The best stocking stuffer books that’ll stick with ‘em, and lead ‘em to success

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with a lot of misconceptions. It wasn’t until I got out in the world and experienced life for myself that I began to see that I didn’t necessarily agree with what I’d been taught (or conditioned to believe). I learned that if I wanted to know the truth, I’d have to learn it for myself… These 5 books offered me a different perspective, and made me see things in a new light. They helped me succeed as a person, an artist, and as a human being… I hope they will help you and your loved ones, too. 


I wrote...

1,001 People That Suck

By Kerri Kochanski,

Book cover of 1,001 People That Suck

What is my book about?

This classic pop culture/humor book features a rhyming list of 1,001 People That Suck, along with black & white illustrations, quotes, quips, and observations about the state of global humanity. It champions kindness & understanding, encourages self-reflection, and issues a call for social change.

The definitive guide to bad humanity, unkind behavior, and people who just plain *suck*.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy

Kerri Kochanski Why did I love this book?

This book breaks down illusions about wealth and gives it to ‘em straight.

Just because you think a person has money, it doesn’t mean that they have money. In fact, those who flaunt their wealth could actually be headed for disaster, as they spend their dollars on an endless effort to impress, one-up, and reward themselves. And because they are spending money they are not saving money. So while their bank account plateaus (or worse, depletes), the account of the unassuming, unflashy neighbor next-door flourishes, as he invests, saves, and plans—placing the max amount of $ into his 401K—until he eventually becomes, the “millionaire next door”… The save vs. spend principle seems obvious here, but the psychology of spending is not. It is curious and complicated, fascinating and (sometimes) hard to fathom… So it's good there is a book out there that examines wealth and de-bunks perception, so that people can uncover the truth and place themselves on a path to financial success, rather than waste their funds, trying to keep up with the Joneses.

By Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Millionaire Next Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don't live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue-they live next door. This new edition, the first since 1998, includes a new foreword for the twenty-first century by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley.


Book cover of Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

Kerri Kochanski Why did I love this book?

This book destroys the long-held notion that artists must earn money solely from their art, in order to be considered “true” artists… Many artists have day jobs, either by choice or necessity—and just because they don’t “make money” from their art, it doesn’t mean that they’re not real artists. In fact, they may be better off working outside of their art. For jobs worked outside their passions can provide them with new perspectives and unexpected circumstances which they can use to inform/enhance the art. Also, those who are not at the top of their fields can earn steady paychecks and gain an opportunity to live more comfortable livesand they can use their earnings to support and further their art… In the end, it’s all about the quality of the work. Not about how many hours you spend creating it, or the amount of money you were paid (or not paid) to create it.

By Jeff Goins,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Real Artists Don't Starve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is a competitive advantage in the marketplace.?

The myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. The truth is that the world's most successful artists did not starve. In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength.

In Real Artists Don't Starve, bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with…


Book cover of The Mystic in the Theatre: Eleonora Duse

Kerri Kochanski Why did I love this book?

This book shows how Eleonora Duse, a great theatre artist in the late 18th Century, supplanted her ego to improve her art. By stripping away all pretense, she was able to exist in her essence, and create the purest form of art. It is a must-read for any actor who wants to master their craft.     

Book cover of Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Kerri Kochanski Why did I love this book?

You never know how good you have it, until you see someone who doesn’t have it as good. 

This book takes you inside a Mumbai slum, where you get to experience life as a young boy who earns a living as a trash picker. Humbling and heartbreaking, Abdul’s experience will make you feel grateful for any little bit of everything you have, and it may end up even leaving you transformed.

By Katherine Boo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Behind the Beautiful Forevers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE

“Inspiring . . . extraordinary . . . [Katherine Boo] shows us how people in the most desperate circumstances can find the resilience to hang on to their humanity. Just as important, she makes us care.”—People

“A tour de force of social justice reportage and a literary masterpiece.”—Judges, PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award 

ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • USA Today •…


Book cover of The Twenty-Five Deeds of Hanson Drake

Kerri Kochanski Why did I love this book?

This warm, charming, slightly-odd novel celebrates the Christmas spirit, and makes one realize what’s important in life. Slow, meditative, understated, and engaging, it’s the perfect book to read during the holiday season. It is best read over the course of some nights, so that the chapters can be pondered and savored.

By Briar Kit Esme,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Twenty-Five Deeds of Hanson Drake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INTRODUCTION, November 2016

Nearly three years have passed since I wrote "Hanson Drake". Three years, and more than a million letters and emails sent from eight million readers around the world asking questions about Hanson Drake’s life.

What can I possibly tell them?

Tell you?

BLURB
Hanson Drake has five hundred million in the bank and a house on the beach overlooking the ocean. As the writer of the world’s favourite song, he hasn’t had to do a day’s work in his life.

Stung into action by a derisive article in a national newspaper, Hanson Drake decides to change his…


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Me and The Times: My wild ride from elevator operator to New York Times editor, columnist, and change agent (1967-97)

By Robert W. Stock,

Book cover of Me and The Times: My wild ride from elevator operator to New York Times editor, columnist, and change agent (1967-97)

Robert W. Stock Author Of Me and The Times: My wild ride from elevator operator to New York Times editor, columnist, and change agent (1967-97)

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Journalist Punster Family-phile Ex-jock Friend

Robert's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Me and The Times offers a fresh perspective on those pre-internet days when the Sunday sections of The New York Times shaped the country’s political and cultural conversation. Starting in 1967, Robert Stock edited seven of those sections over 30 years, innovating and troublemaking all the way.

His memoir is rich in anecdotes and admissions. At The Times, Jan Morris threw a manuscript at him, he shared an embarrassing moment with Jacqueline Kennedy, and he got the paper sued for $1 million. Along the way, Rod Laver challenged Stock to a tennis match, he played a clarinet duet with superstar Richard Stoltzman, and he shared a Mafia-spiced brunch with Jerry Orbach.

Me and The Times: My wild ride from elevator operator to New York Times editor, columnist, and change agent (1967-97)

By Robert W. Stock,

What is this book about?

An intimate, unvarnished look at the making of the Sunday sections of The New York Times in their pre-internet heyday, back when they shaped the country’s political and cultural conversation.

Over 30 years, Robert Stock edited seven of those sections, innovating, and troublemaking all the way – getting the paper sued for $1 million, locking horns with legendary editors Abe Rosenthal and Max Frankel, and publishing articles that sent the publisher Punch Sulzberger up the wall.

On one level, his memoir tracks Stock’s amazing career from his elevator job at Bonwit Teller to his accidental entry into journalism to his…


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