Participating in a book discussion group has many benefits.  For me, the accountability alone ensures that I am continually engaging in activities that sharpen the saw so the speak.  When I know that I’m going to be sitting around a table to discuss a book with others, I will push through and finish reading it when I might otherwise procrastinate.  Not only do I gain valuable insights from reading more, I also glean new perspectives by listening to the reactions and ideas other’s share in the discussion.  At the end of a discussion I have rejuvenated my thinking with practical and tangible ideas that help me push the needle forward.

Just because it’s March doesn’t mean it’s too late to pick out a reading list for this year. Choosing an annual reading list is an interesting endeavor to undertake in and of itself.  For the last three years, I have been organizing the EntrepreNerds business book discussion group. When picking out the books for EntrepreNerds, it helps that we have an inspiring mission, “To boldly go where no (hu)man has gone before!”

Okay, that’s Star Treks mission. But we are a community of trailblazers thats charting our own path to success.  One common goal amongst EntrepreNerds is that we want to earn an income while making something meaningful.

So, taking into account our mission and our goals, I attack this problem using both bottom up and top-down thinking.  I have some books in mind that I want to read like Conversational Intelligence and Your Best Just Got Better. At the same time I identify topics that are beneficial to study about business, leadership, productivity, and personal growth.

The interesting thing about EntrepreNerds is that not everyone reads the same books. Wait, what?  You have a book discussion group and not everyone reads the same book…well, that’s a topic for another post. But suffice it to say, at EntrepreNerds we encourage participants to choose the books that best resonates with them.  Here are the four criteria I use when picking our book recommendations:

  1. Purpose – what’s our why and does this resource help us fulfill our purpose?
  2. Goals – what are our common goals for this year and will this book provide the know-how needed to accomplish our common goals?
  3. Originality – does this book offer new and valuable insights?
  4. Writing Style – is the writing clear, succinct and presented in a manner that is easily comprehensible?

With those reflections in mind, I have composed the following list of recommended readings for EntrepreNerds in 2015.  Check them out and get the books that best resonate with you!

Taming Your GremlinMarch 3 – Entrepreneurship and Resilience
Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of your Own Way by Rick Carson
Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back by Andrew Zolli

April – Happily Productive
Your Best Just Got Better by Jason Womack
Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change by Shawn Anchor

June – The Art of Building a Business
The Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want by Alexander Osterwalder
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber

Aug/Sept – Earn Income, Make Something Meaningful
To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink
Art of Revolution Handbook by Jonathan Fields

Conversational IntellegenceOct – Leading with Heart
Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results by Judith Glasser
The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill by Karla McLaren

Nov/Dec – Act Beyond the Obvious, Innovate
The Tao of Innovation: Nine Questions Every Innovator Must Answer by Teng-Kee Tan
Think Big, Act Small: How America’s Best Performing Companies Keep the Start-up Spirit Alive by Jason Jennings

For more information about our upcoming book discussions visit or look at the Poudre River Public Library’s Business Books Recommended Reading List for more business book recommendations. Interested in starting your own reading group? The library has information on that also! Check out the book club kits to get started.


Ariana Friedlander, MPA is the Founder and Principal for Rosabella Consulting, LLC and has over 11 years of experience working with small businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to create strategies for successful organizational growth. She is the chief EntrepreNerd.