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My Holiday Book List

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So I’ve read 52 books this year!

I’ve actually read a ton more, but the 52 were those I counted as fully read and over 150 pages or so. I was ahead of schedule all year, too. I’m pretty proud of having done that (but more on that later).

Today, since I’m shopping for books, I figured I’d give you guys some suggestions in case you’re looking for something for the holidays, either for yourself or a friend/family member. You can probably grab them on Amazon and have them shipped to you in time for Xmas! All these books are so awesome I’m sure anyone on your list would love them. :)

Oh, and you may notice that I didn’t put Amazon affiliate links in here, since it’s really not my thing, but if you felt the need to thank me for this or anything else I’ve written, including Trust Agents, feel free to subscribe to this RSS feed, that would be awesome. :)

Here’s the list! Let me know if you need more suggestions, I have loads.

Old Masters and Young Geniuses – This is a book about the two modes of creation in art, from sculpture to painting to film. This book is great for the person on your list who’s just starting up a new project (like my friend Jason in film school, say) because it destroys the myth that you need to be young in order to make your mark in something.

The Dip – This was a re-read, but I think the Dip is Seth Godin’s best book by far. It’s so simple and to the point, and it can help anyone in any situation. It’s also great for the holidays because it’s cheap and small. It’s a perfect little book that you can give anyone at any time for any reason.

Thank You and OK! – Read this while I was in Japan. It’s a travel book about a guy that spent a bunch of time as a Zen monk. It’s really hilarious, pretty thick, and easy + fun to read. It was my favourite book I read while I was out there for sure– it was so good that I was upset when I was finished because I knew my other books wouldn’t be as good. A++ would read again. ;)

Man’s Search For Meaning – “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Man’s Search For Meaning is in the top 3 of the most influential books on my own life. It’s about Viktor Frankl’s time in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany during WWII. It is not for the faint of heart. But if you read it, I promise you will not forget it.

The Architecture of Happiness / Status Anxiety – Both by Alain de Botton, one of my favourite authors. I plan on reading everything he’s ever written. He writes these amazing texts that you will learn a ton from, laugh about, and just generally be enriched by. For the lazy intellectual who doesn’t want to read 800 pages but wants to learn a lot anyway (ie, me). :)

Connected – The one social network book I’ll recommend, but only because I know you want one. If you’ve seen the presentations I do, Connected is the book I always refer to when I talk about you influencing your network to be thinner, happier, and more successful. It also has a great cover so when it’s unwrapped people will be like “cool.”

Vagabonding – Another re-read! I couldn’t help myself. I read this again while in Paris just last week. What a great book to help you get thinking about your dreams, the places you want to visit, and what your priorities are. You’ll love this book, I promise. Oh, and here’s an interview between Rolf Potts, the author, and Tim Ferriss.

* Filed by Julien at 3:51 pm under book a week


Hi, I’m Julien Smith. I'm the founder and CEO of Breather.

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7 Responses to “My Holiday Book List”

  1. Sean Clark Says:

    Julien,

    Glad you hit your target, been following your efforts, I think it’s a great achievement. The list is great too, will be adding to my Wishlist for sure.

    By the way, with regards to Media Hacks, I think you add color to the conversation, another dimension. Tell Mitch not to worry I would have no problem recommending the podcast;-)

    All the best and keep up the good work
    Sean

  2. Nick Desbarats Says:

    Thx Julien- three new additions to my reading list.

    I read “Man’s Search for Meaning” this year as well. What a mind-altering, life-changing book. Truly staggering.

    In the vein of “Old Masters and Young Geniuses”, check out Jonah Lehrer’s “Proust Was a Neuroscientist” http://www.amazon.com/Proust-Was-Neuroscientist-Jonah-Lehrer/dp/0547085907/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260911716&sr=8-3

  3. Koren Motekaitis Says:

    “Man’s Search for Meaning” is on my list during my hiatus. This is one of those books that keep coming to my life and after your list I have now committed to it! Thanks Julien and Happy Holidays!

  4. Eric Says:

    more recommendations would be great! just knowing your past, current, and future reading list is a great resource. thanks.

  5. Adam Daniel Mezei Says:

    JS, this was exactly the nudge I needed to wipe the dust off the Frankl copy lying on my shelf…not to mention his Dresden diary entries during the immediate post-war period, which also make for amazing supplementary reading. Appreciated!

  6. Carl Says:

    That’s a great list Julien and congrats on hitting 52 books+ in a year.

    I carry Vagabonding with me everywhere and I think I’ve read it at least 2 or three times this year.

    I look forward to checking out Thank you and OK. Sounds great.

  7. karim kanji Says:

    52 books!

    Holy crap! That’s alot. I’ve been trying to read one book a month for over 2 years.

    Question – do u ever stop reading a book if it fails to grab you or do u feel obliged to finish everything you’ve read?

    Thanks and best wishes for 2010!

    (2 more chapters to go to finish Trust Agents.)

    kk

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