It’s early Monday morning and I’m sitting in a Starbucks, chomping on a breakfast sandwich, sipping an ice water, and pounding away on my mac. This is where I work on my weekly sales articles when my week ahead is too jam-packed to block out time to write.

I often have 3 or 4 articles in progress from the weeks before, and then I spend time throughout the week editing and tweaking.

Not this week. This week I have nothing. So I look to where I find inspiration - books.

Looking at my reading list, I see that I recently finished book #35 for the year. I’m not sure how I’ve read that many because I’m such a slow reader.

At any rate, I wanted to share which books I thought are worth your time to read, and which ones you might want to stay away from. At the end of this article you can check out my full reading list for the year.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

6 Runaway Favorites

  1. Principles by Ray Dalio

Not only is this a favorite for 2019, this is one of my favorite books of all time. Principles is divided up into 3 sections; the first section covers Dalio’s personal life and his business and investing strategies. This might be a slow start for some, but I enjoyed it. The second section is all about Dalio’s "Life Principles" followed by section 3, "Work Principles”. This book has short, digestible chapters, each focused on a single principle that you can immediately implement in your life or your business. This is a must read for CEOs, COOs, or anyone leading a team.

2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, by Mark Manson

I’m not sure if this is really considered a business book or not. Regardless, I believe to be successful in business you have to have a strong mindset. And this book helps strengthen the mindset muscle. It is an easy read and will apply to your life, guaranteed.

3. Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport

If you haven’t read my review on this book, you can check it out here. This is a great book for anyone that feels like they are spending too much time on social media. Heck, even if you don’t think you are, this book is worth picking up. It might just completely upgrade your productivity AND your happiness!

4. Gap Selling, by Keenan

I’ve read dozens of sales books over the past couple of years, and this is easily one of the best. Keenan preaches a sales style that focuses on solving your customer’s problems, not selling features and benefits of your product. If you haven’t read my short review of this book, check it out here.

5. Bitcoin Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich

This book is more about entrepreneurship and business than it is about Bitcoin. This is the story about how the Winklevoss Twins became the first Bitcoin Billionaires. If I had to describe the is book in three words, those words would be 'suspenseful', 'thrilling', 'dramatic'. This book reads like a novel, very similar to Richard Branson’s Losing my Virginity.

6. Trillion Dollar Coach, by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg & Alan Eagle

I don’t know why, but I had low expectations of this book. Maybe it was the “Trillion Dollar” in the title. Or maybe it was because of the lack of publicity. But it was a killer book. Trillion Dollar Coach is about the legendary coach, Bill Campbell, who went from high school football coach to THE Silicon Valley coach, working with the most successful leaders of this generation- from the likes of Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and more. If you haven’t heard of Bill Campbell, it’s probably because he didn’t want any publicity or fame. This is an absolutely a must read of you are a coach or lead a team.

Least Favorite Books

  1. Eat Their Lunch, by Anthony Iannarino

As you can see in my book list below, this is the one book that I couldn’t even finish. I’m not sure if it was the content (focusing on beating competition) or the lack of stories. Either way, this book felt flat to me, contrary to what I saw on social media.

2. The Science of Likability, P. E King

There was not much substance in this very short read. I would instead suggest picking up a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

3. Originals, by Adam Grant

A lot of people will probably disagree with this one. Adam put a ton of work into this book, and it showed. But there wasn’t anything that dramatically shifted my mindset, nor did I have any major takeaways.

Favorite Non-Business Books

  1. When Breath Becomes Air

  2. Thanks a Thousand

  3. Sapiens

Have you read any of these books? What did you think about them?


Here is the full list of books I've read so far from 2019 (thru August 12th):

  1. Predictable Revenue

  2. Eat their lunch (didn’t finish)

  3. Principles, Ray Dalio

  4. This is Marketing, Seth Godin

  5. Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins

  6. Rework

  7. Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck

  8. Originals by Adam Grant

  9. Thinking Fast and Slow

  10. Thanks a Thousand

  11. You are a Writer

  12. When Breath Becomes Air

  13. Digital Minimalism

  14. Atomic Habits

  15. Top 10 Rules for Success

  16. Gap Selling by Keenan

  17. How successful people think, John C Maxwell

  18. The Alchemist

  19. Sell or Be Sold

  20. 10X Rule

  21. The Power of the Subconscious Mind

  22. Hyper Sales Growth

  23. Double Double

  24. Motivation Manifesto

  25. Sapiens

  26. The Secret of Selling Anything by Harry Browne

  27. Pre-suasion, Robert Cialdini

  28. Think and Grow Rich

  29. Everything is F*cked - A book about hope

  30. Bitcoin Billionaires

  31. The Science of Likability

  32. Magnetic Marketing

  33. Trillion Dollar Coach

  34. To Sell is Human

  35. Culture Code

(Currently in progress: Ogilvy on Marketing and Mindset by Carol Dweck)

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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family.