5 Books to Add to Your Reading List for 2018

2018 is just around the corner! If you're the type of person that's always looking to learn something new, look no further than these great reads.

1. Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places by Eric Weiner

4 out of 5 stars | Read the summary on Goodreads

What I loved about Eric Weiner's travelogue wasn't just the quirky, self-deprecating travel writing. The real reason to pick up this book is that it weaves together the why. Why does a Renaissance happen? What are the common elements, if any, about a place that causes an outburst of creativity?

Each Renaissance Weiner explores—from Florence to Huangzuou—offers differing explanations of how your environment can cultivate genius and innovation.

If you like this book, I'd also recommend his other piece, The Geography of Bliss.

All genuinely creative ideas are initially met with rejection, since they necessarily threaten the status quo. An enthusiastic reception for a new idea is a sure sign that it is not original.

This story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympian-turned-war-hero in WWII, reads like a thriller—and it's even more amazing when you remember that it's all true. If you're looking for some inspiration, this is the book. When you think of WWII, you probably jump straight to the Western Front and the Nazis. The incredible detail that Hillenbrand applies to the Pacific front will open your eyes to a whole different side of the war.

Plus, the movie is pretty great too.

A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain.

4 out of 5 stars | Read the summary on Goodreads

This collection of short essays was one of my favorite books I read this year. Each short vignette comes from a famous chef—from Mario Batali to Anthony Bourdain—and tells their stories of their greatest culinary failure. Swap out your sappy self-help book for this hilarious read to remember that a failure isn't the end of the world—in fact, it may be the start of something wonderful.

4. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal


5 out of 5 stars | Read the summary on Goodreads

Hooked answers the question, "How do I build a product that sticks?" Every day we experience internal and external triggers that cause us to interact with brands. There's a reason you grab a "Kleenex," not a tissue, and "Google" something rather than "Bing" it. What makes these products so ingrained in our culture that they've become a habit?

I'd recommend this to anyone that touches products, but also anyone who makes up part of the "triggers" phase—marketers like myself. 

Reducing the thinking required to take the next action increases the likelihood of the desired behavior occurring unconsciously.

5 out of 5 stars | Read the summary on Goodreads

Hug Your Haters completely flipped my perspective on customer support and customer service. As a social media manager, I interact with "haters" every day. Baer wraps tactical advice on dealing with them with the "why" behind their actions.

If you interact with customers in any way, this is a must-read.

In today’s world, meaningful differences between businesses are rarely rooted in price or product, but instead in customer experience.