Taking Stock of My Reading, 20 books in 2015

Taking Stock of My Reading, 20 books in 2015While I am significantly behind the power curve, I still wanted to share what I was reading in 2015. Reading helps to shape my ideas and helps to develop a plan forward. If you have been aware of what I do and how I do it, you can see the impact books have had. Here is what I had read and blogged about in 2015:


ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income – As someone who maintains a blog, I am looking for ways to improve my blog and I thought what better way to find improvement tips than from folks who make money at it. I was right. In ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income*, there are a wealth of tips for putting together a better blog. Read more
On Your Mark – From First Word to First Draft in Six Weeks – At the 2015 ATD-ICE conference, I sat in on a presentation given by Cathy Fyock. She spoke about the importance of writing for your career. More importantly, she spoke about getting a book written in the shortest amount of time possible. As she noted in her presentation, she wanted to model that behavior and wrote her book, On Your Mark: From First Word to First Draft in Six Weeks*. Yes, she did it in six weeks. There is lots of good advice in this book. Read more
Dictate Your Book: How to Write Your Book Faster, Better, and Smarter – Recently, I finish reading a new book, and now, I’m putting what I learned into practice. The book is called Dictate Your Book: How To Write Your Book Faster, Better, and Smarter (Growth Hacking For Storytellers)*, written by Monica Leonelle. So right as I wrote this blog post, I actually spoke to you. Read more
5,000 Words Per Hour – Write Faster, Write Smarter: Write Faster, Write Smarter – If you are interested in writing, I think you’ll like this book. 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter* written by Chris Fox talks about being able to write faster which yields to more productivity as a writer. As a bonus, Fox also includes tools to help you keep track of your writing speed. Read more
How to Blog a Book – If you have been following my posts, especially, my book reviews, you will notice that I am interested in improving my ability to generate written content. One of my goals is to write a book. Right now, I have six ideas percolating but I need to knock one out. I think I have tripped upon a method to help make this possible. It is based on Nina Amir’s book, How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time*. Read more


Rework – The recommendation to read Rework* came to me through the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast. It had been mentioned on a number of occasions and I thought I should take a look. After reading it, I can understand why many are recommending it. In this book, the authors, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson share the secrets of their successful company 37signals. I am very interested in how companies broke the code and became successful. I believe these lessons can be leveraged for my current work as well as non-profits I am engaged in. There are definitely lessons to be learned from this book. Read more
Permission Marketing -Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers – I cannot believe Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers is over 15 years old, and I had not read it. It is a book I believe every small business owner should read. At its core, it is about developing and nurturing relationships so they are eager to buy into your product. This book has a lot of overlap with the ideas of Referral Engine*. Rather than spend (waste) a lot of money advertising to people who may or may not be interested in your product, grow your lists of people who are actually interested in what you offer. Get to learn about those people and target your programming or products accordingly. Read more
Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable – If you want to stand out from the crowd, you cannot simply be very good. According to Seth Godin, you have to be remarkable. Godin offered this advice in his book, Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable*. As I write this post from my office at a community college in a small corner of New York, I am wondering what makes this college remarkable enough to distinguish itself from the hundreds of other community colleges across the nation. Read more
Obvious Adams – The Story of a Successful Businessman – While listening to another episode of Entrepreneurs on Fire, I learned about a book called Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman*. It is a story of a successful businessman written by Robert R. Updegraff. During the podcast, they indicated that this was a very good book on marketing and that everyone should read it, so naturally I did. Read more


Evidence-based Training Methods – A Guide for Training Professionals – Very simply put, if you educate others whether in higher ed, Extension, or as a volunteer, I strongly recommend you pick up a copy and read Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals* by Ruth Colvin Clark. Actually, I recommend that you pick up the second edition because it recently came out, and I am quite confident new topics have been discussed and recent research added. Clark basically pooled research together to explain best instructional practices along with busting common instructional myths in a very readable tone. Her book reflected the lessons she shared throughout the book. This is another book that will hold a key place in my reference library. Read more
What Connected Educators Do Differently – Being connected is something I believe has helped me succeed. Being connected and “working out loud” is something that the Association for Talent Development advocates and I have taken to heart. Naturally, I am always looking for ideas to help improve what I am doing as well as ideas to share with other educators. The book, What Connected Educators Do Differently*, has helped to validate what I am doing and provided me with new ideas. Read more
John Dewey and the Future of Community College Education – I was asked to write a book review on Cliff Harbour’s book, John Dewey and the Future of Community College Education* for the Journal of Transformative Leadership & Policy Studies. It was an honor and pleasure to do this review. Read more

Email Marketing

Email Marketing Demystified – Build a Massive Mailing List, Write Copy that Converts and Generate More Sales – While listening to Entrepreneurs on Fire I was introduced to another great book to read. This book discusses the importance of controlling your own email list. The book is called Email Marketing Demystified: Build a Massive Mailing List, Write Copy that Converts and Generate More Sales* and was written by Matthew Paulson. By maintaining his own email list and monetizing it, Paulson put together an annual revenue of $2.5 million. Got your attention? Read more


Evernote Mastery – Exactly How to Use Evernote to Organize Your Life, Manage Your Day & Get Things Done – “It is now more [sic] easier than ever before to save ideas, memories and moments for future reference” (Clydesbank Media, 2014, Introduction). This was in the introduction to Evernote: Mastery – Exactly How To Use Evernote To Organize Your Life, Manage Your Day & Get Things Done* by ClydeBank Media, LLC. Always looking to learn more about Evernote, I took a chance on this book; unfortunately, I was hoping for more. Read more
How to Use Evernote for Writing & Research – Whenever I see a book on Evernote, I get pretty excited; I am always looking for new ways to leverage this powerful tool. I just recently picked up a book called How to Use Evernote for Writing and Research* by Nancy Hendrickson. In this book. Hendrickson talked about how to leverage Evernote to organize all her research and writing projects. She explained Evernote was her go to online service for collecting everything, and I wholeheartedly agree. Read more


Tribes – I have had Seth Godin’s book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us* sitting on my iPad for a long time. I had started it, and for some reason, I did not get very far on the first attempt. I just gave it another chance, and I am glad that I did. This is the second book I have read of his and I am rapidly becoming a Seth Godin fan. I believe Tribes has an important message. It is one I have believed in and spoke about, even before reading his book. Read more


The ONE Thing – The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – What is the ONE thing you could do that will help you achieve your goals? This is what Gary Keller and Jay Papasan asked in their book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results*. Actually, they ask you to find the ONE Thing about many different topics.

Always interested in how to get more out of my day, I always felt I was missing something. I discovered this book while listening to Entrepreneurs on Fire—a podcast focusing on entrepreneurs. This book helped me find a clearer path to my goals. I have already started to apply some of the lessons to my work and I am happy with the results. I also forewarned my team that we would be using some of these ideas to knock out some of our team goals. Read more

Start – Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters – Do you want to become awesome? Then start.

Jon Acuff pointed out in his book, Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters*, that to move from average to awesome, you have to start. While you will not achieve awesome overnight, by starting you are on your way. Read more

The 5 A.M. Miracle – Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast – Based on a recommendation, once again from Entrepreneurs on Fire, I picked up the book The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast* by Jeffrey Sanders. I have to say that I’m very pleased with the book. Basically, this one book pulls together everything that I’ve been trying to implement at my job all in one place. Almost all of the concepts are highlighted in this book. Read more

Social Media

Smart Social Media – Your Guide to Becoming a Highly Paid Social Media Manager – Just getting my new business off the ground, I thought I could benefit from all the advice I could get.  Lasse Rouhiainen’s book, Smart Social Media: Your Guide To Becoming A Highly Paid Social Media Manager*, proved to have some gems hidden in it. I will capitalize on his advice as I develop a business to help others figure out how to leverage social media. Read more

Here are my lists for the past few years:

I am already getting 2016 off to a good start. I look forward to the new things I will learn. You are also welcome to join me on Modern Mrs. Darcey’s 2016 Reading Challenge. If you have some recommendations you think I will like, please leave a comment.

* In the spirit of full disclosure, this is an affiliate link, which means that if you purchase this item through my link I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.
Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. 🙂 Thank you, in advance for your support!