anna colibri, branding, brand, good books to read, digital marketing, chanel
When a Brand Becomes a Legend

Good Books to Read for Business & Pleasure * January 2015

Books to Start a Fresh New Year

It’s a brand new year, friends, and there is no better way to start a new year than to start a new book — or three. I have a stack of about 30 books that are waiting to be ready, and San Francisco is a great place to be a book lover.

Not only do we have great public libraries, cute used book stores, local book stores, and major chains, we also have free books. They include giveaways from relatives, of course, but also boxes of books left on the corner. Why? Because we have a lot of wealthy, educated people who simply cannot be bothered to go to Goodwill or sell their books to a seller.

The books I’m recommending this month were all free. No excuses, people. Get reading!

Business

The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume by Tilar J. Mazzeo.

The not so secret truth is that I am a HUGE fan of the Chanel brand. Why? Well, I’m a francophile, so that is part of it. I also admire the Chanel story because of the way in which she, despite heartbreak and her status within French society as an irregulière, she created an empire and a legend.

This book demystifies Chanel in a way that is not always pleasant or welcome, especially for a fan. Chanel made a couple of self-destructive business and personal decisions and was, most likely, a Nazi sympathizer. However, intriguing anecdotes in the book shed light on just how crazy times were during World War II and how many people committed inexplicable (not always horrifying, like the treatment of people in concentration camps) acts in the name of survival and in the context of a world gone crazy.

As my mother says at family events, “This is a state of war. All the rules are suspended.” Read this fascinating book about Chanel and le monstre to find out more.

If you would like to have this book for your very own, purchase The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume at the Anna Colibri Amazon shop.

Oh, and I put this one under business because it teaches you a lot about what makes a brand successful and how (luxury) marketing has changed over time.

Pleasure

Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann.

I loved Let The Great World Spin. The book touches on many important contemporary themes, but it also goes back to an interesting part of US history (the Vietnam War) and draws all of the elements together via the strange tale of Philippe Petit.

Who is Philippe Petit? A strange little French guy with a strangely big dream. The book doesn’t mention him by name, but I learned who he was and was also moved to see a documentary about his Twin Towers escapade, Man on Wire.

I think the author was very clever to choose Petit’s high wire act as a unifying theme because it brings together much of what is larger than us (hopes, dreams, art) with the challenges and issues we face as a society and globally.

Awesome.

If you would like to have this book for your very own, purchase Let The Great World Spin at the Anna Colibri Amazon shop.

Children

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron.

The Higher Power of Lucky is a warm and uplifting Harriet the Spy type story that speaks directly to our times. I mean, Lucky is not the woman Harriet (incomparable) is, but she is contemporary to our times and is looking for solutions that out of the box thinking young people can find today.

Lucky’s story is both funny and charming and, again, a welcome break from teen horror. Actually, I’d like to insert an opinion here: Young children are being sold a lot of horror genre literature but I don’t think they feel nurtured by it. When I read to my children, especially my younger son, I feel him relax when we read stories that speak to life as he knows it.

Read this friendly little book to your kids soon, if not today!

If you would like to have this book for your very own, purchase The Higher Power of Lucky at the Anna Colibri Amazon shop.

Enjoy a whole new year of solid, high-quality literature and nonfiction.

{Image credit: www.lascalia.com}

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