leighreadinglist
Books fuel my soul.  They give me more purpose and direction. I love to read. Reading is the single most important love I can give my children (be a good example…. never be too busy to read). I don’t think there is anything more powerful then a good book that teaches us something about life, helps us enter into another world or makes us laugh. Read people!
This past month has been an extremely exciting time to be a female writer. With the news of Alice Munro winning the Nobel Prize for Literature   to just hearing the news of Lynn Coady winning the Giller Prize for Hellgoing is music to my ears! Write ladies … write! We can do it.
(Mark Blinch/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

(Mark Blinch/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

 

Here are some great weekend reads:

 

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Contagious

If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?

Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He’s studied why New York Times articles make the paper’s own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.

Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

 

 

Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It.Ctrl Alt Delete

The DNA of business has changed. Forever. You can blame technology, smartphones, social media, online shopping and everything else, but nothingchanges this reality: we are in a moment of business purgatory.

So, what are you going to do about it?

Mitch Joel, one of the world’s leading experts in new media, warns that the time has come to CTRL ALT DELETE. To reboot and to start re-building your business model. If you don’t, Joel warns, not only will your company begin to slide backwards, but you may find yourself unemployable within five years.

That’s a very strong warning, but in his new book, CTRL ALT DELETE, Joel explains the convergence of five key movements that have changed business forever. The movements have already taken place, but few businesses have acted on them. He outlines what you need to know to adapt right now. He also points to the seven triggers that will help you take advantage of these game-changing factors to keep you employable as this new world of business unfolds.

Along the way, Joel introduces his novel concept of “squiggle” which explains how you can learn to adapt your personal approach to your career, as new technology becomes the norm.

In short, this is not a book about “change management” but rather a book about “changing both you AND your business model.”

 

To-Sell-is-Human-CoverTo Sell is Human

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in nine Americans works in sales. Every day more than fifteen million people earn their keep by persuading someone else to make a purchase.But dig deeper and a startling truth emerges:Yes, one in nine Americans works in sales. But so do the other eight.

Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others. Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.

To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.

Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another’s perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more. The result is a perceptive and practical book–one that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at hom

Hellgoing

Hellgoing

Winner of the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

With astonishing range and depth, Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Lynn Coady gives us eight unforgettable new stories, each one of them grabbing our attention from the first line and resonating long after the last.

A young nun charged with talking an anorexic out of her religious fanaticism toys with the thin distance between practicality and blasphemy. A strange bond between a teacher and a schoolgirl takes on ever deeper, and stranger, shapes as the years progress. A bride-to-be with a penchant for nocturnal bondage can’t seem to stop bashing herself up in the light of day.

Equally adept at capturing the foibles and obsessions of men and of women, compassionate in her humour yet never missing an opportunity to make her characters squirm, fascinated as much by faithlessness as by faith, Lynn Coady is quite possibly the writer who best captures what it is to be human at this particular moment in our history.

Book descriptions credits: Amazon & Good Reads Web Site and House of Anansi