Holiday Gifts and Reading, Part 2

Piling onto Friday’s list of books worth your time over the holiday season – particularly in this part of the world where night darks early, reading’s such a warm pleasure. This actually isn’t the list I’ve got on my bedside table, but these have been books I’ve recommended for the past couple years.

41R1VGesA5L._SL500_AA240_ The Best American Short Stories 2009: These collections get anthologized every year. Always remember – as you read, so shall you write, so every now and again it’s wise read SuperHeroWriters who can lift or wreck you with nothing more than their imaginations.

On Writing: Speaking of which, I frequently get asked about my favorite book on the subject of writing. I have two. Stephen King’s take tops my list.

31Up71QDBDL._SL500_AA240_-1The Power of Less – The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself: If you have a hard time saying no to anyone or anything, Leo Babuta’s book on simplifying your life will exponentially increase your happiness. It’s my favorite book of the year so far.

Made To Stick: What makes our eyes drowse at most communication but makes my Uncle Roger forward me emails about mysterious Bathtub Kidney Thieves? The Heath brothers will show you how to make your messages memorable. And Bathtub Kidney Thieves are awesome in concert.

The Mac is Not a typewriter: Did you know you were no longer supposed to put two spaces after a period? Me, neither. Robin Williams’s (the other one) style guide for professional type layout. Nerdy but important for anyone who does this stuff.

410io3HhxzL._SL500_AA240_The Grammar Devotional – Daily Tips for Successful Writing from Grammar Girl: Love her. </crush>

The War of Art: Buy this small book if you struggle to do the things you really want to do. Steven Pressfield shares a candid self-analysis at what gets in our way when we hope to change our own world. A great gift for budding artists of any age.

Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion: Dr. Robert Cialdini’s classic national bestseller that “explains the psychology of why people say yes.” This one’s so good you won’t want to share it with many people.

Accidental Magic: I’ve given more copies of this book as gifts than any other. Perfect for aspiring writers and photographers and students of things compelling. (This is the other one …)

We’ll finish up this week with the nine books I’m cracking myself over the next several early mornings and evenings.


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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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  • Bethany

    Hi Tim,
    I just ordered 3 of the Grammar Girl books. Perfect gift ideas for my line of work. Love it. Thanks for sharing.