The Top Picks for My Summer Reading List

Catch Up on Everything From Starbucks to Mobile Marketing

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One of the things I always look forward to in the summer is a chance to catch up on my reading over the various family vacations we take. I'm guessing many of you do too, so allow me to share a few of my favorite reads from my nightstand.

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. I'm in the middle of this one right now and have to say, it's really good. From the inside look at the events leading up to Howard taking the CEO reins back to the great marketing advice, this one's a keeper.

I'm also plowing through The Third Screen: Marketing to Your Customers in a World Gone Mobile, by Chuck Martin. If you're struggling to figure out the whole mobile world or make a case for launching a mobile strategy, pick this one up and read it. From the very beginning, Chuck lays out the data points that you'll want and need.

My friends Amber Naslund and Jay Baer released The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social this spring. Does the world really need another social media book? Probably not, but it (the world) is a better place for having this one. Jay and Amber break the social media picture down to brass tacks and provide really well thought out advice for companies trying to "get social."

I'd also recommend picking up How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In by the legendary Jim Collins. It's been out for a while, but if you read his seminal bestseller Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't, you will absolutely want to grab this one. He went back and studied why a number of his Good To Great companies have stumbled or failed outright. The learning in this book is worth way more than the price of a single copy.

If you've read much of my stuff here at Ad Age , you know I'm really interested in, and have done a good amount of , experimentation with content marketing programs -- mostly around Mardi Gras. So it probably won't surprise you that I'd recommend at least one content marketing book here. If you want a great read from two of content marketing's leading thinkers, C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley, pick up Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series). It's a great read and pay special attention to page 143 -- you might see a familiar name.

And lastly, I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company, in which authors Kevin Maney, Steve Hamm and Jeffrey M. O' Brien take the reader through a century of technological evolution via the contributions of one company -- IBM. Okay, you might have to be a big tech nerd like me to love this one, but it really is a pretty fascinating ride.

That's it folks. Enjoy the books. But remember, come back and tell me what you thought of them either here or at my personal blog, Positive Disruption. And if you have a few favorite books you think I'd like -- do be so kind as to let me know via the comments!

Tom Martin created Converse Digital to help companies and agencies monitor, create and engage in digital conversations. Want to talk? Just email [email protected] or follow @TomMartin on Twitter.
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