Its dark early these days. Its cold out. As a result there’s plenty of good reading time.
Some of the books I’m reading this month include the following:
Ridderstrale & Nordstrum pull out another amazing book, following on from Funky Business, published in 2000.
Their perspective is amazingly brave, and their take on consumerism and what brands must do to stay ahead is fearless.
Considering they’re both Phd level Academics formerly of the Stockholm School of Economics, you’d assume that there would be a stuffiness to their work. The writing and thinking is really fresh, however, and whilst mostly being pitched at the macro level (it is all big picture stuff) there are enough examples from Brand case studies to justify some of the arguments.
While Funky Business seemed to say that the ideal company to work for would be something like the Google model (who were still not relevant enough to get a mention in 2000!) Karaoke Capitalism discusses the further fracturisation of the world and the difficulties faced by brands trying to fly their flag while facing disintegrating audiences.
Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book was a Christmas present from my girlfriend, and whilst not having the same epic whack as his tomes such as American Gods, this is a very enjoyable read. It is pitched to a younger reader, but doesn’t suffer for it. Gaiman is a natural storyteller, who is always weaving the macabre into the everyday with wit and charm, and this book is recommended bedtime reading for children aged four to ninety four.
Brilliant Pitch by Shaun Varga is going to be one of those practical business books I’m going to refer back to time and time again. Varga comes from an Advertising background, he used to work on the client side in JWT London, and now has his own Agency. All I can say from reading so far is that I would not have liked to end up pitching against him back in the day. This is a no-holds-barred look at how to get the job done, with such a strong dose of Machiavellianism that you sometimes have to wonder about the ethics or indeed legality of some of the techniques. Good stuff.
This is the final book on my reading list at the moment, Max Brooks World War Z – the brilliantly conceived ‘Oral History of the Zombie War’. Again a Christmas pressie (cheers FFF) and most enjoyable reading. They are going to make it into a film, although I’m not sure how exciting that is going to be, as it is essentially a series of interviews with people from all over the world describing their experiences of a world war with Zombies. One of the first rules of Cinema is to show, not tell, so I can’t see how this is going to be as riveting on the big screen, but its great fun to read.