Back to School Reading for the Social Set

Seth Godin’s recent blog post “From Asimov to Zelazny” sparked a lively discussion on a digital marketing and web advocate listserve we subscribe to through Web of Change. In his post, Godin talks about his love for science fiction. He tells of the hours he spent in his high school library reading the sci-fi collection (a telling detail into his awkward teenage years!) and how that reading would impact his future work:

“What I discovered … was that domain knowledge, edge to edge knowledge of a field, was incredibly valuable. It helped me understand where the edges were, and it gave me the confidence to be selective, to develop a taxonomy, to see what was going on.”

The post was shared on our listserv and a reading list sprung forth that we’re pretty sure even Godin would approve of. This reading list is a mix of recommendations that cover everything from organizing to digital advocacy, traditional marketing and inspiration.

We consider it our back-to-school reading as we prepare for September and the Web of Change conference.

Reading List

Beyond the Echo Chamber: How a Networked Progressive Media Can Reshape American Politics By Jessica Clark & Tracy Van Slyke

Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming By Paul Hawken

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose By Tony Hsieh

Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web By Brian Solis

Friends with Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook By Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo (yeah, we snuck our book in)

Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed By Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman and Michael Patton

Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems By Van Jones

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies By Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing with Organizations By Clay Shirky

Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World By Margaret J Wheatley

Momentum: Igniting Social Change in a Connected Age By Allison Fine

Rework By Jason Fried and David Heinenmeier Hansson

Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes By Katya Andreson

Rules for Radicals By Saul Alinsky

Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web By David Weinberger

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard By Chip and Dan Heath

The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change By Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith

The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change By Allison Fine, Beth Kanter and Randi Zuckerberg

The Purpose Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message and Mission By Rick Warren

The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them By Lisa Witter and Lisa Chen

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations By Ori Brafman

The Tao of Leadership By John Heider

Trust-based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long-Term Relationships By Charles Green

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything By Don Tapscott

You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto By Jaron Lanier