My Books Of 2012 – Part Two: Non-fiction

Part One – Autobiography/Biography


The Book of Business Awesome: How Engaging Your Customers and Employees Can Make Your Business Thrive – Scott Stratten

13838876“UnAwesome is UnAcceptable.”The Book of Business Awesome” is designed as two short books put together–one read from the front and the other read from the back when flipped over. Covering key business concepts related to marketing, branding, human resources, public relations, social media, and customer service, “The Book of Business Awesome” includes case studies of successful businesses that gained exposure through being awesome and effective. This book provides actionable tools enabling readers to apply the concepts immediately to their own businesses. The flip side of the book, “The Book of Business UnAwesome,” shares the train-wreck stories of unsuccessful businesses and showcases what not to do. Key concepts include the power of peripheral referrals and how to create content for your “third circle” Explains how to re-recruit your employees and re-court your customers.” – GoodReads

4 stars

This book was a gift from Erik Fisher (thank you!) and a great read. Scott shows how to successfully run your social media as a business through examples of businesses doing it well and business doing it really, really bad.

Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength – Laurie Helgoe

49322Are you an introvert? Psychologist and introvert Laurie Helgoe reveals that more than half of all Americans are. Introverts gain energy and power through reflection and solitude. Our culture, however, is geared toward the extrovert. The pressure to enjoy parties, chatter, and interactions can lead people to think that an inward orientation is a problem instead of an opportunity.

Helgoe shows that the exact opposite is true: Introverts can capitalize on this inner source of power.” – GoodReads

4 stars

I read a couple of books about introverts this year and, to be honest, don’t remember much from this one. The book below however…

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

8520610Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.” – GoodReads

5 stars

This book is amazing! If you’re an introvert, you should read it. If you’re an extravert, you should read it. It shows the differences between the two, what each group is good at, and where their weaknesses lie. It supports this all with scientific studies and stories from real-life people. It also makes very clear that not everything is black or white. Everyone is unique and is somewhere on the introvert-extravert spectrum.

Also check out the YouTube video versions of this book.

The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever – Alan Sepinwall

16137527“A mob boss in therapy. An experimental, violent prison unit. The death of an American city, as seen through a complex police investigation. A lawless frontier town trying to talk its way into the United States. A corrupt cop who rules his precinct like a warlord. The survivors of a plane crash trying to make sense of their disturbing new island home. A high school girl by day, monster fighter by night. A spy who never sleeps. A space odyssey inspired by 9/11. An embattled high school football coach. A polished ad exec with a secret. A chemistry teacher turned drug lord.

These are the subjects of 12 shows that started a revolution in TV drama:The Sopranos. Oz. The Wire. Deadwood. The Shield. Lost. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 24. Battlestar Galactica. Friday Night Lights. Mad Men. Breaking Bad.

These 12 shows, and the many more they made possible, ushered in a new golden age of television — one that made people take the medium more seriously than ever before. Alan Sepinwall became a TV critic right before this creative revolution began, was there to chronicle this incredible moment in pop culture history, and along the way “changed the nature of television criticism,” according to Slate. The Revolution Was Televised is the story of these 12 shows, as told by Sepinwall and the people who made them, including David Chase, David Simon, David Milch, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, Vince Gilligan and more.” – GoodReads

4 stars

I love television. I think television offers more of a chance to tell a story than a movie, because you can develop a character or a plot line over time. This was a great read. It showed how some of my favorite shows (Lost, Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights) changed the TV landscape. Some chapters I had to skip because they discussed shows I still plan to watch (The Sopranos is high on my list).