11 More Books That All Community Professionals Should Read (Plus A Giveaway!)


I wrote a post about a year ago where I shared some of my favorite books that I read over the last year.  

I’m a firm believer that you can supercharge your knowledge through reading books and longer essays. While it takes longer to read and is harder to digest than a short, 300 word top ten list trends piece, the upside and takeaways are also significantly higher. Not to mention, the shelf life of a good book is much, much longer than any blog post.

In general, I read about 1-2 books a month. I used to speed read a lot more. But over the years, I’ve started reading less books over all, and have gotten much better about prioritizing what I choose to read next. It is very easy to just read the latest “Amazon bestseller” that blows up on Twitter. Seeing how easy it is to game bestseller status, I realized my approach was flawed.  I was reading a bunch of books quickly, but they were poorly written and didn’t have many actionable takeaways.  A couple of years ago, I started to implement a system where I would only read a book once I heard about it in three different channels (ideally in-person, on one of the tightly curated email newsletters that I subscribe to and through a friend on Twitter). Then from there, I add and rank it on my Goodreads account. 

As you can see in my recommendations below, many of these books aren’t traditional community management or marketing books. I certainly read my fair share of those books, but I’ve found the more I stray away to other topics, the more I can make connections and apply new strategies that I otherwise wouldn’t have made.

Here’s the 11 books that I’ve read and thoroughly appreciated over the last year (in random order).

1. Steal like an Artist–  Austin Kleon

2. Rising Strong – Brene Brown

3. You’re Never Weird on the Internet – Felicia Day

4. Anything You Want – Derek Sivers

5. The #AskGaryVee Book: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media and Self Awareness – Gary Vaynerchuk

6. The Power of Broke – Daymond John

7. Disrupted – Dan Lyons

8. Hug Your Haters–  Jay Baer

9. Unmistakable: Why Only is Better than Best – Srinivas Rao

10. So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Cal Newport

11. The Pumpkin Plan – Michael Michalowicz

Some of these books are written by authors that I’ve looked up to for years including Gary Vaynerchuk, Jay Baer, Derek Sivers and Brene Brown.

A couple of these books were very well-written and entertaining narratives like Felicia Day’s and Dan Lyons’ books.

All of these books though left me with several actionable nuggets and takeaways. Here’s some of my favorite quotes from a few of these books.

  • “In today’s world, meaningful differences between businesses are rarely rooted in price or product, but instead in customer experience.”  – Jay Baer
  • “Ideas are shit. Execution is the name of the game. Just. Make. It. Happen.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
  • “You are in fact a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences.”  – Austin Kleon
  • “Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently doing what’s not working.”  – Derek Sivers
  • “You either walk into your story and own your truth, or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness.”  – Brene Brown
  • “We are most dangerous to ourselves and to the people around us when we feel powerless. Powerlessness leads to fear and desperation.”  – Brene Brown

As a special treat to anyone who reads this blog (First, thank you!), I’ll give away 5 of these books (whichever 5 you want) to one lucky reader. 

There’s two chances to win a copy of these books:

1. The first and easiest way is to sign up for my email list here.
(No Spam guaranteed! I promise I won’t email you more than twice a month.) 

2. Or, follow me on Instagram here and then share this post on your Instagram account (either as a shoutout in one of your Instagram stories or on your profile). Once you share it, send me an Instagram DM or tag me in the post to let me know that you did it.

The deadline to enter is Saturday September 17th. 

I’ll choose and announce one lucky winner to my subscriber list via email list on Sunday September 18th.

About the author

Jessica Malnik

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