On the Reading List

Below you’ll find my reading list and a brief synopsis of each book I’ve had the great pleasure of diving in to.

I would be delighted if, by perusing this list, someone is intrigued enough to go pick up a copy and dig in themselves. Thanks!


2010 Reading List

True North: Realize past experiences directly influence (if not manipulate) future managerial style and leadership potential.

The Trusted Advisor: Many of us begin our journey’s with technical skill, but few graduate to the level of being a truly trusted advisor – who is empathetic in their understanding of other’s viewpoints, both listens and hears, is unselfish with ideas, is not arrogant in approach, and who courageously takes leaps of faith. 

SuperFreakonomics: A manuscript of stories that showcase how nearly every worldly event can be understood, and decision making made less painful, when we use and appreciate an analytical mind.

The Associate: (taking a reprieve from the intellectually grueling, The Associate is a wonderful novel written by John Grisham, my favorite fiction author). A smart young lawyer lands a big-time Manhatten firm  (billing 100+ hours a week), but he never would have guessed that one crazy college party would lead to his life becominge a daily nightmare of blackmail and extortion from those who’d use him to steal sensitive information for their gain….(ending undisclosed of course. It’s a great book. You should read it.)


Made to Stick: (One of the most germane topics to daily business!) Why do some ideas take flight and others – even better ones – fall upon on deaf ears? Made to Stick asserts that at the core of every big idea are 6 underlying principles that create for an audience intrigue and attachment and generate belief and action. These are Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Stories.

Strengthsfinder: What an awesome book and excersize. We all have inner strengths and abilities that cause us to excel in some walks of life and shy away from others. This program helps identify your skill and offers insights into how to best work with others who embody a different skillsets and perspectives.

What Sticks | Why Most Advertising Fails…: Three variables most successful advertising campaigns have in common: getting the right motivation based on needs; scenario planning with pre-defined actions steps based on various results;  a test learn and measure approach.

Hard Calls: A collection of short stories narrated by John McCain that reviews some of the most difficult and controversial decisions in history, the discipline and humility that went into each tough call, and the men and women who had the courage and wisdom to follow through. 

Scientific Advertising / My Life in Advertising (Claude Hopkins Autobiography): Claude Hopkin’s My Life in Advertising is a blueprint for modern data-driven marketing strategies. Claude is one of the first to identify test and measure tactics, marketing as providing value to stakeholders, and identifying strategic insights about behaviors.  

Predictably Irrational: Currently reading


2 Responses to On the Reading List

  1. Claire Jacobs says:

    Love all of this, Michael! Lots of good, well-written thoughts (although you STILL get your apostrophes out of place occasionally)! Can’t believe you don’t mention good, old CNU–President Trible is THE consummate story-teller and has used that gift to grow this place in extraordinary ways!

    • mjkurb says:

      Thanks Dr. J, and yes grammer continues to be a lifelong education 🙂
      I was at CNU a few weeks ago briefly when visiting my girlfriend who is a senior there and I could barely recognize the place. It is amazing!
      I do miss the great lawn though…and its awkward yet charming layout.

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