My Shelves: A Look at My Books

Todd And recently posted a beautiful picture of his bookshelves and then "pulled" a few books off the shelf to share with his readers.  Then, he tagged a few of us to follow suit.  I’m willing to do so…but first I want to issue this disclaimer.

What you are about to see will frighten small children, may scar you for life and will tell you way more about me than you probably want to know.  Proceed with caution. 

If you come to our house, you’re going to quickly catch on to a couple things.

  • I love books.
  • I’m a little anal.

So put on your seat belt and let’s tour Drew’s bookshelves.  And yes, the books are shelved based on my own dewey decimal system! 

Bookshelf #1 — The marketing, branding and business books


Some of my favorites on this shelf include my personal business troika.  If I never read another author — I will always make time for Beckwith, Calloway and Farber. They are timeless, fresh and inspiring.

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith

All of Harry Beckwith’s books should be on your must own list.  In Selling the Invisible, Beckwith summarizes key points about selling services learned from experience with his own advertising and marketing firm and when he worked with Fortune 500 companies. he doesn’t write — he tells stories to make his on target marketing messages come to life. 

by Ricardo Semler

This book captured my imagination as a business owner.  First published in Brazil in 1988 as Turning the Tables , this book was the all-time best-selling nonfiction book in Brazil’s history. Semler, the 34-year-old CEO, or "counselor," of Semco, a Brazilian manufacturing firm, describes how he turned his successful company into a "natural business" in which employees hire and evaluate their bosses, dress however they want, participate in major decisions, and share in 22 percent of the profits.

Indispensable by Joe Calloway

Indispensable goes straight to the heart of the issue and reveals how successful companies-of any size, in virtually any manufacturing, selling, or service endeavor-achieve market leadership through The Five Drivers of fierce customer loyalty. Indispensable shows readers how to:
    * Create and sustain momentum: overcome organizational inertia and keep moving forward
    * Develop habitual dependability: make consistency of performance a defining characteristic
    * Connect continuously
    * See the Big Picture Outcome: create compelling customer experiences
    * Engage, Enchant, Enthrall: make magic in the marketplace

Radical Leap by Steve Farber

This book gave me permission to lead my company, employees and clients the way I knew in my heart was right.  Using words like passion and love in the workplace may seem foreign or too soft — but it is really what it’s all about.  This book is about business, leadership, energy, audacity and love.

Bookshelf #2 — My passions (with a couple exceptions)

05bookshelf2_2 This bookshelf is a blend of whimsy, finance books, poetry, sports, and of course, a few poker books. But here are some of my heart’s favorites.

The Artful Dodger by  Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda has been called Baseball’s ambassador.  He let the Dodgers to many moments of glory. He bleeds Dodger blue and if you know me well, you know that I do too. This is Tommy’s story, his way.

The Mickey Mouse Watch by Robert Heide & John Gilman

Pretty much everyone knows that I am a student of Walt Disney and love most things Disney.  But what you may not know is that I only wear collectible Mickey Mouse watches.  This book is a very good primer into the world of Disney watches.

Selections from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

I must admit, this is as much a sentimental favorite as anything else. This edition was printed in 1961 and my grandfather, who inspired my love of reading, gave it to me when I was young.  Inside, he wrote: "All that mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books."  Thomas Carlyle.

I think my grandfather would have loved the richness of blogs.

Bookshelf #3 — My ultimate passion — being a dad

This built-in bookshelf is filled with books about being a dad of a daughter and my collection of dad/daughter figurines.  (Its companion on the other side of the fireplace is filled with our DVDs but that’s another post!)

09bookshelf6 Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons

I had no idea girls  were so cruel to each other. This book scared the heck out of me, but it also was such an eye-opener.  I feel much better prepared for the teen years.

The author, who visited 30 schools and talked to 300 girls, catalogues c hilling and heartbreaking acts of aggression, including the silent treatment, note-passing, glaring, gossiping, ganging up, fashion police, and being nice in private/mean in public. She decodes the vocabulary of these sneak attacks, explaining, for example, three ways to parse the meaning of "I’m fat."

Lotions, Potions and Slime Mudpies by Nancy Blakey

This book is filled with recipes for laughter-filled afternoons.  Whether you are growing a mighty mold  garden or making your own silly slime — this book is packed with memories in the making.

What a Difference a Daddy Makes by Dr. Kevin Leman

There are many very wise moments in this book.  Leman talks about using every day as an imprintable opportunity and that every "big" talk is really a series of daily conversations that should start when your daughter is a toddler and continue on forever.  The stats and stories remind the reader just how critical it is to be an engaged dad.

Bookshelf #4 — Collectible books (by my definition) and the audio collection

This built-in bookshelf in the guest room protects my "books I will never, ever get rid of." Some are by authors that I consider almost sacred. Others are books that were my dad’s when he was a kid and yet others are some of my daughter’s favorites that have a special meaning for me. It’s also where the audio books are kept.  We’ve become quite the lending library of books on CD.


Early Autumn by Robert B. Parker

If I could only read one mystery author, Parker would be it.  he not only writes excellent mysteries but his books are also filled with human insight and struggles. I have a hardback of every book he has ever written.  He’s best known for creating the character, Spenser. (who was later the star of the TV series, Spenser for Hire).  Early Autumn is one of my favorites.

Minnie ‘n Me: The Perfect Bow by Lyn Calder (A Golden Super Shape Book)

I cannot begin to guess how many times I read this book out loud.  It tells the story of Minnie Mouse bringing her dog FiFi to school for show and tell day.  It also tells the story of a dad who read to his daughter every night for much of her early childhood, hoping to instill a love of stories and books.

Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire (CD series) by JK Rowling

This is my favorite of the Harry Potter series so far.  But what makes it absolutely remarkable is the voice work of Jim Dale.  I listen to a lot of audio books. Bar none, this is the most amazing performance I have ever heard.  By the way, this series is not just for kids.  But you owe it to yourself to hear Dale’s work.

Bookshelf #5 — Books on creativity and writing

This over burdened, not so fancy, put it together myself bookshelf is buckling under the weight of books on writing better, creativity and selling your writing.  It sits in my red walled office!

07bookshelf4 Woe is I by Patricia O’Conner

Unlike a lot of books about language, this one is light, witty and actually fun to read.  It really should be right next to everyone’s copy of The Elements of Style.

The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray

The title pretty much sums it up. Ray, a former teacher, walks you step-by-step through the process of going from blank page to finished novel in 52 weeks.  He uses the same program to create his own mysteries series, featuring sleuth Matt Murdock.

The Artist’s Way at Work by Mark Bryan

This entire series is excellent for shaking the cobwebs out of your creativity.  This particular book focuses on the workplace and how to infuse it with adventure, innovation, creativity and satisfaction.  It’s a great blend of reading and working through exercises to help you sharpen the saw.

Bookshelf #6 — Books next to be read/books to be read again

08bookshelf5 This master bedroom bookshelf (and some floor space next to it) is where I stack the "next to be reads" and the books that are either sentimental or so remarkable that I want to re-read them.

Monkeywrench by PJ Tracy

This is the first book in a mystery series that I find very addictive.  It’s set in my home state of Minnesota and features some techno geek software writers as well as some flawed but very likable cops.  An interesting fact — PJ Tracy is actually a mother/daughter team who write the mysteries together.

The Journey of Desire by John Eldredge

This book smashes the myth that we desire too much.  But according to the author, our most important mission is to bring our heart along in our life’s journey.  This book gives you the courage to step out and chase your truest desires and deepest passi ons with God by your side.

Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins

I can’t begin to explain a Tom Robbins novel.  They are filled with satirical complexities that you sort of need to experience.  From the back of the book — Still Life With Woodpecker is sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the differences between criminals and outlaws, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty and pregnant cheerleaders.  It’s a wild ride, but it will have you thinking all along the way.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

This classic tells the story of a young couple, rich in love but poor in pennies. For Christmas, they both sacrifice a beloved possession to buy the other a gift. Not only is it a story about gratitude and giving (which are two of the three words in my personal mission statement) but it is also masterfully written.  Each sentence is a work of art. Top it all off with the fact that it was a very sentimental gift…and you can see why its on the list.

Whew….well, if anyone is still actually reading this — we’ve come to the end.  You’ve now discovered that I am a book addict and that my need for order has forced many a bookshelf into this home.  I’d strongly encourage you to try a book or two on the list.  And as you might imagine, I’m happy to talk books any day!

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