26 Must Read Books

It’s very simple for anyone today to educate themselves on just about anything they could dream of.  On Amazon, a simple search under any topic will bring up a list of books and more importantly the average rating people gave each book.  Find the top rated books in whatever category interests you, buy the top ten rated, read them, boom instant genius.

Well it’s not quite that easy but you know what I mean.  If you don’t read regularly find a way to do it, read in bed before you fall asleep, maybe go to the bathroom more at work and bring a book with you, read at the gym on the elliptical (two birds with one stone) where ever you can, do it.  It’s one of the easiest ways to get smarter.

Here’s a list of mine from this past year, all of them on the list except for a few were outstanding.  Tweet me (@JephMaystruck) if you want more details or if you have a question on a specific book.

After most books I also share how many highlighted passages I made on my Kindle.  It’s the number after each sentence in brackets (??).  The more highlights generally the better the book.



This book shows you a completely different way of going about writing.  Great read. (39)

The Art of The Pitch

If people don’t remember it, it wasn’t a good pitch.  Amazing stories of how crafting the perfect pitch pays off in the long run. (17)

The Big Leap

How your upper limit barrier will eventually hinder your success, what you need to do to prepare yourself for it.

Brainfluence the book

For anyone who wants to understand how we’re fooled by neuromarketers.  A must read if you want to understand where the future of neuromarketing is headed. (42)


Quite literally the new textbook on marketing. (69)


An essential read for anyone interested in business strategy.  Collins and Porras are like the Crosby and Malkin when it comes to business strategy.  You should read every book they’ve written. (40)

The Coming Jobs War

A fascinating read about the evolution of humans over the past hundred years and what you need to know about the years to come.  It leaves you with an eerie warning about the future. (21)

The Consulting Bible

Unless you’re going into consulting this book will be useless to you.  Brilliant for consultants though. (22)

Crossing The Chasm book

Identifying the group of people who will spread your idea is one of the most critical tasks to be completed before mainstream success. (12)

The Flinch

The Flinch by Julien Smith

Stretch your comfort zone and do what you never thought was possible.  To get through the Flinch, to anticipate it, and seek out moments where we are vulnerable to it is the only way to learn.   Oh yeah, it’s free as well. (14)

The Hoest Truth About Dishonesty

We’re all very good at lying.  Especially to our selves.  This book explores the different circumstances where humans have a natural tendency to lie.  (14)

How We Decide

Have you ever wondered, why you choose the things you do?  For any marketer who wants to understand this age old question better, read this book.  A lot of “holy shit!” moments in this one.  (21)

Killing Giants Book

If you want to get serious about business strategy in 2012 and beyond read this one.  You’ll be entertain throughout with the stories and learn a lot of practical ideas to fight the giants in your industry. (81 – the most of any book I’ve read)

Mans Search For Meaning

Quite possibly the most important book you’ll ever read.  Seriously. (17)


Kind of a coles notes of what the current state of social media is.  Following his blog would probably be just as effective.  (14)

Permission Marketing

The book talks about the core business strategy any company needs to develop if they want to be successful today.  It doesn’t talk about social media, it’s a metaphor for how you should think about your social media strategy.

Tell The Truth Honesty is your most powerful marketing tool

I’ve always liked Jonathan Salem Baskin’s writing, he gets me.  I still think it’s kind of sad there had to be a book written about the marketing industry in that the most powerful tool is telling the truth, like really?  REALLY?  He does give you some of the best checklists you can use in your business, just for those the book is well worth it.  (24)

Too Big To Know

To understand what the actual effects the internet will have on our world read this fascinating journey through the ups and down of the information revolution. (32)

The Ultimate Question 2.0

This is the best book I’ve ever read on how to actually measure customer satisfaction.  Every business owner/manager/VP needs to read this book.  (23)

A Whole New Mind

This book will make you think differently about your brain and who will be the future thought leaders of our world.  I highly recommend this book. (38)



Zero Moment of Truth

A free ebook from Google, packed with stats that will shape the way you should look at your online marketing strategy.  It’s a short read and it’s free, read it tonight.  (16)

Smarter Faster Cheaper


This is a great read to get you thinking about how to market your business in the future, very practical use and was published fairly recently.


If you’re going to create a marketing campaign you may as well make it ridiculously memorable.  From the people behind the Herbal Essences commercials and the Aflac Duck comes the book Bang!  A fascinating read for all marketers.

Turning Pro book

A must read for any artist/business/person/anyone ready to take it to the next level.

Trust Me I'm Lying To You

An addicting read, this book will make you look at media and stories on the internet completely differently.

Go for No Yes is the Destination No is How You Get There

For anyone who wants to get serious about sales this book simplifies it for you.