On the Book Shelf: 11 BSTRO-Favs to Level Up Your Work and Life

4 minute read

It’s Read-A-Book Day, so we’ve collected a list of a few of our favorites

At BSTRO, we are always looking for opportunities to expand our expertise, stay inspired, and learn from other people’s experiences and research.

That’s why for Read-A-Book Day, we asked the team at BSTRO for their reading recommendations. Here is a short-list of industry books that inspire our thinking along with literary gems from clients that bring us great pride.

You can thank us later.

Books for designers

A Designer’s Art by Paul Rand

This terrific collection of essays delves into Paul Rand’s process, exploring how graphic design is still an artform in the truest sense of the word — and should be considered such, lest designers fall into all the pitfalls of bad and generic design. An essential book for anyone interested in modern design theory.

Read if: you want to take your design to another level.
Recommended by: Eddie Burk, Designer
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com

Thinking With Type by Ellen Lupton

Words on a page. We don’t think of them as being anything more than that. But, as Ellen Lupton reveals in this seminal text, the organization, layout, and design of type has a huge impact on how we navigate materials (digital or otherwise). Combining theory with practical exercises, this book is a great go-to for anyone who works with typography.

Read if: you want to revolutionize how you see, and use, type.
Recommended by: BSTRO
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com

Books about work culture

Orbiting The Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie

With the power to reshape how you see culture and creativity, this book urges readers to rise above the tangled, oppressive, “hairy” corporate culture that can kill creativity in the cradle. Visually appealing and full of pearls of wisdom framed in relatable moments, MacKenzie’s treatise on how to orbit this “hairball” is a game-changer in every sense of the word.

Read if: you’re feeling bogged down by the bottom line.
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Recommended by: Lisa Schaffer, Director Of Client Success.
She says: “This book found its way to me early in my career and over two decades later it is still a personal touchstone!”

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull

Harnessing your team’s creativity is one of the biggest challenges a manager can face. It’s far too easy to get bogged down in the everyday grind, and the best ideas can fall by the wayside. Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, outlines how to foster a creative culture within the workplace to ensure that the best ideas are heard — and even the mediocre ideas are transformed into something better.

Read if: you want your team to be as creative as you know they can be.
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Recommended by: Mackenzie Dunham, Project & Operations Manager

What you Do is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz

What You Do Is Who You Are addresses a question crucial to every organization: How do you create and sustain the culture you want? Horowitz challenges the reader to analyze how their company makes decisions, and offers examples about how to make comapny culture purposeful.

Read if: you want your company to accurately reflect what you value
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Recommended by: Jill Tracy, CEO

Beyond The Talent: Profile Of A Winning Team by Barb Smith (BSTRO client! 😍)

After thirty years as an NCAA Division I college coach, Barb Smith set out to define exactly what makes a winning team. Her research took her from youth leagues to professional teams to business organizations. The result: A book that condenses a myriad of success into one winning formula.

Read if: you want to put together a team that brings out the best in each other
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Recommended by: Jill Tracy, CEO

Books for self-improvement

Happy Money: The Science Of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton

It turns out that money really can buy happiness! In a world driven by spending, how we use our savings can determine the path of our lives. Longtime friend of BSTRO, Elizabeth Dunn explains why our instincts are often wrong, outlining a better strategy that will help you get the most happiness out of your money.

Read if: you want to maximize your happiness
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Recommended by: Jill Tracy, CEO

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

To Angela Duckworth, success is simple: work harder. Psychologist Angela Duckworth has dedicated her professional life to exploring how just one quality – grit – is the difference between those who succeed and those who fail. According to Duckworth, it’s tireless perseverance spurred on by passion, not talent or luck, that makes you great.

Read if: you want to become the person who tries again. And again. And again.
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Recommended by: Katrina Martin, Content Writer

Pride: The Secret of Success by Jessica Tracy (BSTRO client! 😍)

Once considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins, this book explores how pride can actually be the best motivator — and why having pride in our work can lead us to achieve our greatest potential. So sit down, crack open this awesome book by Jessica Tracy, and learn how to be more proud of you. You won’t regret it.

Read if: you’re interested in the psychology behind success and want to harness your abilities.
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Recommended by: Jill Tracy, CEO

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck PhD (BSTRO client! 😍)

In her trail-blazing book, Carol S. Dweck investigates the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset — and why a growth mindset is crucial for personal success. Her theory dives into the deep-seated beliefs about our own abilities that can hold us back, and how to change our mindsets, so we can drive ourselves forward instead.

Read if: you want to change the limits of your success.
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Recommended by: Jill Tracy, CEO

And one more BSTRO bonus…

Please Don’t Remain Calm by Michael Kinsley (BSTRO client! 😍)

One of the greatest editorial writers of his time, Michael Kinsley’s selection of columns covers everything from the intricacies of Washington-based politics to the existence of God. If you’re sick of people who use cliched phrases to say a lot about nothing, and you much prefer cut-the-crap, shockingly delightful analysis, this is the book for you.

Read if: you just want to read excellent writing on a variety of still-relevant topics.
View on: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Recommended by: Jill Tracy, CEO

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