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Booklist 2019

Sharing my booklist on writing, creativity, marketing, leadership, and inspiration.

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Booklist 2019

  1. 1. BOOK LIST 2019 Adam Morgan, Executive Creative Director, Adobe
  2. 2. My Booklist I love reading other people’s booklists. Especially when the topic of the list relates to my world. If I see something I like, I add it to my own list. I figured it’s time to stop being stingy and share my list as well. I’ll separate the books out by a few subtopics such as advertising, creativity, and writing. I also included images of the book covers for visual reference. Enjoy.
  3. 3. Writing
  4. 4. Each chapter shares a completely different way to look at storytelling. Like printing your book on hundreds of surfaces, including a swimming pool floor, so that others can piece together the pages. Fun read.
  5. 5. To be honest, I’m not a fan of King’s stories and discovery writing style. But his book on writing is amazing. Reading how he thinks about the craft makes me want to like his books. A must read.
  6. 6. The depth I learned about understanding and creating characters is beyond valuable. I even created a two-page character template based on all the insights she gives us. If you are writing fiction, you need to absorb this one.
  7. 7. We hear about first learning the rules before we can break them. This book gives you the classic writing rules that stand the test of time. When I started in the mid 90’s, this was required reading for copywriters in my agency.
  8. 8. A journalistic approach to understanding famous stories. So interesting and insightful. Worth reading.
  9. 9. This isn’t an official book from Pixar (as the lamp image makes obvious) but he does break apart all the great things about Pixar stories. And explains the reasons why. I learned a few great insights and worth the short read.
  10. 10. I found this book recommended by an employee at an Amazon store in NYC. Another book that lists all the good rules you must know before you break any of them.
  11. 11. A friend of mine at work holds this book in a place of reverence. Because it changed her writing life for good. It will help you find your muse and build confidence in your writing style.
  12. 12. Even though this is about screenwriting, the ideas he teaches about high-concept scripts are just as valuable for fiction writers. Required reading for screenwriters. Same for fiction and copywriters.
  13. 13. Creativity
  14. 14. One of my all time favorite books. I’m a huge Pixar fan, and Ed does a fantastic job describing how to build creative environments, how to defend ideas, and how to bring people together. So good. Please read this one if you haven’t already.
  15. 15. Chase has built an empire with CreativeLive. Love his podcast and videos. His book just came out months ago. It’s a feel-good book to motivate you to be more creative. Huge fan.
  16. 16. Another new book, this proves that creativity isn’t a talent you are born with, but everyone can learn to do better. It’s a learned ability.
  17. 17. Daniel gives us a great perspective on how creative careers are going to be the major driver of growth in the future. So many great quotes from this book. Great for creative leaders to understand the landscape better.
  18. 18. One of the three main types of creativity is blending new and old ideas. This book explores how we can steal the good and add in our own flavor to make great new things. His email newsletter is also worth it.
  19. 19. Douglass helps creative people talk to business people, and vice versa. Because we speak two different languages. At Adobe we call this “talking khaki” when you learn to speak to business leaders. This book is valuable to both sides.
  20. 20. Scott believes in creativity. But if you don’t do anything with your ideas, you’re missing out. His advice helps creative people overcome the challenges and get more great ideas out in the world.
  21. 21. This book literally jump started my career back in 1995. From the moment I read it, I have become a much faster and better idea generator. Half the book includes exercises that will increase your speed at coming up with ideas. If I taught a creativity class, this would be required reading.
  22. 22. From my experience, most creative people have side projects. Chris has great guidance on how to turn those passion projects into income. And I’m fascinated by the fact that he has visited every country in the world. His blog has great tips on world travel, as you can imagine.
  23. 23. Yes, it’s probably lame that I have my own book on my booklist. But this book was written so I could prove the value of creativity to my clients originally. Now I’m just sharing my 5-year epic quest so you have the ammo to prove it to your clients and company leadership.
  24. 24. Advertising
  25. 25. It really is a classic guide. At least for any copywriters who work in advertising agencies or in-house creative departments. Good guidance on the writer/designer partnership. And big ideas.
  26. 26. This reads like a novel, with a journalistic, behind-the-scenes look at an advertising pitch for the Subaru account, along with the journey to get a TV spot produced. Funny and insightful for the advertising business.
  27. 27. Alex is one of the big names for creativity in the ad agency world. This book is all about making sure the big campaign idea is baked into the product, so that the idea isn’t creative for creative’s sake.
  28. 28. This is a great view into creating an agency. My favorite story is when they put a fake sign in the lobby of a different company and met clients in the lobby. The clients thought that all the people behind them worked for their agency. But they had only two employees. HA.
  29. 29. Mayle’s other book about living in the French countryside is similar. Except this is an insider’s view of agency life. A bit older, but still rings true.
  30. 30. For a few years, account planning was the secret weapon for agency new business pitches. Great book to understand the fuzzy line between really knowing your audience and creative ideas that connect with them.
  31. 31. I love this book. It’s out of print and hard to find. Not written by Bill, but by others who worked with him and wrote down his quotes. My favorite is the idea that we are so busy measuring public opinion, we forget we can create it. Here’s to the father of creative advertising.
  32. 32. Leadership
  33. 33. If I had to pick two books about management and leadership, I would combine this with Radical Candor for the ideal duo. Also, I became a fan of Simon with the golden circle, but this book has great insights in how to create the ideal environment for growth.
  34. 34. This book gives stellar guidance on how to give good feedback, how to build trust, and how to keep an open dialogue with your team. The example about Bob is solid, as are the descriptions of the four types of management. Great for new and seasoned managers.
  35. 35. Vanessa is a student of how people behave and her insights are fantastic. I use the insights to engage with others in both a work environment and social settings. Her website has a ton of great videos and insight as well.
  36. 36. Another creative director and I always argue over this point… how much we should be an essentialist vs being responsive to others and well rounded. To join the debate, first read this book.
  37. 37. While Jim writes more like a researcher than a storyteller, the principles to leadership here are fantastic. Get the right people on the bus. And learn the characteristics of great leadership.
  38. 38. Public speaking and presentations are a huge part of our industry. This is an older book, but the principles on public speaking are still relevant.
  39. 39. This book will help you make better presentations. Kenny and the team at his agency live these principles. Great insights and great people.
  40. 40. Marketing
  41. 41. Erik studied thousands of ads to figure out what matters most. 30 or 60-second video? Long or short format? Visual or motion? The single thing that mattered the most, far above the rest, was if the advertisement was liked. Interesting insight.
  42. 42. Also an older book, but the point about how ideas can disrupt the market is stellar. This helps explain the vision that agencies have around big ideas and campaigns.
  43. 43. I still quote moments from Made to Stick, but the Power of Moments is so helpful in the world of creating amazing customer experiences. These both give insights into how you can create better experiences and what you should focus on first.
  44. 44. Written by a different Adam Morgan, this book is all about strategies to stand out from the market leader. That’s why my book is by Adam W Morgan. HA.
  45. 45. Understanding a customer first approach is critical today. This is required reading for many at my company. People first. Not product first. More need to grasp this concept.
  46. 46. Yes Seth has written many great books. This was the first one I read. And it was a photo copy of the book. Which is perfectly in line with his theme of someone sharing ideas.
  47. 47. Any marketing strategist needs to read positioning to really understand how to create new categories or reposition a brand. The 22 laws is like a Cliff’s notes version of positioning.
  48. 48. Long before B2E or other terms to humanize technology, Bryan wrote this great book to establish stronger connections to customers.
  49. 49. Random Inspiration
  50. 50. I found Shane on a video from CreativeLive. Been following ever since. This book has great stories and good insights on how to work in a better way. I made my son at college read it. You should read it, too.
  51. 51. Even though Jonah was destroyed over a quote controversy, the ideas in this book are still awesome. He digs into the science behind creativity and I really enjoyed it. So many good insights.
  52. 52. Ken digs deep into our educational system and shows how we need to overhaul it. He discusses how we can go back to when we were kids and everyone thought they were creative. Rather than think we are no longer capable. He has a few great videos on YouTube as well.
  53. 53. Yes it’s a neuroscience book and it’s deep. But I really learned a lot about how we think, our two systems, and all my biases. Plus it’s the only book on this list to win a Nobel Prize, so, you know.
  54. 54. While I don’t totally agree with all of Ramit’s beliefs on money, I think he is a very interesting person. His newsletter emails are great, and his side hustle classes. I’ve been following him for years, and really enjoy his whole program.
  55. 55. Another neuroscience book. Love the chapter on the team of rivals. The best explanation why A.I. will never take over and destroy us. Because the way our brains work is not linear. Great storytelling.
  56. 56. Malcolm is so interesting to read. And his Revisionist History podcast is worth a listen. This book is better as an audio book, as it includes the actual interviews for parts of the stories. He has many other great books, but this is great for managers. And his masterclass is also worth getting.
  57. 57. Thank You