100 books like Alchemy

By Rory Sutherland,

Here are 100 books that Alchemy fans have personally recommended if you like Alchemy. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Halo Effect... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers

Nathan Kracklauer Author Of The 12-Week MBA: Learn the Skills You Need to Lead in Business Today

From my list on unconventional takes on leadership and management.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a wannabe rockstar studying philosophy and mathematics, never in my wildest nightmare did I imagine I would one day earn a living traveling the world, helping corporate managers become better bosses. But in unexpected ways, all the different strands of my interests and passions have woven together into a work-life well lived, with over two decades of experience and contemplation distilled down into this book I have co-written with my friend and business partner, Bjorn Billhardt, CEO of Abilitie.

Nathan's book list on unconventional takes on leadership and management

Nathan Kracklauer Why did Nathan love this book?

There are so many golden calves in the world of management and leadership theory, and this book knocks nine of them down politely but mercilessly.

My favorite chapter: “The Delusion of Rigorous Research,” coming from a business school professor who knows first-hand what he’s talking about. I’m encumbered by philosophical training, and in the business world, I constantly find myself asking, “Yes, but what does that word actually mean?” or “What kind of evidence could support that claim, and is that evidence you could actually collect?”

More and more content about how to succeed in business and management gets produced by humans, and increasingly by AI. In that context, I’m grateful for books like this one that focus more on “how” than on “what” to think.

By Phil Rosenzweig,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Halo Effect... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do some companies prosper while others fail? Despite great amounts of research, many of the studies that claim to pin down the secret of success are based in pseudoscience. The Halo Effect is the outcome of that pseudoscience, a myth that Philip Rosenzweig masterfully debunks in THE HALO EFFECT. The Halo Effect describes the tendency of experts to point to the high financial performance of a successful company and then spread its golden glow to all of the company's attributes - clear strategy, strong values, and brilliant leadership. But in fact, as Rosenzweig clearly illustrates, the experts are not…


Book cover of The Hobbit

Jessica Disciacca Author Of Awakening the Dark Throne

From my list on books that will get you completely obsessed with the world of dark fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing for years and reading forever. Fantasy books have always been my number one go to as far as genres. I loved how they would teleport me to a new world, allowing me to leave behind reality. The characters became my friends. The worlds became my homes. I couldn’t get enough and still can’t. As I got older, my imagination never stopped. I was constantly creating dreamworld and character plots in my head. Eventually, I started writing, needing the characters to stop talking. The only way to do that was to get them on paper. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop.

Jessica's book list on books that will get you completely obsessed with the world of dark fantasy

Jessica Disciacca Why did Jessica love this book?

The adventure here alone makes me want to pick up a bow and fire away!

I love the mixture of characters and personalities. The journey they go on, the relationships created, the personal growth of each character, and the suspense had me staying up late to finish the entire reading in one sitting. I enjoyed how Tolkien sets the stage for each race of character. You can identify them from the way they speak, dress, act, and fight.

The world is beautifully constructed, allowing your imagination to take flight and your heart to sore between the pages, making this one of my all-time favorite adventures.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked The Hobbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Special collector's film tie-in hardback of the best-selling classic, featuring the complete story with a sumptuous cover design inspired by THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and brand new reproductions of all the drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid…


Book cover of For the Life of the World

Barron Ryan Author Of Honey, If It Wasn't for You

From my list on finding your voice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a musician with a singular mission: to discover and present the beauty I’m uniquely positioned for. You may not expect a concert pianist to co-write a song with a man he would never meet, much less write an illustrated storybook about it. But given how I’ve learned to use my voice, I didn’t hesitate to become a first-time author with an illustrated storybook. May these recommendations help you find your voice as well.

Barron's book list on finding your voice

Barron Ryan Why did Barron love this book?

‘What good is your voice, and what’s the use in finding it?’ Those are tough questions for anyone to answer, but especially for an artist. At first, I just loved making music and saw that others did too, but couldn’t give a compelling reason why it was worthwhile. For the Life of the World finally equipped me to articulate that reason.

“Beauty is never ‘necessary,’ ‘functional,’ or ‘useful,’” Fr Schmemann writes. “And when, expecting someone whom we love, we put a beautiful tablecloth on the table and decorate it with candles and flowers, we do all this not out of necessity, but out of love.”

Your voice exists to beautify the world—to show those who hear it that someone cares for them. I can scarcely think of anything more worthwhile.

By Alexander Schmemann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked For the Life of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In For the Life of the World Alexander Schmemann suggests an approach to the world and life within it, which stems from the liturgical experience of the Orthodox Church. He understands issues such as secularism and Christian culture from the perspective of the unbroken experience of the Church, as revealed and communicated in her worship, in her liturgy the sacrament of the world, the sacrament of the Kingdom. Of what life do we speak, what life do we preach, proclaim, and announce when, as Christians, we confess that Christ died for the life of the world? In For the Life…


Book cover of Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better

Barron Ryan Author Of Honey, If It Wasn't for You

From my list on finding your voice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a musician with a singular mission: to discover and present the beauty I’m uniquely positioned for. You may not expect a concert pianist to co-write a song with a man he would never meet, much less write an illustrated storybook about it. But given how I’ve learned to use my voice, I didn’t hesitate to become a first-time author with an illustrated storybook. May these recommendations help you find your voice as well.

Barron's book list on finding your voice

Barron Ryan Why did Barron love this book?

No one’s voice is fully formed from the beginning. It takes work to refine it, and that’s where this book is invaluable.

Even though I had practiced piano for more than 20 years when I read Practice Perfect, I still found helpful insights for improving. My favorite rule is number 31: normalize error. “Failure is normal and not the indicator of a lack of skill.”

This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to get better at anything. That probably includes you.

By Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway, Katie Yezzi

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Practice Perfect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rules for developing talent with disciplined, deliberate, intelligent practice

We live in a competition loving culture. We love the performance, the big win, the ticking seconds of the clock as the game comes down to the wire. We watch games and cheer, sometimes to the point of obsession, but if we really wanted to see greatness-wanted to cheer for it, see it happen, understand what made it happen-we'd spend our time watching, obsessing on, and maybe even cheering the practices instead. This book puts practice on the front burner of all who seek to instill talent and achievement in others…


Book cover of Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

J.W. Huebner Author Of The Irrelevant Old Brand: A Business Fable about Taking Your Brand from Mediocre to Must-Have

From my list on improving your relevancy in business and in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent most of my career helping companies figure out how to become more relevant to their customers. And the more time I spent understanding what makes a brand relevant, the more I realized it was the same thing that makes a life relevant. Just as a brand needs to uniquely give something to its customers, human beings also need to give in some way to be relevant in this world. So if what I write—and the books I recommend—can even in the smallest way guide some company or individual toward a more important, more meaningful, more relevant life…well then, I guess my job here will be done.

J.W.'s book list on improving your relevancy in business and in life

J.W. Huebner Why did J.W. love this book?

The message is simple: Offer something meaningfully different than anyone else to your prospective customers...clearly communicate that difference...and you’ll be on the path to greater relevance.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred back to this book for guidance on category creation, naming, brand leadership, and more.

Positioning teaches you how to create a unique position for your brand in the minds of your target audience, and how to communicate that position effectively. It's all about standing out, being different, and showing your customers why they should choose you over your competitors.

Published more than 40 years ago, I find Positioning to be incredibly relevant and insightful even today. It continues to be a must-read for anyone looking to take their brand to the next level!

By Al Ries, Jack Trout,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Positioning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a "position" in a prospective customer's mind-one that reflects a company's own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors. Writing in their trademark witty, fast-paced style, advertising gurus Ries and Trout explain how to:

Make and position an industry leader so that its name and message wheedles its way into the collective subconscious of your market-and stays there Position a follower so that it can occupy a niche not claimed by the leader Avoid letting…


Book cover of What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business

J.W. Huebner Author Of The Irrelevant Old Brand: A Business Fable about Taking Your Brand from Mediocre to Must-Have

From my list on improving your relevancy in business and in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent most of my career helping companies figure out how to become more relevant to their customers. And the more time I spent understanding what makes a brand relevant, the more I realized it was the same thing that makes a life relevant. Just as a brand needs to uniquely give something to its customers, human beings also need to give in some way to be relevant in this world. So if what I write—and the books I recommend—can even in the smallest way guide some company or individual toward a more important, more meaningful, more relevant life…well then, I guess my job here will be done.

J.W.'s book list on improving your relevancy in business and in life

J.W. Huebner Why did J.W. love this book?

This book is a game-changer for anyone who wants to grow their business and make their clients fall in love with them.

It's all about understanding what your clients really want and need, and then delivering it to them in a way that is authentic and meaningful. 

I love Beckwith's short-chapter writing style as it’s very easy to read, and his insights are incredibly valuable.

Putting his thoughts into practice, like “Respect your client’s time,” “Be specific,” “Before you pick a name, test it.” “Take time and write notes by hand.”…will all help make you more relevant and more trusted by your clients.

So if you’re looking to create a roadmap on how your team can better connect with your own clients and make them feel truly appreciated, What Clients Love will help you build it.

By Harry Beckwith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Clients Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In WHAT CLIENTS LOVE, Harry Beckwith discusses effective business tactics with the practical, down-to-earth style that has made him a best-selling author and trusted marketing expert. He explains the sheer simplicity of a marketing plan - how to find your company's position, how to define a brand and how to manage that brand so it has its full and overwhelming impact. With sections such as 'Thinking and Planning', 'Communicating' and 'Serving The Client', Beckwith shows how effective marketeers need to be brief, succinct and 'cut to the close'.

WHAT CLIENTS LOVE also reveals the very nature of a service and…


Book cover of Ogilvy on Advertising

Drew Eric Whitman Author Of Ca$hvertising: How to Use More Than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone

From my list on creating powerful, money-making advertising copy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Drew Eric Whitman is known internationally as a dynamic consultant and trainer who smashes old advertising myths like a china-shop bull. Teaching the psychology behind the response for nearly four decades, he worked for the direct-marketing division of the largest ad agency in Philadelphia, was a senior copywriter for the country's leading direct-to-the-consumer insurance company, and was the associate copy chief for catalog giant Day-TimersHis work has been used by companies ranging from small retail shops to giant, multi-million dollar corporations. A popular keynote speaker at international affiliate marketing conferences, Drew’s intensive CA$HVERTISING Clinic teaches business people how to use consumer psychology to boost the effectiveness of their ads, brochures, sales letters, Websites, and more.

Drew's book list on creating powerful, money-making advertising copy

Drew Eric Whitman Why did Drew love this book?

What’s it like to climb inside the mind of one of advertising’s most iconic legends? Reading this book is probably the closest thing to it. You’re sure to come out with a dramatically changed view on how the industry works, and doesn’t. I’ve quoted him often in Cashvertising because his no-bull approach to advertising resonates strongly with everything I’ve been teaching for nearly four decades. Make his words your own and then--when you speak to others about advertising--you’ll be speaking with the voice of unquestionable authority.

By David Ogilvy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ogilvy on Advertising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

David Ogilvy is well known and respected as the most successful adman of all time. His bestselling book, Ogilvy on Advertising, gives valuable advice to young hopefuls and veterans of the industry wanting to improve their success rate.


Book cover of Tested Advertising Methods

Drew Eric Whitman Author Of Ca$hvertising: How to Use More Than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone

From my list on creating powerful, money-making advertising copy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Drew Eric Whitman is known internationally as a dynamic consultant and trainer who smashes old advertising myths like a china-shop bull. Teaching the psychology behind the response for nearly four decades, he worked for the direct-marketing division of the largest ad agency in Philadelphia, was a senior copywriter for the country's leading direct-to-the-consumer insurance company, and was the associate copy chief for catalog giant Day-TimersHis work has been used by companies ranging from small retail shops to giant, multi-million dollar corporations. A popular keynote speaker at international affiliate marketing conferences, Drew’s intensive CA$HVERTISING Clinic teaches business people how to use consumer psychology to boost the effectiveness of their ads, brochures, sales letters, Websites, and more.

Drew's book list on creating powerful, money-making advertising copy

Drew Eric Whitman Why did Drew love this book?

If you want to run ads that work, you need to learn what makes them work. This book tells you. John Caples is widely regarded to be one of history’s most iconic advertising copywriters. The man knew how to influence people to buy. This classic book gets down to the very foundation of advertising effectiveness and is loaded with examples and success "recipes" that you can immediately apply to your own ads--no matter what you sell. 100% practical, too. Look for the 4th edition or earlier for a book that's “totally Caples” without dilution by editors to "modernize" (er, weaken!) it. Miss this, and you’re missing the Queen Mary

By John Caples,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tested Advertising Methods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The fifth edition of this work on how to create successful advertising features new coverage on small businesses with limited revenues, non-profit advertising, as well as techniques of headlines, illustrations and layouts. There is also new information useful to smaller businesses.


Book cover of Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins

Keith A. Quesenberry Author Of Social Media Strategy: Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations in the Consumer Revolution

From my list on understanding how marketing has changed.

Why am I passionate about this?

After 17 years in the advertising industry, I became a professor to teach what I learned in practice. Only then did I start reflecting, researching, and discovering why we were successful in some efforts and not in others. From that perspective, I’ve been crafting new ways to approach marketing that are not based on what worked in the past, but on what works now in light of the dramatic changes to the field. Within marketing, I focus on social media strategy, digital marketing, and storytelling.

Keith's book list on understanding how marketing has changed

Keith A. Quesenberry Why did Keith love this book?

Marketing the old way took for granted that the company was in control. Now the consumer is in control. Mark Schaefer’s book will help you see the end of control and give you a manifesto for human-centered marketing. You’ll learn to see how your customers are part of your marketing department and how that is at the heart of success today. The good news for smaller brands is that winning in the rebellion doesn’t hinge on ad impressions, and big budgets, alone. Schaefer’s book helped me to see this new human-centered marketing from a more direct perspective. Instead of an evolution of the Four P’s he simply connects constant human truths to business success in “A Manifesto for Human-Centered Marketing” that ultimately leads to the new reality that your customers are your marketers.

By Mark W. Schaefer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marketing Rebellion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you overwhelmed by the breathtaking rate of change in the business world? Are confusing consumer trends, the unrelenting pace of technology, and the breakneck speed of digital marketing making you feel irrelevant and lost? Path-finding author Mark Schaefer provides an achievable and realistic framework to help you stay ahead of the curve by re-imagining marketing in a world where hyper-empowered consumers drive the business results. Marketing Rebellion will teach you: • How cataclysmic consumer trends are a predictable result of a revolution that started 100 years ago. • Why businesses must be built on human impressions instead of advertising…


Book cover of The Idea Writers: Copywriting in a New Media and Marketing Era

George Felton Author Of Advertising: Concept and Copy

From my list on copywriters on the rise.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught writing and copywriting at Columbus College of Art & Design in Ohio for thirty-seven years (retiring as an ancient-but-somehow-still-living fossil in 2014). I taught all our majors, but most of my copywriting students were advertising and design majors. During those decades I wrote nonfiction for newspapers and magazines and copy as a freelancer for ad agencies and design studios. My copywriting book emerged from my experiences in and out of the classroom. I hope I’ve given good advice on advertising: how to think about it and how to write it. But you’ll be the judge.

George's book list on copywriters on the rise

George Felton Why did George love this book?

In recent decades, as advertising has moved from one-way communication about product benefits to conversations with consumers about brands, someone needed to sum things up. Iezzi and the creatives she interviews do exactly that. As she presents it, “First of all, forget about making an ad… You’re making something to compete with every other piece of content, every other media experience that a person has during her waking hours.” The Idea Writers is an excellent primer on this new landscape. How do we create a brand’s story, one that consumers identify with and help propagate, if not create? How do we manage it, move it forward, spread it across various media, and make it viral? How can it become its own never-ending story?

By Teressa Iezzi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Idea Writers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Idea Writers guides both new and experienced copywriters through the process of creating compelling messages that sell. It shows readers what it's like to work in the fast-paced world of an agency while providing practical adviceplusdetails oncreatingaward-winning multimedia ad campaigns.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in advertising, marketing, and branding?

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