller and somewhat dark humorist. It was great fare for the long weekend and gave my brain a break from marketing and branding (for a day or two).br /br /Now, back to it… br /br /Happy Memorial Day to ALL.br /br /And remember…br /br /Keep Cooking!br /Andrew B. Clarkbr /The Brand Chef