Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Top 5 Books I read in 2008

Don't get this confused with the best books that came out in 08. All of these books have been around for awhile. These are just the top 5 that I read this year and would recommend to a friend.

5. Action Script 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!
This is the only Flash book to make the list. I mainly read this to ramp up to speed before Keith's next book: AdvancED ActionScript 3.0 Animation, which was just released last week. I placed it at 5th because a lot of its content is old, especially if you have been following Keith back when he ran his lab. However, if you are new to Keith's work then this is a must read. And even if you are like me and have been following him for years, it is still a great refresher and contains a few new gems mixed in with the classics. Can't wait to get my grubby hands on his new book.

4. Unleashing the Ideavirus.
I read a few Seth Godin books this year, but this one is by far his best work. He is an entertaining writer with some very insightful ideas. The main reason he fell to 4th is that most of his books could be summed up in a few chapters... possibly even a few paragraphs. Granted, the examples and finer details are nice to drive home the message and make it stick. When you have some time, check out his blog... its a good daily read.

3. Managing Humans
This is a fantastic read by Michael Lopp, who runs the blog Rands in Repose. Its tailored towards technical people (programmers, engineers, etc) who are becoming team leads and having to manage people as well as code. He has a unique way of explaining complex situations through entertaining stories and analogies. To find out if its for you, check out his popular posts on his blog and see if you can relate to the Nerd Handbook (unfortunately I can).

2. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
Jacob here at the basement recommended this book and I can't say enough good things about it. It was written back in 93, yet everything in it still applies today. You can check out the chapter headers on wikipedia to get a general overview. But I highly recommend reading the book out in full if you are interested in Marketing or if you are an entrepreneur.

1. The Tipping Point
This may have reached #1 partly due to the fact that I just finished it and its fresh in my mind. With that disclaimer out of the way, I still feel its deserving of the top spot. The basic underlying concept is similar to the Ideavirus, yet instead of focusing on marketing and technology, Malcolm Gladwell takes it to a whole new level and applies it to worldly issues. Even if you grasp the basic synopsis, I highly recommend this book. The references and examples given in this book make every page worthwhile. Not only does he challenge the way we market new ideas, but he also challenges how we tackle social problems. This is one of those few books that has the potential to change your perspective.


Anonymous said...

Can I add a suggestion (I've read 3 of the 5 on your list and feel that this might be a good addition)? Try "Words that Work" by Dr. Frank Luntz.

Ickydime said...

Thanks for the suggestion Daryl. [ pretty sure I can guess which 3 you read ;)]

I brought up Words that Work in Amazon... definitely looks interesting. Will put it on my list for this year.

Short attention span? said...

Nice post Mark. The book on managing technical staff looks like somegthing I may have to pick up.

Ickydime said...

A friend is borrowing mine, but as soon as I get it back I will send it your way.

Almost every single chapter of the book can be found scattered throughout his blog. So if you want to get a feel for what it is about, check out