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Help needed: which book to read next?

By on December 2, 2010
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Some books, yesterday

It’s not often that I get to this position. I have so many books that I have bought and not read that I can’t decide which one to pick up and start next.

So, when I finish re-reading The Black Swan (read my review here), which of the following should I pick up next? Answers on a postcard or, more usefully, in the comments please.

  • Replay: the History of Video Games, by Tristan Donovan – a history of the video games industry from a software perspective, and one that is not dominated by the US/Japan, or so I’m told. I got a review copy, so I need to read this soon in order to post a review.
  • Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely – for some reason I put this down having read the introduction and haven’t picked it up again. Everyone I know who has read says it is excellent
  • Inside Her Pretty Little Head , by Jane Cunningham and Philippa Roberts – written by two advertising professionals (one of whom is a friend), this book focuses on marketing to women. Particularly useful as I am consulting on a Facebook game that is very female focused.
  • Authenticity, by Gilmore and Pine – the follow-up to The Experience Economy, I think I *have* to read this before I can finish writing my own book.
  • The Master Switch, by Tim Wu – a sweeping history that argues that all communications platforms – radio, television, telephone and film – began open and unrestricted before vested interests, politics and power conspired to give a small number of corporations oligopolistic control. Just as might be about to happen to our beloved Internet as debates over net neutrality become more heated.
  • Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, by Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin and Robert Cialdini – a practical guide to how psychology and marketing collide, based on much of the amazing research collated in Cialdini’s masterpiece, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
  • Alastair Campbell’s Diaries Volume One of several hundred, by the looks of things.

So that’s my list. Which book would you pick up next? And why?

Let me know.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve:
  • That is the danger of business books. They have to get to the magic 78,369 words, otherwise they won’t be published:

  • It’s a fair point. Although I have certainly found business insight in many different books over the years.

  • That is such a shame. Influence is totally wonderful (as David suggested above). If you didn’t like Yes!, don’t let it put you off Cialdiani’s masterwork

  • Hector Jansen

    On my second reading of Rework right now. Inspirational.

    How, Nicholas, a publishing a crowd sourced list of books, listed in order of when they should be read, that would inform a gaming / any kind of start up?

  • Kevin Hassall

    Authenticity is an interesting read, though in the sense of just one idea, being riffed on over and over – maybe you could just read the introduction 😉

    Predictably Irrational is a really good piece of “inteligent light reading” – it’s great in the same way that Freakonomics was great. Intelligent entertainment.

  • Marque Pierre Sondergaard
  • Glenngary

    I recommend “Black Company” by Glen Cook. It’s a well written fantasy series and will probably give you just as much business insight as any of those options (i.e. none).

  • Dudde

    You should figure this crap out for yourself man. Why should I do it? You didn’t give me one persuasive reason let alone fifty scientific proven ones!

  • Harry H

    I often buy airport-trash self help/business type books for flights as I am a bit of a sucker from that kind of thing and there are nearly always a few words of wisdom that are worthwhile – I can say that ‘YES’ is the worst of any I have ever bought. Avoid.

  • David

    If you’re doing consulting for a facebook game, “Inside Her Pretty Little Head” seems like a better choice atm.
    After that take a look at Yes! , I’ve finished it a couple of weeks ago and it’s nice (although I think that it’s a league below Influence)