12 Books to Read

Writers read, right? At least they are supposed to… Since spring break is here, and many of us have begun traveling for the annual conference season, here are some books I hope to read.


John Scalzi’s Redshirts: When I read fiction, I lean towards scifi with a focus on cyberpunk or hard science fiction in the Asimovian vein.

Redshirts is a hilarious play off of Star Trek, the original TV show. Junior away team members try to avoid getting killed! I’m halfway through and have caught myself laughing out loud several times. I highly recommend this book if you need a something light.

Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin: A National Book Award winner, this book takes us back to New York City of the World Trade Center towers in the 1970s. Hailed as a literary masterpiece, Great World Spin looks tense and captivating. Plus I’m always up for a good Bronx Tale.

Up Jumps the Devil by Michael Poore: Nothing like a good Lucipher story. The devil in love is a a great concept, and his pursuit of a lovely angel through the ages seems hilarious. Poore sets the book in the American civilization, making for a tongue in cheek play on morality.

David Brooks’ The Best American Essays 2012: This compilation combines fiction and nonfiction from magazines across the country. I was drawn to it by my Friday blog post, particularly the more introspective ones. They’ve become my favorite pieces to write. To get better, I want to study and enjoy the best pieces of the year.

The Rise of Ransom City by Felix Gilman: This is the tangential sequel to the Half Made World, which is just one of the most incredible pieces of steampunk I have ever read. That makes for a must-read for me, and hopefully it will enthrall as much as its predecessor.

The Mongoliad Book 1, multiple authors: This is a trilogy that began as a social media experiment, and includes Neal Stephenson as an authors. The authors have gone back and refined the crowdsourced text, which takes on a Mongol threatened Europe, and how it was saved. I’m a bit reticent on this one, but it was extremely well read, if not well reviewed, and is worth a shot. The first book, at least.

Charles Stross’s Rule 34: Internet crime reveals murder, but as Edinburgh investigator Liz Kavanaugh digs deeper she realizes that the online crime wave could go viral. Sounds deliciously dystopian and dark. Looking forward to this one.


Brainfluence by Roger Dooley: J.R. Schmitt recommended I read this a long time ago, and I promised her I would. I’m very late on fulfilling my promise, but I will read it, though. This is a different look at influence, in particular the neuroscience of our consumer brain, and what causes people to take actions.

Al Gore’s The Future: I am kind of obsessed with the future right now, and I like Al Gore in his post political career, in particular all of the great work he did for the environment. The Future looks at six critical issues facing our society and the impact our approaches to these problems will have on us, bad or good.

Social Change, Anytime, Anywhere by Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward: Well, my two friends published a book on multichannel marketing to affect change. Seeing as they are both brilliant, I’m sure it will be a fantastic read (see Katya’s review here). Looking forward to it!

Andrea Weckerle’s Civility in the Digital Age: I used to work with Andrea, and I’m sure this book will be pretty insightful. She’s been through some rough adventures online. I catch grief everyday online and have come to accept it as part of the business, but I’m sure there are great coping and management tactics in this book.

Brand Relevance by David Aaker: How do you make your competitors irrelevant? By becoming the most important and relevant brand in your stakeholders’ minds. I’m looking forward to reading Aaker’s take on what makes the winning brand of the 21st century.

What are you reading this Spring?