The Jolt! 12.11.2013

Need something terrific for Christmas? Here are 7 eclectic lists of books and music. No, I haven’t read them all – thanks for imagining that!

And as always there is a Jolt’s worth of fresh material on ck Curates to keep you occupied during your travels.

  • An infographic from Hinge on 5 Head Games That Can Cost You The Win.
  • A great resource on Content Marketing tools.
  • The interactive campaign for the Adidas Brazuca, the new World Cup match ball.
  • Is Strategic Meeting Management (SMM) a new model to increase the value of meetings?
  • The American Express 2014 Meetings Forecast – a 76 page free download that you or someone you work with needs.

So now on to the first ever Jolt List of Lists…

Brain Pickings: The 13 Best Children’s, Illustrated, and Picture Books of 2013

There are no words for the brilliance of Maria Popova’s blog, Brain Pickings. And this is not the only list she offers – there is History, Science and Design too. But since so many of you are parents – and grandparents – I wanted something for the little ones to tear them away from playing Angry Birds on your new iPad Air…

These are meaty reviews complete with samples of the amazing and wonderful illustrations so that you can choose something right for your small person. I am giving Gobble You Up an old trickster tale from India. Tricksters are of course central to New Mexico folklore and indeed the book has a graphic style reminiscent of native New Mexican art. And I am also going for You Are Stardust, a beautiful collaboration between environmental writer Elin Kelsey and artist Soyeon Kim. I applaud their mission:

This innovative picture book aims to reintroduce children to their innate relationship with the world around them by sharing many of the surprising ways that we are all connected to the natural world.

NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums Of 2013

Music for every taste from Bartok to Kacey to Kanye and all sorts of wondrous things in between – give a listen to La Habana by the Pedrito Martinez Group. Especially nice is that you can listen to an entire cut instead of just a snippet. Which makes this a great way to spend the day!

These 50 albums are strange bedfellows, but that’s how we listen. We want music that soothes us and makes us stronger. We like some risk, stories that withstand a few hundred replays, skills that command respect. And we keep dancing. Get in there.

Slate: Dan Kois’ Favorite Books of 2013

Dan is the Slate book editor. He has chosen 15 novels, memoirs, stories and comics that delighted him this year. I am particularly drawn to Barrel Of Monkeys which he describes as a book of deeply offensive short comics. I think I would describe them as whimsical, very French and stylistically very much in tradition of the New YorkerHere’s a look so you can decide. There are a number of other lists here you might find interesting.

Almost Timely’s 13 Marketing Best Reads

If you want to catch up or get ahead on current marketing thinking, here’s an excellent list of books including many of the names you see around the blogosphere and in ck Curates – like Chris Brogan, Ann Handley and Jay Baer.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, Phd is on my must-read list. It explains the psychology behind why  people say “yes”, how to apply it and how to protect yourself from it. Published in 2009, many consider it a seminal piece in the field.

I like to read this kind of content on a Kindle reader so I can highlight, share and otherwise chip away over time (never lose another bookmark.) Try it, you might like it.

Goodreads Choice Awards 2013

With 2,000,000 votes cast across all categories this is a pretty good indicator of what readers really liked. Supremely useful because it is divided into 20 categories from cookbooks to kids, and fiction to non-fiction so you can go straight to your area of interest.

The top spot in fiction belongs to And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. The reviews are split between those who absolutely loved it and those who felt that The Kite Runner was a stronger piece. Let me know what you think – or pick another book!

The story is touching, emotional and speaks of life’s hardships and the difficult choices one must make. If you don’t happen to shed a tear at some point while reading, you’re heartless.

The Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2013

For those of you who  want to catch up or need to know what’s worth giving. Their number one pick is from Vampire Weekend entitled Modern Vampires Of The Weekend. (This also made the NPR list.)

It’s one of rock’s great albums about staring down adulthood and trying not to blink — that moment where, as singer Ezra Koenig puts it, you realize “wisdom’s a gift/But you’d trade it for youth.”

At least that part is familiar.

Amazon’s Top 100 Selling Books of 2013

People voting with their wallets makes this the definitive crowd-sourced list. I am hoping to find time to read Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in the number two spot. Talk about women with the will to lead, hats off to Mary Barra, the new CEO of GM!

Also on my list is Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons On Life, Love and Courage by Richard Stengel.

Mandela’s Way is a distillation of countless hours of conversation between Rick Stengel and Nelson Mandela into what Stengel sees as fifteen core truths of Mandela’s life – truths we would all be wise to live by.

If you haven’t subscribed to The Jolt! please do. Just click here – easy, peasy and done.

And be sure to bookmark ck Curates – – so that you can take it along on your next adventure. You’ll be glad you did!

Happy Holiday shopping!