Top Business Books Read by Marketing Leaders Around the World - Part One

According to research conducted by the University of Sussex, reading is an incredibly effective way to combat stress, beating out activities like listening to music, taking a tea or coffee break and even getting some light exercise. Study researcher, Dr. David Lewis says, “It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination."

To up your game and allow you to indulge in a little R&R, we asked top marketers from around the world to recommend their favorite books, explain why they love them and how these books have improved their lives. Here's part one, in our two part blog series, which focuses on books for creating killer content and systematically achieving your goals. 

Roger C. Parker
Content marketer and author
Blogger at: & Content Marketing Institute
Dover, New Hampshire



Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi. The author, who coined the term “content marketing,” provides his unique perspective about founding the Content Marketing Institute and the challenges they faced before its pivot point—or, as he says, its “content tilt.” He also outlines a roadmap of the six steps to business startup success any entrepreneur or nonprofit executive can apply.


Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content 

by Ann Handley. I’ve been reading, downloading and printing Ann’s marketing columns since the 1990s. She’s a masterful writer and storyteller. In her latest book, she holds nothing back and shares the details of her writing process as it has evolved.

I think she’s managed to write a better book about the process of writing than anyone else including Elements of Style by Strunk & White and On Writing by Stephen King. I find her book tremendously inspiring because she is open about the challenges and frustrations she faces when turning ideas into reality.


And for a bit of entertainment, I recommend the Spenser for Hire collection, as well as the series of Boston-based mystery books. Robert Parker (no relation) wrote over 100 of these books, plus a few more in the other sets. Although recently deceased, two new authors have continued Robert’s most popular series and fresh titles appear each year. I recently purchased two of the new titles and I’m happy to say that they continue to deliver pure relaxation and pleasure.


Bruno Padinha
Management Consultant, EY
Lisbon, Portugal





One of my all-time favorite business books is Getting Things Done by David Allen. The book is a bit old, but still the best personal productivity system I know and the only one I use. 

I like Getting Things Done for my personal workflow system because it's based on simple, almost intuitive rules. The rules focus on optimizing how you deal with all the stuff in your life - from major endeavors to little errands while at the same time getting a lot of stuff out of your mind until you really want to deal with it. 

The productivity tips in Getting Things Done always help me feel in control whether I’m going through calm or hectic times. Additionally, Getting Things Done is not based on an actual app or gadget; it's more like a set of concepts and principles you can apply to your work as you please.


More recently, I enjoyed Scott Adams' (of Dilbert fame) How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, which describes some of his approaches to life, like the "systems vs. goals" which I think are down-to-earth ways to focus on what really matters in life.




My top choice for a pleasure-reading book that I’d like to recommend is Exploring Calvin and Hobbes: An Exhibition Catalogue by Bill Watterson. It not only has reprints of some of his best comic strips in the series, but also has a lengthy interview with the author in which he reveals much of the reasoning behind this great strip.

The Calvin and Hobbes series has always been a favorite of mine. I love the main character, how he epitomizes the six-year-old kid who wants to have a great time having fun with his pals (essentially, his stuffed tiger who is alive for him), playing nonsense games, inventing space opera adventures and dealing with school bullies and girls in his own way.

How about You?

What’s your favorite business book of 2016? Share your suggestions in the comments section.