in Reading Notes

Books Read in October ’16

With October being my first month as a Smartly student, the shift back toward business reading is now in full effect. Accounting and copywriting and finance, oh my! While I still aim to read novels and other non-fiction books in my spare time, the bulk of my reading over the next few months will relate to the Smartly syllabus.

Best October Book:

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight – One of two books about running I listened to this month while running, Shoe Dog is a phenomenal history of a revolutionary footwear company, and ends up being as much a heartfelt memoir as a guide to running a lean business. The moments where Phil reflects on fatherhood, and sacrificing time with his sons to focus on NIKE, are similar to Hayao Miyazaki’s confessions in Starting Point; both men are driven toward greatness, while still being aware of the costs of pushing themselves there.

Other Non-Fiction Reads:

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek – The other running book I listened to, Scott Jurek’s memoir details his rise as a runner, and the mental toughness it takes to succeed as an ultramarathoner. This book is a great companion piece for Born to Run.

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly – This is a Big Picture book. Kevin Kelly looks toward the next thirty years, and the way trends like “interacting, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning” will affect our existence. Perhaps the most entertaining part of each chapter is his first-person predictions of what a day in the life of the near-future looks like, once that trend has matured.

On Writing Well by William Zinsser – This classic work on non-fiction writing served as a great refresher for strong writing fundamentals, and I plan on referring back to it regularly.

Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits: 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential by Greg Crabtree – I chose this as a supplement to the first few accounting-heavy weeks of my Smartly degree. More than just the fundamentals that Accounting Made Simple breaks down, Simple Numbers includes accounting-based strategies for helping a business thrive that I hope I’ll get to apply soon.

Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper – In the few times I’ve dipped my toes into the small business waters, I’ve never made accounting a priority. This book, short as it may be, lays out the basics of double entry bookkeeping in a practical, actionable way.