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Gini Dietrich

Nine Books to Give as Holiday Gifts

By: Gini Dietrich | December 20, 2010 | 
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If you shop like Martin Waxman, you have four (and a half) more shopping days. And Amazon is offering shipping that will get you your gifts on time if you order by Wednesday. So I have prepared a list of books (business and fiction) that you can buy this week and still look like a hero. It will save you time and a trip to the mall. You’re welcome.

P.S. The Amazon links are all affiliates but it won’t hurt my feelings if you just open your Kindle app and buy from there.

Business

Predictable Success. If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, it won’t come as a surprise that I love “Predictable Success” and its author Les McKeown (but don’t tell him that).  A book written for company leaders, it talks about the trials and tribulations every company experiences at different levels. I keep it on my desk for trying days so I can turn to it, read, and think, “OK. This is normal. You can get through this.” And then I do. Buy the actual book here and the eBook here.

What Would Google Do. This is a couple of years old, but “What Would Google Do” really makes you think about the web, about your customers, and about your network. And not just think about them, but how to integrate all of your circles of influence into growing a business. I still look back at the diagram I drew as I read the book, which has led us to Project Jack Bauer.  I wouldn’t give the book total credit for the shift in our business model, but it definitely helped me look at using the web differently. Buy the actual book here and the eBook here.

Drive. I’ve written a few times here about what motivates people and what I’ve learned in growing a business, taking it back down to lean and mean, and growing again. It turns out, money does not motivate people, even as much as I thought it motivated me. But then the economy went south and the real motivation came in keeping the business open. Turns out, a vision and passion are what motivates a person. Which is why I love “Drive: The Surprising Truth About what Motivates Us.” It talks about not only the philosophical views behind what motivates people, but how to find the things that keep them going to work each morning.  Buy the actual book here. The eBook isn’t available via the Amazon affiliate, but I have it on my iPad so you can definitely buy it through your app.

Fiction

The Help. This book is set during the civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Enter Eugenia Skeeter Phelan who has graduated college and living at home while trying to figure out how to become a writer. She manages to get the attention of an editor, who tells her she’ll publish her if she finds a real story to tell. So Skeeter begins to tell the stories of black women on whom the country club elite rely and mistrust. The book Skeeter writes based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving her the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams.  Buy the actual book here. The eBook isn’t available via the Amazon affiliate, but I have it on my iPad so you can definitely buy it through your app.

The Millennium Trilogy. I thought that the entire world had read these books, but then my friend Abbie Fink posted something about the movies on her Facebook wall the other day and most of her friends hadn’t read any of the three. This is a great gift because you can buy all three for the person (people) you love. The books are: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.” To say they are good is putting it mildly – I read all three over a long weekend in April. With the exception of the last book (which took about 100 pages to get in to), your gift recipients won’t be able to put them down. Buy the trilogy set here and the eBooks are above in the title links.

Same Kind of Different As Me. A book that is factual but could just as easily be fiction, tells the unlikely story of the unlikeliest of friends – Ron Hall and Denver Moore. Told in two voices, the book alternates between telling the story from the perspective of Ron and Denver. Ron Hall is a wealthy international art dealer who travels the world buying and selling rare and expensive works of art. He has grown rich but has also grown selfish and has grown away from his family. When Ron Hall reluctantly volunteers at a homeless shelter (at the insistence of his wife) he soon comes into contact with Denver, a man his wife is convinced is going to change the city. Denver grew up as a sharecropper in Louisiana, living a life that seemed little different from the life of his ancestors one hundreds years before. He eventually walked away from the cotton fields and found that, while life on the streets of Fort Worth was difficult, it was easier than being a sharecropper. It was here, in a homeless shelter, that the two men met, one serving food and the other being a reluctant recipient of this charity.  Buy both the actual book and eBook here. Just click on the edition you want.

Sarah’s Key. This book fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d’Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél’ d’Hiv’ roundups. Julia soon learns the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants, including Sarah, the child. Buy both the actual book and the eBook here. Just click on which edition you want.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

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