The reading list: September 2018


Reading is one of life’s great pleasures for me, and I prioritise the time to read, reflect and discuss over certain other things. The standpoints I respectfully disagree with often make their way onto the blog in their own right or into my lecturing; the things I’m happy to share in brief end up here. These are the works that made an impression in September.

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The 20 Ps of Marketing by David Pearson (non-fiction book)

Although I specialise in content, it’s so bound in with wider marketing strategy that I wanted to read a thorough introduction to the principles. This came well recommended, and I appreciated the fact that it expands upon the original four Ps of marketing.

The ‘quiet revolution in business book publishing’ has clearly happened since this came out. Examples focussing solely on the big corporates, sketchy understanding of digital transformation, mentors who are all men, case study references to men, quotes on the back cover all from men. You get the idea.

I’ll use it as a reference point when working with marketing colleagues but it felt quite far removed from my own experiences. If you’re performing a function in a big company, this might hold practical insights.

Delayed Gratification

After attending their infographics class, I revisited this lovely old copy of Delayed Gratification from 2017. The beautiful, considered infographics hold up far beyond the events and the analysis of the news cycle is still relevant even now.

If you’re tasked with coming up with stories from data, you will enjoy diving into the best-in-class examples.


If you’re particular about your flights of fancy, then Madeline Miller might be right for you. She tells the myth of the Greek goddess Circe with humanity and depth that resonates in a modern world that’s increasingly serious about finding meaning and self-worth.


On that note, Damien Whitmore’s powerful piece on taking time out from his successful career to care for his mum (Guardian online), who has Alzheimer’s, shows the beauty and kindness in communities and small actions.

And on the cards for October? The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante, Wilful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan and The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy. Sign up to the mailing list to find out whether they make the grade.