It is time to review my Book Club Top Picks. I use the term book club loosely because there’s only me.
- Truth, Lies, and Advertising – Jon Steel – A must read book if you have a passing interest in advertising and planning in particular. Jon Steel shines a light into the creative process behind a number of well known advertising campaigns
- Archetypes in Branding - Joshua Chen, Margaret Hartwell – Based on Jung’s theory that human culture can be distilled into 12 distinct archetypes, this book provides a framework to explore brand development
- Rework – Jason Fried – David Heinemeier Hansson – Based on their experience with 37Signals and other startups Fried and Hansson provide a succinct set of rules and observations for early stage businesses.
- Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike – William Fortheringham – 2012 was the year when I started cycling into town for work and I was recommended this book about the legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx. An outlier in his chosen field of cycling he completely rewrote the rules to become the greatest cyclist of his generation.
- The Lean Startup – Eric Ries – Another startup book and I ended up reading this straight after Rework which probably explains why for me there is very little to differentiate this from Rework. Again some good practical advice if you’re looking to start your own business.
- Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson – With exclusive access to Jobs as his health deteriorated Isaacson’s biography is widely regarded as the definitive appraisal of Jobs’ life
2013 will hopefully provide a greater opportunity to read a broader range of books. Leaving aside the various articles and reports I read as part of my job, I miss the deeper more immersive dive into books.
Books like Retromania – asking the question whether culture is being continuously (and needlessly) recycled or David Byrne’s latest on the impact of Music and it’s affect on us are next for Book Club in 2013.
My final point concerns the herd mentality within the planning community when it comes to recommending reading. This is only natural as planning remains a tight knit community certainly within London but inevitably it is those books that sit outside of planning but indirectly run along parallel lines that are the most insightful.