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5 Books to Read This Summer

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5 Books to Read This Summer Posted on 25 June 12 by Corey Mull Summer’s a time to get re-energized for the rest of the year: that’s what vacations, cookouts, and taking off early to go to baseball games are for, right? But it’s also a time to re-energize the mind; looking at the world through a different lens is an excellent way to get new ideas. Here are some of the books the MLC team thinks marketers of all levels should have in their piles this summer. You’ll note that these mostly aren’t ma
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  5 Books to Read This Summer Posted on25 June 12 byCorey Mull  Summer’s a time to get re - energized for the rest of the year: that’s what vacations, cookouts,and taking off early to go to baseball games are for, right? But it’s also a time to re -energize themind; looking at the world through a different lens is an excellent way to get new ideas.Here are some of the books the MLC team thinks marketers of all levels should have in their piles this summer. You’ll note that these mostly aren’t marketing or even business -specific; wefigure you’re probably already aware of those, so we’re focusing on those that maybe aren’t in the airport bookstore or on 800-CEO-READ . Instead, we’re focusing on the broader world of ideas. Let us know what your’e reading in the comments section?   George Dyson  –   Turing’s Cathedral     As we turn more and more to digital and online channels, it’s increasingly important that Marketing have great relationships with  – and understand the fundamental drive of  – our technologist partners, whether they’re in IT, software development, or web design. And whatbetter way to do that than to read about the life of the ur-technologist, Alan Turing? A mathematician and one of the first computer scientists, Turing is famous for proving  –  mathematically, by inventing a theoretical device now called a Turing machine   – that thecomputers we all have on our desks today could be made. The book does an excellent jobcapturing the essence of scientific discovery and the creation of something from nothing  – twofundamental pieces of what drives many technologists today.The book also makes the reader wonder what could have been; Turing, who was gay, wascaught in a relationship with a man and convicted under now-antiquated UK laws banninghomosexuality. Forced to undergo chemical castration and stripped of his security clearance  –  among other things, Turing researched cryptography  – he committed suicide two years later, atthe age of 41, in his scientific prime.    Daniel Kahneman  –   Thinking, Fast and Slow     Although it’s not a business book   per se  , this instant classic by the granddaddy of behavioraleconomics, Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, is all the rage in progressive marketing circles. The book recaps 40 years of Kahneman’s research into why people make the decisions they do, and comes just at the moment when that research has increasingly-relevant insights forboth business and society. James Gleick  –   The Information    Let’s be upfront about   The Information   –   it is, at times, a bit of a slog; at other times, it’s a weebit too dense for a nonspecialist to truly understand. That being said, it’s an excellent look athow human beings began to conceive of the commodity we call “information”, how that commodity was once quite scarce, and how now the main problem is dealing with a surplus ofinformation, rather than a drought. I see marketers  – at the most basic level  – as peopleinvolved in the trafficking and brokerage of information, so a primer on the history of the idea isuseful.If nothing else, you will get two great cocktail party or meeting stories from this book. The first isthe story of the West African talking drums,a pre-telegraph, pre-telephone technology designed by West African tribes to send messages over long distances. The second is an entertaininganecdote of the first dictionary; published in English, the author came up with the then-new andingenious method of listing the entries in alphabetical order, and had a long description at thevery front of the dictionary describing how to use it. Peter Bregman  – 18 Minutes   I’ll admit it    – I have a super-weak spot for productivity books. Here at MLC, I have a pretty broadremit that involves running all of our web properties, and as such, focus can be awfully hard tocome by. Any book that helps me get more done in a shorter time is more than welcome on my shelf. The system isn’t particularly important, I don’t think – more important is feelingempowered to tackle bigger loads at work.With 18 Minutes  , Bregman has adapted his popular weekly Harvard Business Review  columns to book form. The advice is simple, and mirrors some of our recent research: tocombat distractions, create positive, productive distractions of your own. Tyler Cowen  –   An Economist Gets Lunch     Cowen  – a professor at George Mason University and a popular economics blogger   – a bit of acelebrity around DC; his Ethnic Dining Guide is a lifesaver if you want to find good cuisine in thearea. Courtney says: “This book will help marketers understand the economics behind consumers who value things other than the main product bein g sold (i.e., the restaurant’s food). For  example, Cowen advises diners who only care about the food to stay away from restaurantswith lots of young, beautiful women, as they draw in customers who are more concerned aboutbeing seen in a hip place and wit h beautiful women than they are with the quality of the food.”  
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