On the Bookshelf: Back to School


I love to read all year round, but the back-to-school month of September makes me particularly excited to pick up new books and learn new things. Here are six recent and upcoming releases that I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this fall.

Visual Storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language
By R. Klanten, S. Ehmann and F. Schulze


As our industry increasingly takes advantage of new media and methods to make our messages more appealing to the senses, this coffee-table book delivers a stunning array of visual strategies and tactics to help make your storytelling sing. You can see an inspiring preview of what to expect in this blog post.

Several Short Sentences About Writing
By Verlyn Klinkenborg


Despite our emphasis on the visual, it’s as important as ever that we also know how to write clearly. This primer by a New York Times editor claims to be “a book of unlearning” that points out bad habits and teaches us to look at our writing in a whole new light. Its fresh perspective promises to bring value to beginners and seasoned scribblers alike.

The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement and Creativity at Work
By Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer


It’s amazing how much impact small, everyday things have on our work lives. Based on rigorous research on employee habits and emotions, it reveals our often-counterintuitive motivations and charts out a path for how we can use them to work more happily and effectively – and to motivate others to do the same.

Dancing About Architecture: A Little Book of Creativity
By Phil Beadle


If the title of this book sounds implausible, then you have the right idea! Consisting of a series of thought-starters and exercises to help you envision the unlikely and bring your work in new directions, it’s full of fun yet challenging concepts that can give you the firepower you need to break through creatively.

My First Time
Edited by Phil Growick


Communicators of all stripes learn a tremendous amount from their first big project, and this book shares that knowledge through the first-person musings on dozens of creatives from around the world. Though focused around the ad industry, these stories about learning the ropes of client relationships and collaborating to create something special promise to ring true to PR folks as well – and teach us a few new tricks along the way.

The Power of Film
By Howard Suber


At first glance, an encyclopedic survey of the narrative strategies of blockbuster movies written by a UCLA film professor wouldn’t seem to be a sure-fire resource for PR pros, but it turns out, Hollywood is looking for the same thing our clients are: a resonant, emotional relationship with audiences that keeps them coming back for more. A must read for anyone interested in creating memorable and potent stories.