Christmas Vacation Education

I hope you're taking a few days off over the holidays to relax or even do some planning for the new year. I'm doing both, along with some reading, which, honestly, I haven't done with an actual book in a long time.

These are the books I've been reading lately. Perhaps you would enjoy them too.

First We Read, Then We Right by Robert Richardson. A great book on writing advice from the 19th century transcendental writer Ralph Waldo Emerson distilled from his best modern biographer.

I'm lingering over these pages. There's an instructive chapter on reading that everyone should, well, read. Read it before you move on to the rest of the books in this post!

  • Shocker: we shouldn't read to learn or to escape from the grind of our lives. We should read so we can CREATE world we want to live in.
  • "The glance reveals what the gaze obscures." Emerson almost never read any book cover to cover. He searched for what he could use and left the rest alone.
  • Stick to personal accounts, first hand experience and personal witness. Emerson would never read an opinion of someone else's opinion. "They are written by the dead to be read by the dead."

The Dragonfly Effect by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith. A great book that actually gives you a formula to use social media to drive social change. And they use examples in their book to show it works!

I'm lingering over these pages. This book has some great diagrams and sidebars, like "Getting Started with Take Action" on page 140. I'm returning to these to reinforce what I learned.

Content Rules by Ann Handley & C. C. Chapman. This is a really useful book that you can be read in true Emersonian style. It teaches you how to create all sorts of content for blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.

I'm lingering over these pages. The chapters on creating content for ebooks and webinars as I'm most interested in these two mediums at the moment.

Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding by Jocelyn Daw and Carol Cone. This book by two of my favorite cause marketers is a must read for cause marketers looking to evolve their respective causes in to top brands.

I'm Lingering over these pages. Read my review of the book to learn about my favorite parts and from which case studies I'm still reading and learning.

Social Media 101 by Chris Brogan. Having been active in social media for several years I wasn't sure how much I would learn from this small, introductory book. But it's chock-full of advice for social media enthusiasts of all levels.

I'm Lingering over these pages. The section on creating an "About" page for yourself, something I really don't have on my blog. Also, I added over a dozen great blogs to my reader just by scanning the footnotes. Lots of great nuggets to be mined in this book.

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan. I'm thinking if I want to be trust agent of the cause space this book will show me the way.

Lingering over these pages. I've read this book before, but the latest version I picked up is revised and updated. Bonus material!

I still have a lot of reading to do. Now so do you! See you next year!