Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What I've Been Reading (and What You Should Be)
I feel like I've been reading a lot of books lately (I'm always Internet reading--which is a whole other thing). But then, maybe I've just been reading a lot of easy books recently. Whatever the case may be, here are three books I read in the fine month of August.
Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee
by Alex Frankel
punchingin
Anyone who has worked or is working retail can appreciate this quote from one of Frankel's Gap co-workers: "Dude, this place fucks with time. It slows down, it crawls, it moves backwards." Amen. I didn't get through my entire high school Algebra 2 class before I was applying the laws of exponential decay to that last hour of work.

I really wanted this book to be a blow to those companies that don't carry their branding to their store employees. Some companies can pull it off, but others aren't. That interaction between the kid/part-time mom/grad student/career retailer wearing a polo at the register is more influential than any marketing dollars poured into billboards, television, and that sneaky thing described as "viral."
This is more of a memoir than a biz book, but it's good.

Next up:
Free-Range Chickens
by Simon Rich
freerangechickens
This book is such a quick read, why wouldn't you pick it up? Not all of it is funny, but there are enough funny portions to make it worth your while. You won't get upset about having to read something unfunny.

One note: Simon Rich is a year younger than me. He has published 2 books (one of which I have read and like) and writes for Saturday Night Live. Because of this, I have to hate him, as it is obligatory to hate anyone younger and more successful than yourself.

Finally:
The Hummer and The Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape
by Robyn Waters
hummerandmini
It's good, but feels dated. The book was published in 2006--it's been 3 whole years. There are a lot of good examples in the book that encourage me to think differently about branding and the biz in general, but some of the examples I've seen before. Then again, maybe it's because I read Waters's other book.

Bottom line: read it. While some examples given seem obvious, they'll be classics in 2 more years. Plus, it's a quick, insightful read.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

4 comments:

Bezzie said...

Sometimes I feel like that time this applies to my office job though too.

Bezzie said...

That's "thing" not "this"

Anonymous said...

That time thing can apply to anything that you are not 100% super excited about!

Hmmmmmmmm....I will have to see about those other books. I have never seen them at the library.
Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Interesting sounding books. I'll be looking for those books at my library. Am always for quick, interesting reads. Love, Aunt Susan