There’s always a year end meme that goes something like “Top Ten (insert noun here) of the Year”, so I thought I would do one of my own in a bunch of sequential posts (ten perhaps??).  Here’s number one:

Top Ten Books I Read This Year – There’s nothing special to the order, since all of the books here are great, and it’s hard to say one was way better than the other:

Number 1:The Knack- How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Broadsky. The book contains some of the best basic business advice that everyone can use, even if the only business you manage is your personal finances.

Number 2: Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom. This is a great book about neuromarketing, and why our brains sometimes reveal things that our reports on our preferences don’t.  The best book out of the three or four I read this year on neuromarketing.

Number 3- Buying In by Rob Walker- This is a simply fantastic book that looks at why some products seem to have a buzz about them, what makes them special, and how it captures the imagination.  Why did Timberland boots become suddenly popular?  What about Ecko?  Rob Walker’s book is amazing.

Number 4- Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely–  If you hadn’t already figured out that I am a brain and social science geek, this one will convince you to be sure.  Dan Ariely is a behavioral economist, and you will often see his work quoted in other books- but the source is just as compelling- don’t miss this one.

Number 5- The Pirate’s Dilemma- by Matt Mason– Not only do I love Matt because he agreed to come and talk about his amazing book at Podcamp NYC, The Pirate’s Dilemma is a great book, about how youth culture is reinventing capatalism, and he has great insights- like the music business having to come to terms with the fact it may be selling music, not just little plastic discs that transfer music from one place to another.  One of the best books of the year, hands down easy pick.

Number 6–  The Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, and The Red Rubber Ball for Business by Kevin Carroll- A great book about how when your work becomes your play, your life changes all around for the better.

Number 7: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Gladwell has another interesting book, based on the premise of what it takes to be an expert and be successful depends on a confluence of factors, including when you were born, what kind of family you had, and what opportunities you had while growing up. While some of it seems a little ex post facto in its analysis rather than showing you what you can do to help yourself or your kids become successful, it was still a fascinating read.

Number 8 Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath– I read this one last year, but it is so powerful, I’m putting it on the list again this year. If you want to know how to make your communications, whether in writing, presentations, or even email better and more effective- do not miss this book.

Number 9: Your Child’s Strengths by Jenifer Fox– Jenifer’s book lays out ways to help children find their strengths and find ways to be successful playing on them- Every parent and teacher should read this one and keep it handy on their shelf.

Number 10: The Truth About You by Marcus Buckingham: One of the first book/kits that I have found worth while- in fact, the DVD/video that accompanies the book is one of the best produced, yet maintaining authenticity and on- to-one feel that I have ever seen. If you or anyone you know is trying to find their place in the world, this is a book and video well worth their time.

What are your favorite books of the year?  What should be on my reading list for the start of 2009?