Read a Book DayBy Gini Dietrich

There is a new “challenge” going around on Facebook right now.

People are asking you to list 10 books that have affected your life in some way.

The rules are: Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Tag some friends and you’re done!

I’ve been tagged by three people (thank you Kate Nolan, Bill Smith, and Pascale Bishop) and I’ve had a hard time with it. Because, you know, “don’t think too hard” doesn’t apply when you’re asked to choose just 10 books.


But then I read that September 6 is Read a Book Day and decided to not only take the challenge, but to post it here (albeit a couple of days early).

You know, in honor of GO READ A BOOK (I type this as I settle down to watch episode 5 of season 3 of The Killing on Netflix).

Read a Book Day

  1. What Would Google Do. I read this when I was trying to decide how to transition Arment Dietrich and what the web might do for the business. The result began with “Arment Dietrich is No Longer a PR Firm” in 2010.
  2. The Night Circus. I read this in the middle of my quest to write fiction (a project that has been backburner’d, but will make a comeback) and thought the writing was spectacular. So good, in fact, it scared me a bit from my own project.
  3. The Light Between Oceans. For some reason, this book totally got into my soul. I sobbed and sobbed while I read. And I can’t get it out of my brain.
  4. Harry Potter. (Howie Goldfarb, you zip it!) Yes, the entire series. I got into them 15 years ago, when Mr. D and I first became acquainted. I convinced him to read them—and I’m still convinced he did it just to impress me—and then we had lots to talk about. Those books began a great relationship our marriage has with books.
  5. The Lost Son. My college advisor—Brent Spencer—wrote this book. I remember the first class I had with him. He taught us a new language. On the first day, he wrote on the board, “Xter” and said, “You must learn my language. This means character.” I’ll never forget that.
  6. Little House on the Prairie. I’m not sure how many times I read every book in that series (my mom can probably tell you), but I loved them as a kid. It’d be interesting to go back and read them again.
  7. Groundswell. The timing of this book was perfect because it was right when Robert Scoble was talking about this Twitter thing and many of us were trying to figure out what social media meant to us personally and professionally. I still refer back to it quite often, particularly when working with clients who are scared to jump into the fray.
  8. The Fountainhead. When I was a junior in high school, I chose this as my “freebie” book. I’ll never forget my English teacher telling my parents that it was a pretty heady book for a 16-year-old and he was impressed I not only read it, but totally understood it. Of course, I feel differently about it as an adult, but it was pretty mind blowing at that age.
  9. Me Talk Pretty One Day. This was my introduction to David Sedaris and it was perfect. I remember I was in New York City, working on a celebrity chef program for The Catfish Institute and a colleague recommended it. I started reading it on the flight home and I laughed so hard—and out loud—that I had to stop reading and put it in the overhead so I could stop embarrassing myself.
  10. Trixie Belden. Until I thought about Little House on the Prairie, I’d totally forgotten about Trixie Belden! I’m fairly certain I read every book in that series 1,000 times. It also is interesting that I still love detective stories (hello, The Killing!). Some things never change.

Your Turn

I’ll officially tag people on Facebook when I post this there, but I’d like to challenge each of you to think about the 10 books that have changed your life in some way.

If you’re so inclined, I’d love to see the list in the comments here.

If you’ve already taken the challenge, copy and paste it!

And let’s make a pact to get everyone to read a book on September 6!

P.S. The photo is of the timeline I kept while reading The Night Circus. It was that intense!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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