The Atomicdust Summer Reading List

The Atomicdust Summer Reading List

With weekends spent by the pool, at the lake or in the backyard, summer is the perfect time to escape the heat in the pages of a good book. Whether you’re picking up something new or revisiting an old favorite, it’s a great opportunity to find inspiration outside of the office.

With the long holiday weekend approaching, we asked Atomicdust employees to share what they’re reading this summer. A few are directly related to what we do – design, marketing, copywriting – but you’ll also find some fictional favorites that inspire creativity as well.

Without further ado, here are Atomicdust’s recommended summer reads:

An Excuse to Draw: Tommy Kane Sketches the World, Tommy Kane. “I’ve been following Tommy for a while and this is his first book. He’s an art director in NYC and in his downtime he sketches.” – Annie McCance

Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!), George Lois. “When I’m looking for a quick bit of inspiration, this is always where I turn. It’s broken into short tips and reminders (so it’s an easy read), and the advice never gets old.” – Danielle Hohmeier

Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn. “It’s a quick read and involves something that we’re all interested in – letters, writing and creatively working around rules.”– Mike Roberts

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace. “As a big Pixar fan, there was a good chance I’d get around to reading this book eventually. But it’s near the top of my list since Catmull dedicates this book to his ongoing mission to enable people to do excellent creative work, something I care deeply about.” – Jason Stoff

1984, George Orwell. “I could read this book every year for the rest of my life and not get tired of it…and I guess the whole idea of holding the human mind captive is applicable to marketing.” – Steven Brien

Inventing Desire: Inside Chiat/Day : The Hottest Shop, the Coolest Players, the Big Business of Advertising, Karen Stabiner. “An older book published in 1993, this offers insider perspective on famous ad agency Chiat/Day’s transition under new leadership into a new decade. These are great stories of the internal struggles, personality conflicts and client challenges that any creative-driven firm faces while trying to produce great work.” – Mike Spakowski

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Austin Kleon. “A few of my creative friends and I are going through this book and sending each other our work.” – Annie McCance

The Making of a Poem, Mark Strand and Eavan Boland. “This book covers poetic forms like the sonnet and villanelle, and how even the most rigid structures can lead to diverse, beautiful poems. Sometimes marketing language boundaries – from word counts to creative briefs – can feel restrictive, too, so you have to learn how to be creative when you’re boxed in (and how to recognize when it’s time to bend the rules).” – Jazzy Loyal

Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. “I think it’s important to take a step back, to remove yourself from your day-to-day thinking bubble as often as possible. It’s great to have a routine, but there’s something to be said for shaking things up a bit.” – Ken Earley

The Cuckoo’s Egg, Clifford Stoll. “A man studying astronomy learns to be a system admin in the university computer lab, finds a $0.75 accounting discrepancy and from there traces it to a state-sponsored Russian hacker in the 1980s. Basically, this book taught me that you can do anything on the internet if you are curious enough.” – Steven Brien

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, Leander Kahney. “Simply put, I want to get a glimpse inside Sir Jony’s head. He’s created a ton of things I’ve used every day, and it’s obvious his team is detail-oriented. Let’s hope this book contains some of that same spirit.” – Jason Stoff

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, Scott Adams. “The creator of Dilbert explains his process of success. He’s anti-‘follow your passion’ so I’m pro-him.” – Annie McCance

Hacking Hollywood, Chuck Salter. “In essence, the book is a collection of Fast Company articles focusing on the creators (and the creation) of some of the biggest TV shows around – Lost, Girls, Mad Men, The Sopranos, Homeland (and more). How did these shows begin? And why did they captivate audiences? The stories are intriguing, but what surprised me is that the answers to these questions are often simpler than they might appear.” – Rich Heend

Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg. “This book seems like a great source for empowering and motivating individuals to seek challenges, take risks and pursue their goals in the workplace.” – Tara Nesbitt

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, Jon Kabat-Zin. “It’s hard to stay mindful with all of the social media, fomo, commercialism – the distractions. This is a great starter book for those wanting to be more intentional.” – Annie McCance

Tara Nesbitt

Tara Nesbitt is inspired by the creative culture at Atomicdust, and enjoys coming to work every morning to ignite new, exciting ideas for clients. As Online Marketing Coordinator, she works closely with our clients to develop and deliver compelling content through social media channels – and to measure its effectiveness.

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