Cafélina Bookshelf

Welcome to CaféLina’s Virtual Bookshelf, a list of Lina’s favorites.

CaféLina is my virtual café where you’ll find tips, ideas, best practices, references and discussions on all things marketing, communications, digital, mobile and social.

There are no ratings on this list because I only include books that I thoroughly enjoyed  and would be comfortable in giving a 4+ star rating.

12 Most Informative Social Media Books I’ve Read in the Past Year via @12Most

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

By Susan Cain

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.


By Tina Fay

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update”, before “Sarah Palin”, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both of those dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

Comments:  Funny and insightful. This one is particularly well suited as an audio book.  It is read by the author.

How We Decide

By Jonah Lehrer

How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?

This book describes the neuroscience behind decision making, and in particular the various parts of the brain that are involved in different parts of problem analysis. It is filled with interesting examples from real world situations such as airplane near-disasters, poker playing, and Parkinson’s patients, and uses these examples to illustrate various parts of our brain machinery.

Comments:  If you happen to listen to the audio version of this book after listening to“Imagine” ( read by Jonah Lehrer), you’ll struggle a bit with “How We Engage” in spite of the engaging content. “How We Engage” isn’t read by the author, and at times it feels “performed” (made me wonder if the narrator understood the content).

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t

By Jim Collins and Morten T Hansen

The Challenge:
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study:
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

Comments:  Still a good read despite the failings of Circuit City, Fanny Mae and HP. Perhaps Cisco’s John Chambers and his “market adjacencies” strategy will be featured as a comparison company  in a future edition.

Great By Choice

By Jim Collins and Morten T Hansen

Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? Based on nine years of research, buttressed by rigorous analysis and infused with engaging stories, Collins and his colleague, Morten Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times.

Imagine: How Creativity Works

By Jonah Lehrer

Have you ever wondered how post-it-notes were invented, and how “just do it”, Toy Story and Bob Dylan’s lyrics came to be? This book explores creativity and invention, art and business. It includes a section on San Jose and Silicon Valley.

Bestselling journalist and author Jonah Lehrer shows how new research is deepening our understanding of the human imagination and considers how this new science can make us happier.

Comment:  I’ve never read a book quite like this before. Imagine is a really great book. It helps you examine the views you have about creativity. A must read.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

By Tony Hsieh (pronounced “Shay”)

The visionary CEO of Zappos explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success. Tony shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Ultimately, he shows how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life.

Comment:  Wonderful  read, book web site has a lot of great book recommendations

Watch a short intro video featuring the author.

In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

By Steven Levy

Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters—the Googleplex—to show how Google works.

Comment: Very interesting behind the scenes story of Google. Also a good view of what the future may hold for us.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

Comments: This biography is amazing because of the subject matter, it is balanced and well-written. I couldn’t put it down.

Fuse: Making Sense of the New Cogenerational Workplace(TM)

By Jim Finkelstein

For employees and business leaders ages eighteen to eighty, a manual to building a team that’s electrified by cogenerational collaboration

There’s no doubt that the differences between employees fresh out of school and their more seasoned counterparts are vast. Fuse will show you how to create a mashup that fuses the experience and command of Boomers with the technosmart and boundaryless thought of Millennials, getting you and your organization ahead.

For a more comprehensive look at this book, check out my blog post : Grow Your Business: You Fuse, You Win!

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

By Daniel Pink

The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic “right-brain” thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t.

Drawing on research from around the world, Pink outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment-and reveals how to master them.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

By Daniel Pink

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does–and how that affects every aspect of our lives. He demonstrates that while the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges. In Drive, he reveals the three elements of true motivation:

– Autonomy- the desire to direct our own lives
– Mastery- the urge to get better and better at something that matters
– Purpose- the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The Heath brothers (coauthors of Made to Stick) address motivating employees, family members, and ourselves in their analysis of why we too often fear change.

Comment:  I will never think of popcorn in the same way. Excellent case study on Rackspace.

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

by Guy Kawasaki

Kawasaki argues that in business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people. By enlisting their own goals and desires, by being likable and trustworthy, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you can change hearts, minds, and actions.

Outliers, Blink and The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

Les Médias Sociaux 101

Par Michelle Blanc

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… Dans les dernières années, les médias sociaux ont révolutionné notre univers. Le mouvement est tout juste amorcé, mais il va en s’affirmant et son influence bouleverse tous les milieux.

Pour mieux comprendre ce qui se passe sur le Web 2.0, le livre Les Médias sociaux 101, basé sur des billets du blogue de la conseillère en stratégie web Michelle Blanc, documente les changements majeurs que le Web apporte à notre quotidien. Bref, pour tout savoir sur le monde du Web et des médias sociaux.

Les Médias Sociaux 201

Par Michelle Blanc

Après avoir initié le grand public au Web 2.0 avec son premier livre, Michelle Blanc propose maintenant d’aller plus loin dans la compréhension du phénomène que sont les médias sociaux.

Encore une fois, elle utilisera un langage clair pour prodiguer des conseils judicieux, toujours d’actualité, tout en restant fidèle à elle-même avec un ton amusant et un brin irrévérencieux.

The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual

by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, Dick Summer

The manifesto was written in 1999. The authors assert that the Internet is unlike the ordinary media used in mass marketing as it enables people to have “human to human” conversations, which have the potential to transform traditional business practices radically.

Comment: Visionary book, ahead of its time. An Internet classic.


Follow Lina Arseneault on Twitter


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