My Reading & Review List for 2018
I started my reading journey at the beginning of 2017.
Before then, I could have counted the number of books that I had read from beginning to end on one hand.
But in 2017 I managed to read and reviewed 32 books – which is a huge accomplishment for me. However, in 2018, I plan to top that!
To help keep me focused, I have listed 35 books that I aim to read and review before the end of 2018.
Although 35 seems like a lot, it was a lot harder than you think to condense my Amazon Wish List into just 35 books. Hopefully, I can squeeze in a few extra reads throughout the year.
Once I have read and reviewed a book from this list, I’ll come back to this page to let you know my thoughts and provide a link my full review and book score.
If you have read any of these books, please do let me know what you thought of them in the comments below. Also, I’d love to hear what is on your reading list for 2018.
Ready? Here goes…in no particular order…
You cannot go wrong with one of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. You will always find them to be thought-provoking, interesting, and a joy to read. But if you are a marketer, I would recommend that you pick this over his others. I believe that you will find this book far more useful and more practical.
I’ll be completed honest and admit that this book isn’t up there with my top 10 business reads.
However, I still think it’s going to be valuable to the right person, and let’s not forget that it’s enjoyable (which is a common lacking trait in non-fiction business books).
Overall, it’s an entertaining business read that is going to be most useful to those that are just getting started.
I was very disappointed with this book. There is nothing new in here and it didn’t provide me with much value (practically zero). In my opinion, this should not be a book, it should be a blog post.
6) Entrepreneur Revolution: How to Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mindset and Start a Business That Works by Daniel Priestley
The Entrepreneur Revolution is a motivational book that is great for new entrepreneurs.
I have read a lot of books that are targeted towards this audience, but I believe that this one is the most valuable providing you with the yellow brick road to becoming an entrepreneur.
A highly recommended read for those who want to go at it alone.
This book is insanely valuable and even though I sometimes found it boring and difficult to re-open, the time that I did spend reading the book was well worth it!
It’s a must have for any serious business owner, entrepreneur, intrapreneur, and innovator.
9) Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne
11) Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker
This book is an entertaining and insightful read.
The author, Eric Barker, not only examines why everything we thought we knew about success is (mostly) wrong, he does so in a humorous way with the use of scientific research, studies, and people’s life experiences.
Using all the information that he has gathered, he then follows up each chapter with actionable content detailing how you can apply those lessons to your own life. I highly recommend it.
Even though it seems as though I gave this book a rather negative review, in truth, it wasn’t that bad – it just doesn’t deliver on the title.
Although the book has nothing to do with increasing your earnings by six figures, it is a good personal development book for entrepreneurs.
Contagious is the result of years of research and study, breaking down the principles of contagiousness and how you can create valuable virality within your business.
The author, Jonah Berger, has spent over a decade researching why some things catch on and why other things don’t.
Contagious is a first-class book that any business owner or marketer should definitely have on their shelf and re-visit regularly.
15) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
16) 24 Assets: Create a Digital, Scalable, Valuable and Fun Business That Will Thrive in a Fast Changing World by Daniel Priestley
17) Mindset With Muscle: Proven Strategies to Build Up Your Brain, Body and Business by Jamie Alderton
This book is a transcription from a commencement speech and podcast interview.
Overall, I was disappointed due to the fact that the transcription is word-for-word and has not been edited for a reader. It becomes difficult to digest, hard to find key points and takeaways, and not very enjoyable to read.
This book teaches you how to create your own ecosystem that allows you to operate in a market of one, create your own dedicated following, and be able to generate more business demand that what you are able to fulfill.
Oversubscribed has everything in it that I love to get from a non-fiction book. It’s simple, easy to read and digest, and it’s got actionable content that people can follow and implement in their businesses straight away.
21) I Don’t Work Fridays – Proven Strategies to Scale Your Business And Not Be A Slave To It by Martin Norbury
I Don’t Work Friday’s is less of a business book and more of the author’s autobiography. There is useful and actionable content in this book, and it comes in the form of The Scale Model, but it doesn’t start until Chapter 12 on page 117!
Overall, I was thoroughly disappointed by the little amount of business content.
22) So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport
23) Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss
24) Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising by Ryan Holiday
Growth Hacker Marketing gives you a 4-step plan on how to build a growth hack into your own product or service.
This is a great book that I would recommend to all marketers – especially those that are trying to market a product or service with an extremely tight, if not zero, marketing budget.
It’s a quick read that you can complete in one sitting.
This book is Duckworth’s discovery of grit.
It’s an entertaining read because you follow along with her, almost like a story, as she carries out extra research and recalls her findings. She also details ways in which you can improve your own grit, determination, focus and goal setting.
Overall, a very valuable read.
The best (and probably the simplest) way of describing Deep Work is being in ‘the zone’.
You are in a distraction-free environment and you are left to simply work.
Although this concept sounds very simple, and in some sense it is, it’s the simplicity of it that makes it brilliant.
Newport covers a whole range of varying factors throughout the book, along with actionable content, hints, and tips on how you practice Deep Work to improve your own chances of success.
In this book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at the lives of extraordinary people – those that have achieved so much more than everyone else – and he calls these people Outliers.
He delves deep into their life story to try and understand what is it that made them so successful and what allowed them to reach such high levels in their field of expertise.
It’s an interesting book that makes you look at successful people differently and if you have read and enjoyed one of Malcolm Gladwell’s other books, then you are going to enjoy this book also.
In a nutshell, this book is all about how advantages can be disadvantages, and disadvantages can be advantages.
It is an engaging read that makes you re-think your situation.
The downside to this book is that there is no real actionable content. Instead, Gladwell takes you through real-life examples, experiments and results to demonstrate the reasons why underdogs can (and do) succeed – even though everything is against them and they should fail hands down.
30) Disrupt Yourself: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation by Jay Samit
Reading this book isn’t going to guarantee that you’ll be able to think up and create the next earth-shattering product to disrupt the world.
But it will show you where disruptive ideas come from and help you notice the opportunities within disruption when they arise.
It’s a great book for the creative and innovative entrepreneur.
Considering the size of this book (it’s about 260 pages) I flew through it rather quickly.
It’s written in a simple and easy-digestible manner, which I just love.
As far as books on blogging go, this is a great book and ideal for those who have just started blogging or are thinking about doing it in the near future. However, it’s probably not the best book for seasoned bloggers.
Create or Hate is a good book, but it’s not a great book.
The book is based on the one simple principle that in order to be successful you must be constantly creating things.
What stops most people from creating and ‘putting things out there’ is the fear of failure, but in this book, this force is called Hate.
Create or Hate is designed to help you control and overcome Hate, freeing you up to nurture and grow your creative side.
Simon Sinek teaches an important lesson that all business owners, marketers, and team leaders need to know.
However, the book could have been sorter and more to the point. At times it felt repetitive and a bit drawn out.
Rather than reading the book, you may also get the same value from simply watching the author’s TED Talk which covers the same principles.
There are a lot of people who are not going to get that much practical value out of this book because it is so unique.
It’s ideally suited to a small percent of entrepreneurs (the 1% of the 1%) who have the potential, skills, creativity, drive, and determination to go from 0 to 1 – AND have a business idea that they think could change the world.
Second, it could be of use to large investors who are on the lookout for the next big thing (Facebook, Uber etc.) This book will help illustrate what qualities in a start-up they should be looking for.
35) #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk
This book has been created by re-purposing the content from the #AskGaryVee Show on YouTube.
The content is very diverse and it covers a multitude of business-related topics.
If you are an entrepreneur, then I highly recommend that you pick this book up and give it a read. I’m sure you’ll find at least once nugget or piece of information valuable.
Other books that I have read in 2018
Aside from the books listed above, which is my own personal reading list, I do also read and review books from authors, publicists and PR companies that have got in touch with me.
…and sometimes I ‘accidentally’ sneak a few other books into my Amazon shopping cart that have caught my eye.
A truly inspiring book. I loved every page of it and only wished that there were more. Following on from a speech that he gave at the University of Texas, McRaven details 10 basic lessons that will encourage you to change yourself – and the world – for the better.
This book helps to teach you how to build a brand online.
In the introduction, the authors mention that they’re not interested in likes, followers or share counts, they’re more interested in teaching you how to build a connection with your audience.
This book is targeted towards mums who want to become entrepreneurs.
I have to be honest and admit that this book is not for me and that it doesn’t suit me as a person – it just doesn’t give me what I want to get out of an entrepreneurial book.
Although I do have to subjective because I understand that not everyone is like me and there are people who this book will suit perfectly.
This book is a little gem for anyone who is wanting to learn how to make money from their writing.
It covers not only the traditional and online publishing but other ways that you can earn such as blogging, affiliate marketing, freelancing and much more.
Russell has done a great job of taking a complicated subject and making it easy to understand.
If you sell anything online – product, service or software – then you need to have this book and you need to understand these principles.
I enjoyed DotCom Secrets because it is a very practical book – it gives you the tools and information that you need to get started straight away.
The first thing that I noticed about this book was that it’s not really like a book at all – it’s more like a workbook.
I do think that it’s an interesting find and it’s going to be very useful to people who are trying to find out what it is that they want to do in life.
Athletes and entrepreneurs often share the same stage as within the athlete’s road to success you can often find some entrepreneurial and business lessons.
However, with this book, I was actually really disappointed. I don’t think that I got any of that type of value out of it.
Yes, it was interesting to know a little bit more about the sport and his story, but overall, I don’t feel as though it gave me much value compared to the time that I invested in reading it.
Claude Littner is the right-hand man of Alan Sugar and also stars in the UK TV show The Apprentice.
You can extrapolate a lot of business lessons from this book and, because it is an autobiography, I find it a lot more entertaining to read compared to a generic business book that just goes over business concepts and theories.
I find The Happiness Track to be very well written – it’s concise, straight to the point, it moves from concept to concept very quickly, it flows nicely, and it is backed up really well with case studies, research and evidence.
Not only do I feel as though I got a lot of value out of it, I enjoyed the time that I spent reading it. At no point did it feel like a chore.
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we know what time is our most valuable resource. We all get 24 hours in a day and our success is determined by what we do within those 24 hours.
Life Leverage shows you how to manage your time and do the right things so that you can have the greatest impact and highest output.
This book has been created by re-purposing numerous blog posts from the author’s website. This is a very clever thing to do to maximize a piece of content, however, a lot of the material is regurgitated due to the fact that some of the content overlaps.
Even though I have read the book, understood it and enjoyed it, due to the ‘bittiness’ of it caused by the many short posts, I can’t really remember a specific point that was raised.
The full life story of the businessman and star of the TV series The Apprentice, Alan Sugar.
It’s his version of events with no frills and no fluff.
With over 650 pages, it’s a big read and a big time commitment, but I do think that it’s worth it. It is very entertaining, and you can learn a lot from his experiences.
A touching true story of how Katie Piper, the victim of an acid attack, overcame such a horrific event and got her life back.
An easy to read book with photographic inserts.
Be prepared to be shocked, humbled and inspired. Although this is not a business book, there are still life lessons in here for all of us.
There is a lot to like about the Scale Up Millionaire and in the right hands this book will deliver on its promise of teaching you how to scale your business and yourself to millionaire status.
Although this book is suited to business owners and CEO’s I believe that it would also be useful to individual sales representatives, sales managers and directors and those within a business development sales role – it’s a book that all the members of your sales team would be able to use to help them improve their performance.
As a standard sit-down-and-read book, I would rate this book as pretty average.
However, if you read it as a breakfast book (as I describe in my full review), then this book completely comes into its own and, I believe, becomes a lot more valuable.
This book is as much about branding as it is customer service (after all, the level of service you deliver impacts upon your brand) and it’s full of stories, testimonials, examples, pictures, experiences that Geoff has had (good and bad) with companies, that you can use, learn from, and possibly implement into your own business to help improve the service and experience that your customer receives from each touchpoint that they have with your organization.
To sum this book up, I would say that it is fascinating and valuable, yet boring.
The Marshmallow Test covers the research that was done by Walter Mischel on delay gratification.
It’s a great book for parents has a lot of interesting information in it, it’s just written in a boring manner meaning that you can easily switch off.
This is a great book and an essential read if you are a parent or teacher.
It clearly demonstrates how the correct mindset is key to achieving our goals along with motivating our children to fulfill their own potential.
The TED Talks and YouTube videos on the subject of mindset are great, but they only scratch the surface of the subject.
This was a super easy book to review. There was no way that I was going to give it less than 10/10!
Cadence is a very valuable and entertaining read. Even better, it’s concise and straight to the point! At only 120 pages, you can read it in a few hours and get implementing straight away.
A must-read for anyone who wants to increase sales, increase profitability, and drive business growth.
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