What Books Would You Recommend?

Books open us up to possibility and understanding. Through reading, I’ve been able to discover new strategies for my business, explore viewpoints that differ from mine, and often escape into a good story. I also enjoy reading a wide variety of subjects. 


Here’s a sampling what I’ve read recently:


Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. Overall, I am a fan of the genre of books about looking at the world counterintuitively, and this book is no exception. Also, Barker’s newsletter is densely packed with interesting life tips for gaining perspective, and links to a lot of other interesting things. When I do read his newsletter, I have to make sure I have time set aside to explore many rabbit holes.


Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. It’s your customer’s journey that should be central to your brand. Too often, when we market to customers and prospects we focus on our own journey and the bells and whistles we offer, which makes us the hero and not our customer. This book offers great insight as to how to flip that script and position the customer as the hero that comes to rely on your brand.


The Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli. Not an easy or accessible book by any means, but one that is often heartbreaking. Its central story is that of a family coming apart during a long road trip, but it weaves in the migrant crisis at the border and Native American history as well, and delves deep into the magical thinking that comes with childhood.


The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Fiction can provide you with a window into a time and place. This is a devastating look at a juvenile detention facility in Florida in the 1960s. Although the facility is fictional, it is based on a real place. Overall, it’s an often overlooked story of the criminal justice system and its treatment of young Black men in particular.


Exhalation by Ted Chiang. The short stories in this book really made me think a lot about our place in this world. Each story has a fantastical or science fiction element to it, but they really speak about what it is to be human. 


The Funjungle Series by Sturt Gibbs. This is a series of middle-grade mysteries that take place in zoo/theme park set in Texas. I’ve been reading them out loud to my 7-year-old who can’t get enough. She listens to me read while she plays, eats and gets ready for bed. Since I’m a voice actor, maybe I should send her an invoice. The action moves pretty quickly, there’s always an element of danger, and some of the scenes are really funny. Each book also has a pretty solid animal rights/conservation message attached to it.


I’m always interested in what others are reading, and I’m curious as to what book or books you would recommend. Do you have a favorite book on entrepreneurship, creativity, or just straight up fiction? Send your recommendations my way at chris@vallancourt.com.

Warm, friendly, professional voice talent specializing in corporate narration, explainer videos, and e-learning. Most projects are turned around within 24 hours from my studio. 






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