Looking for some book inspiration this autumn? Here are 4 books I enjoyed and learned from, plus an extra one at the very end that I'm reading right now (spoiler: it's blowing my mind).
Now that those long summer days are over I imagine your social media is also bombarded with cosy reading corners instead of the ever-present half body pics on the beach with a book in your lap.
Let's not break the tradition and let's imagine a comfy chair, a cup of coffee and a nice book.
Here are 4 books I've been reading and enjoying these past weeks. And some insights into why they're a great read.
Book 1: Hooked on Habits - Nir Eyal's "Hooked"
Our first stop is Nir Eyal's "Hooked". This book could almost be seen as a handbook for digital puppet masters, exploring how products can engage users by forming habits.
The Hook Model: Eyal proposes a four-step process to build habit-forming products: Trigger, Action, Variable Reward, and Investment. It's like a recurring rollercoaster ride that users can't resist boarding.
Frequency Matters: For a habit to stick, it needs to be as common as your daily coffee. So, designers should aim to weave products into users' daily or weekly routines.
Make it Easy: Eyal emphasizes the need to make desired actions as effortless as possible. The less effort required, the more likely users are to do it. It's the path of least resistance to habit formation.
Eyal's insights give us a tantalizing look into the machinery behind our screen addictions. You'll never look at your smartphone the same way again. I know I'm not...
Book 2: Copywriting from Comic Books - "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" by Michael Chabon
Our second stop is in the world of fiction. "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" by Michael Chabon isn't a manual on copywriting, but it is a masterclass in compelling storytelling and Pulitzer winning novel.
Harness the Power of Storytelling: Forget dry facts. Make your audience feel, cheer, and care with a narrative they can invest in.
Evoke Emotion: The best stories punch you in the gut, make you laugh, or bring a tear to your eye. And the best copy does the same. It's not just about logic; emotions are equally (if not more) important.
Details Matter: Like Chabon's meticulous attention to detail, copywriters should also strive to provide concrete, vivid details. It's not just a product; it's a life-changer.
Chabon's novel reminds us that words can create worlds, evoke emotions, and, yes, even sell products.
Book 3: Learning from Leonardo - Walter Isaacson's "Leonardo da Vinci"
From the digital world, we travel back in time to the Italian Renaissance with Walter Isaacson's biography, "Leonardo da Vinci".
Leonardo's Curiosity: This man didn't just break the mold; he didn't even believe in molds. From art to science to anatomy, his curiosity was a voracious beast that gobbled up every discipline it could find.
Notebooks: Our dear Leonardo didn't have a smartphone, but he did have his notebooks. These were the window into his genius, filled with thoughts, sketches, and even shopping lists. Seriously, who else puts "investigate the sun" next to "buy bread"
Unfinished Works: Procrastinators, take heart. Even Leonardo left many works unfinished. Whether it was his unwieldy curiosity or just the Renaissance equivalent of Netflix, many projects didn't quite cross the finish line. Yet, his genius remains undisputed.
With Leonardo, we're reminded that a wandering mind isn't necessarily a wasted one.
Book 4: Life Hacks from a Modern Nomad - Timothy Ferriss's "The 4-Hour Workweek"
Our final stop is in the realm of self-help with Timothy Ferriss's "The 4-Hour Workweek". Here's a book that doesn't just think outside the box but gleefully dances on the flattened cardboard. In it, Ferriss advocates for a kind of extreme lifestyle optimization that can seem almost alien but is undeniably enticing.
80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle): Forget working harder; it's all about working smarter. Identify the 20% of tasks that yield 80% of your productivity. Everything else? Chuck it in the "do-later" pile (and by 'later' Ferriss might mean 'never').
Outsourcing: Why do today what you can have someone else do tomorrow? Whether it's business tasks or personal chores, Ferriss encourages us to free up time by outsourcing whenever we can.
Batching: This isn't a recipe tip, but it's equally delicious. Batching similar tasks can supercharge your productivity, reducing the time wasted switching between tasks.
Crazy? Maybe. Genius? Quite possibly. One thing is for sure: Ferriss makes you reconsider what's normal.
Right now, I'm reading "The Borgias" by Paul Strathern. Another great non-fictional book that'll keep you on your toes if you like history and how people managed to build something extraordinary from nothing.
One thing I learned from this book is that human nature will never change or evolve.
But that’s just me…thinking out loud.