Dog days of summer are officially here in NYC! What better time to catch up on your essential storytelling reading? Below is a list of my 7 favorite reads over the last couple months. You’ll find a quick summary on each book, along with links so you can check out reviews and more details. Let me know which of these is your favorite, and if you’ve got other essential books on your summer reading list.
Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
The book is a seductive guidebook on how to trigger the curiosity-seeking part of the brain, and what makes for a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This book masterfully practices what it preaches: a “Writer’s guide to using brain science to hook readers from the very first sentence.” I promise, it’s a lot more sexy that it sounds. This book is a genuinely refreshing addition to the field of storytelling.
Trust Me I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday
Truthfully, I attended the book’s launch party last week, and didn’t expect much of significance from the book itself. Instead, I spent the weekend engrossed in a mind-bending confessional of the media business in the 21st century. It shows how any blogger, brand, or marketer can masterfully manipulate collective reality. Ryan Holiday’s book is a provocative, controversial, and disturbing guidebook on the mechanics of media in the 21st century. In my honest opinion, it’s a must-read.
Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs
Written by the co-founder of Free Range, a pioneering agency that specializes in viral marketing campaigns. The book explores the fertile territory of cultural myth-making and how how to go beyond the inadequacy marketing of yesteryear. Full of examples of brands and social change campaigns. For an introduction to the topic, watch my recent webinar with Jonah Sachs.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Just like every map has a border, stories need structure. Your life does too. In this best-selling book, Duhigg employs masterful storytelling to illuminate the power of routines and habits to generate more of what you want in life. Let’s be honest, we’re all a bit overwhelmed. This book can inspire you to create your own order out of the chaos.
Fate and Destiny by Michael Meade
The only story you’ve come here to live is your own. In this seminal book (new edition just released), Michael Meade helps you understand the inter-related dimensions of Fate and Destiny. You can’t have one without the other. If you’re a student of ancient myth, you’ll love this book.
The Culture Game by Dan Mezick
A groundbreaking book at the intersection of organizational learning, software hacking, and culture design. If you care about creating intentional cultures, this is another must-read for your library. Dan is a friend, mentor, and coach who’s had a profound impact on my work and thinking about the role of storytelling in cultures. For an introduction to this work, watch my recent webinar with Dan Mezick.
The $100 Start-up by Chris Guillebeau
This zeitgeist book celebrates countless stories of entrepreneurs on a path of career independence. If you’re someone that’s playing their own game, and wants guidance on how to build a viable business, then read the latest best-seller from globetrotting adventurerer Chris Guillebeau. It’s full of inspiring stories and practical advice on how to build your own DIY media company for pennies on the dollar. Much of what Chris advocates is core to the DNA of Get Storied and our entrepreneurial playbook.
What’s on your Essential Reading List?
Which of the following books do you plan on reading? Do you have another book on your essential reading list for the summer? Add to the comments below.