My Book Recommendations

by on February 16, 2012 · 14 comments

I love reading good books, and there are a few that have been instrumental to my success at Expand2Web. These are books that I’ve read several times, and learned some amazing things from.

I thought I would share them with you here, in case they are helpful to you too.

Made to Stick

by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

This is probably my favorite business book right now. I’ve read it 3 times and listened to it on audio twice. In this book, the authors examine why some ideas “stick” and others don’t. Why do we still repeat proverbs from over two thousand years ago? Why do “urban legends” spread? They deconstruct these messages and help you apply them to your own marketing with a simple checklist. I did a video review of this book here: Made to Stick – Video Book Review

Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion

by Robert Cialdini

I’m going to have my kids read this book when they get older. Very insightful, backed up by real world experiments and research, this book dives in and explores how we are all influenced. When you read it, you’ll see how you’ve been influenced by marketers and other people, and be able to watch for these things in the future. Powerful stuff.

Presentation Zen

by Garr Reynolds

I love this book for many reasons. First, it will help you prepare and deliver amazing presentations. The author helps you break out of the traditional, bullet list presentations and deliver compelling presos with great visuals. Second, it is a mini-design course as well. He explores and shares examples of great design, and after reading the book you come away with a better understanding of design concepts and aesthetics. Highly recommended!

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

by Carmine Gallo

This book is the best analysis yet of how Steve Jobs innovated and introduced phenomenal new products at Apple. I also did a video book review of this one here: The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs – Video Book Review

Predictably Irrational

by Dan Ariely

This is another experiment and research backed book (I’m a sucker for these types of books for some reason) that looks at how we behave, and how many times we behave irrationally and why. I got many insights from this book that help me in both my business and personal life.


by Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte created Al Gore’s presentation for An Inconvenient Truth. Duarte Design is located near me in Mountain view, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to attend some of her workshops. This book is outstanding, because she looks at how great presenters use “story” to make their presentations truly compelling. In this book, she shows you how to do that in your own presentations too. But the lessons you take away from this are valuable for far more than just presentations…

The E-Myth Revisited

by Michael Gerber

This is an old book, but contains timeless wisdom for the small business owner. When I started my business I struggled with trying to “do it all” and this book helps you understand that to be successful, you need to be able to surround yourself with the right people. Every time I read this book I improve my business.

How We Decide

by Jonah Lehrer

Awesome research told with vivid stories – you’ve got to read this book to understand how we all make decisions. You will literally learn how to make better decisions if you read this book.


There are so many great books – so I’ve tried to keep this list short and to the point rather than overwhelm you with tons of books to read.

I hope these books inspire you, and that you get as much out of them as I did. If you read one of them, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Boyd Butler February 17, 2012 at 11:46 am

Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko, nearly all the Dan Kennedy books, and Orbiting the Giant Hairball and Back of the Napkin – plus the usual Napoleon Hill, Gitomer, Duct Tape stuff. And Alfie Kohn is good. Along with Jay Abraham and Robert Bly and Joe Sugarman for copywriting. Plus Frank Kern for the awesome email and invention of a persona.


Don Campbell February 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

Ok you’ve read a lot of books! I like Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin a lot too. And John Janstch’s The Referral Engine. You’ve given me some others to check out there as well. Thanks.


Forrest Brandt February 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Based on your recommendation, I went to Amazon and bought “Made To Stick”. I’ll let you know what I think.


Don Campbell February 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm

You won’t be disappointed. That’s a fantastic book and you’ll take away a lot of practical things you can use.


Zach Comer February 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Thanks for your list, Dan! My list includes PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow by Chip Conley, Good to Great by Jim Collins, and The Go-Giver (a fictional and short book about business and perhaps a little cheesy but it inspires me nonetheless).


Don Campbell February 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Yes I’ve read Good to Great – my favorite chapter is the one on Level V leaders.


Robin February 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I love booklists. I’m excited. I was getting to the end of my existing list. I’ve read Influence and it is one of my best also. Thank you.


Don Campbell February 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Great – let me know what you think if you read one of these Robin!


R. Anthony Solis February 18, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Awesome list. I see a few that I don’t own, gonna have to ask my boss (wife) about re-instating my book budget. LOL.


Don Campbell February 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Yeah you’ve got to have a book budget 😉


Dee Nott February 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I’m reading Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff….amazing!


Don Campbell February 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Dee – that’s a new one to me. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!


Tom Schwab February 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I love suggested reading list. I’ve got 7 new titles added to my Kindle wish list The E-Myth is one I’ve read and tend to relisten to during long runs on my iPod. It’s a great story with a powerful message that I constantly have to keeping reminding myself about.


Tarotistas y videntes July 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm

i’m reading Influence, the psychology of persuasion, and its one of the best books of my life, its help me too much. Thans for the recomendation.


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