Who needs a good book for some long weekend reading?

4 Day Weekend! 4 Day Weekend! 4 Day Weekend!

Who’s with me? It’s like being in school again, excitement to be home, be freely creative, and Get Things DONE! Okay, maybe the last one wasn’t what I thought about when I was in school, but no matter what the age, I think having some time to set your own agenda is a great break from a regular 9-5. In honor of this long weekend, I thought I would share some great reads. So, if you don’t share my designer to get things done and would rather cozy up on the couch with a good book, I recommend checking out a few of these.



The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, All By Steig Larsson

You’ve heard of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, likely because Daniel Craig plays a main character in the movie, but let me tell you that after seeing the movie it does the story no justice. The book will have you hanging on at witt’s end trying to solve the crimes yourself, no need though, at the end it all makes sense.

The Snow Child, By Eowyn Ivey

I will be entirely honest, I haven’t read the whole story yet… but based on a old folktale and filled with heartbreaking and soul searching truths for one couple, it is a great tale that I think others should give a try!


While you read why not check out the Ting Tings new album? Okay… so maybe I am just excited for it and therefore felt the need to throw this in…

The Story of The Streets, By Mike Skinner

If you aren’t familiar with the music movement The Streets like I wasn’t you may not want to read this cover to cover, but the poetic writing will at least provide some good laughs during a quick skim.


The Element, By Ken Robinson

If you know me you know that Outliers is was one of my all-time favorite reads. I even quoted it in my graduate address (Iowa State in 2009). If you were around me when I read Freakonomics you will also remember how fascinated I was with its tales. Well, now I am excited to be reading The Element, a fascinating science and society mash-up that I can only hope will be (at least half) as good as my previous favorites.

Drive, By Daniel H Pink

“Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money–the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink in Drive. In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction–at work, at school, and at home–is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does-and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation–autonomy, mastery, and purpose–and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.”

Made To Stick, By Chip and Dan Heath

“Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas–business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others–struggle to make their ideas “stick.”

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the “human scale principle,” using the “Velcro Theory of Memory,” and creating “curiosity gaps.”

In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds–from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony–draw their power from the same six traits.”


That Used to Be Us, By Thomas Friedman

“America is in trouble. We face four major challenges on which our future depends, and we are failing to meet them—and if we delay any longer, soon it will be too late for us to pass along the American dream to future generations.

In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption—and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which “that used to be us.” They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.

And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is within reach. They show how America’s history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face. They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscovery of some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new thirdparty movement to galvanize the country.

That Used to Be Us is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.” – Amazon.co.uk


Information is Beautiful, By David McCandless

This book introduced me to the idea of infographics. It shares a ton of truly interesting, often random, facts. But it does it all visually. No need to wear out your eyes with loads of long paragraphs, sit down with this book for some artistic information that will inspire you to learn graphic design.

Hegarty on Advertising, By John Hegarty

John Hegarty is a business legend. In this book he puts down on paper the pure common sense of what makes consumers tick. Combined with his tales from his advertising agency, BBH, and his famous ads for Levi’s, Audi, Lynx and so on, this book leaves you with a ‘Duh’ moment you will wonder how you had previously missed.


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