2023 Book Recommendations

At Ethic Advertising Agency, we collectively pick, read, and discuss one book per year, and many of our teammates and colleagues read additional professional books throughout the year.  Below is my, Jeff Swartz, 2023 top 7 reads.

7. “It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier

The founders of Basecamp, a SAAS project management software company, believe in running a calm company.  To do so, Jason and David run a company very differently than what most people are used to.  They keep things extremely simple, focus on people, don’t set any goals besides be profitable, and have some very interesting takes on what a successful company looks like which they share in “It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work.”  This book may make traditional business people “itchy” and it will diffidently make you rethink how your work environment is set up.

6. “The Search for the Scepter” by Julie Dinges

This fantasy world-based children’s book is a bit of an oddity for our booklist, but we added it because it was created by Ethic Advertising Agency‘s very own Website Development Manager, Julie Dinges. A great gift and read for children, “The Search for the Scepter” is beautifully illustrated by Nazar Horokhivskyi, who is currently a Ukrainian soldier. This rhyming story takes readers on the adventure of two young princesses as they travel through their magically kingdom trying to capture the thief of their father’s, the king’s, scepter.

5. “Death on the River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Amazon Adventure” by Samantha Seiple:

Death on the River of Doubt” by Samantha Seiple is a thrilling account of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing expedition down the uncharted River of Doubt in the Amazon rainforest in 1914. Roosevelt and his team faced numerous obstacles, including treacherous rapids, disease, hunger, and hostile indigenous tribes. Seiple skillfully weaves together historical facts and personal anecdotes to create a vivid and suspenseful narrative that captures the danger and excitement of this epic journey. This amazing true story is inspiration for any leader.

4. “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel:

A good book that shares “timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness,” “The Psychology of Money” discusses the emotional, psychological, and economical side of personal finance.  This is a good book for those looking to improve their finances, happiness around money, or teach their children/grandchildren some important money related lessons.

3. “You’re Not Doing It Right” by Michael Ian Black:

Comedian, actor, writer, husband, and father, Michael Ian Black wrote a funny, engaging, and enlightening book called “You’re Note Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations.” Through stories from his own life, Black finds ways to make you laugh and think at the same time. I found this book very entertaining and relatable as a parent and spouse, but any fan of Michael Ian Black’s comedy will be able to enjoy this book.

2. “Illogical” by Emmanuel Acho

The author of “Illogical,” Emmanuel Acho, was a professional football player who transformed himself at a young age into an Emmy-winning TV personality, best selling author, creator and host of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, and more by “saying yes to a life without limits.”  In this book, he shares is journey and life lessons to live more freely and do more with your life than you think is possible.  I don’t 100% agree with every life lesson in this book, but it is a book that will leave you feeling energized after reading it and inspired by Emmanuel.

1. “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon

“The Energy Bus” was Ethic Advertising Agency’s 2023 book club book.  We all read it and then got together to discuss it’s content in July.  It’s a great book to read as a team, as it’s a fictional story with a ton of actionable lessons to get a team, and yourself, on the same “bus,” going to the same destination, and having it be a journey full of positivity and success.  It not only helps team/work settings, but family dynamics as well. There is even a kids version which I got my own children for Christmas. If you are unhappy in a team or struggling with not having enough positivity and motivation in your life, I highly recommend this book.