5 Books to kick-off your 2016

5 Books to kick-off your 2016

If your 2015 was anything like mine it was a year of success, failure, not getting all the things you set out to do accomplished but when you look back it was a great year. I’m not big on resolutions because quite frankly I don’t like being disappointed and somehow I forget them or lose the scrap paper I wrote them out on halfway through the year. It’s all good though because I do set goals and strive to reach them.

One of my goals is to read more and I mean read a lot more. My dad used to say if you want to hide something from someone put it in a book. So I am striving to read a book a week because I want to know it all, lol. I could go into a myriad of reasons why I want to do this but aside from it just being a good habit, I think it’s important to remain a student and continue to learn.

Reading is also a great way to stay creative and innovative. Frans Johansen talks about how the best innovations come from the diversity of ideas. Reading is a great way to keep ideas fresh and learn about different cultures, people, and subjects. So I wanted to share a few books to inspire a creative kick-off to 2016. I can promise only one thing…if you read these books you will learn something new. The rest is on you!


The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: The Only Personal Finance System for People with Not-So-Regular Jobs

By Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan

To some, finances may come second nature but The Money Book by Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan is a great resource for anyone regardless of where you are in your financial journey.It offers straightforward and practical methods to saving money, reaching goals, opening accounts and even investing. For the creative entrepreneur, it’s a must have.


Steal like an Artist

By Austin Kleon

I met Austin Kleon a few years back at Weapons of Mass Creation in Cleveland. He had just finished signing books and we just happened to stop at his table to chat with him for a few minutes. My partner Corey and I purchased his book and the rest is history. Since then the book has become a best-seller and a staple in my personal collection. I’ve even given a few copies away. If you are looking for inspiration steal this book…just kidding.



The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is just one of those books that never gets old. Every time I’ve picked it up to read I find and learn something new. Although I’m partial to non-fiction, the Alchemist is one of those stories that resonates beyond the fictional plot. This coming of age story is sure to provide that much-needed push that we as creatives sometimes need when things seem to appear as obstacles. It’s an easy read and you will want to read it again.


From this moment on… Personal reminders for massive success, at school, at work, at play, and in the shower

by Javier Sanchez and Marshall Shorts

Now, I have to admit I am a bit bias when it comes to this book, but why create something you don’t believe in. When my good friend and partner Javier approached me about co-creating a book I was ecstatic. This book is not about motivation or empowerment, it’s about moving you from inspiration to action! Reading this book won’t make you FEEL better; it’s purpose is to make you BE better. When you become intentional about making the most out of your life, life will become intentional about making the most out of YOU! So don’t just READ this book, DO this book and watch what happens…from this moment on!


A Whole New Mind 

by Daniel Pink

It’s never been a better time to be a creative and Daniel Pink explains why in “A Whole New Mind”. In a world that has historically relegated us right brainers to simply art this book offers a fresh perspective as to why us scattered brain creatives are in the best position right now. A Whole New Mind reveals the six essential aptitudes on which professional success and personal fulfillment now depend, and includes a series of hands-on exercises culled from experts around the world to help readers sharpen the necessary abilities. This book will change not only how we see the world but how we experience it as well.

Bonus Books!


Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority

by Tom Burrell

As a visual practitioner, I deal with imagery on a day to day basis. I understand how it shapes how to view people and things we may not have direct contact with. I would be remiss not to mention a book that has had a profound affect on how I view imagery in media. I have been a long time admirer of Advertising Legend Tom Burrell for his work in the industry and for working to cast a more positive image of Black people in media. In Brainwashed, he examines what he calls “the greatest propaganda campaign of all time”. Even if you aren’t a student of history or advertising I can almost guarantee this book will enlighten you as you create and engage in different mediums.


Because of them, we can 

by Eunique Jones-Gibson

 Because of them, we can™ tackles the war on self-esteem with a photo collective and historic text featuring 365 self esteem boosting images of children posing as African-American innovators and trailblazers past and present. Created as a platform to celebrate, educate and empower the next generation of young people, the book re-imagines and contemporizes Black history, bridging the gap between a new generation of leaders and the historical heroes that paved the way.  I have the honor of having met Eunique Jones-Gibson and her work and passion are amazing. This book is a must have for your coffee table at home or the office.

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