In 2017, we had our main man, Chuck Gose, interview internal comms experts for our ChuckChats series. Behind the scenes we had Chuck ask our guests what books had the biggest impact on them in their lives and careers. 

Naturally, our guests' recommendations were awesome. So awesome, in fact, that we decided to buy all the books recommended for a very lucky comms team.

The giveaway is now over. Womp, womp.

Congrats to our winner and thank you everyone for your participation! We'll be having more giveaways in the near future, so make sure to subscribe to our blog so you can enter!

Never miss a giveaway, subscribe to our blog here. 

In the meantime, check out the list below to read reviews, recommendations, and to learn more about the books that communicators are recommending. 

 - On Writing -




Writing Without Bullshit
by Josh Bernoff

Length: 304 Pages
Genre: Writing
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Recommended By: Liz Jurewicz

writing without bullshit chuck chats

Here’s what Liz had to say:

“I had the opportunity to take one of the author’s (Josh Bernoff) workshops at a conference I was attending and it was a breath of fresh air. He said all the things I have been thinking about the importance of getting to the point and communicating in a way that brings clarity not confusion. 




On Writing Well
by William Zinsser

Length: 336 Pages
Genre: Writing
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Recommended By: John Twombly


on writing well chuck chats


Here’s what John had to say:

“This is the best book I’ve read. It has sentimental value because it is the first one I received for my birthday from my mom during high school. Lesson learned: rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.”




On Writing 

by Stephen King

Length: 320 Pages
Genre: Writing
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Recommended By: Steve Crescenzo

 onwritingstephenking chuck chats

Here’s what Steve had to say:

“Whether you like his books or not, his musings on the craft of writing are inspirational and practical at the same time.”


Don’t Make Me Think 
by Steve Krug

Length: 216 Pages
Genre: Design & Technology
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Recommended By: Sharon O’Dea


dont-make-me-think-revisited chuck chats

Here’s what Sharon had to say:

It’s rightly subtitled ‘a commonsense guide to usability’ and is a useful and practical guide to putting yourself in the shoes of your audiences.”

Click here to enter to win the entire library


- On Your Career -



What Color Is Your Parachute 
by Richard Nelson Bolles

Length: 368 Pages
Genre: Job Hunting
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Angela Sinickas


Here’s what Angela had to say:

“Each year it is updated but the two things I took away from it were the concepts of an “informational interview,” and how and when to negotiate starting salaries. I used informational interviews extensively when we relocated to California from Chicago. And I got pretty good at negotiating salaries.

Before I read the book, my pay increases moving from company to company were about 15%-20%. Not bad, but nothing special. After reading the book, my pay jumps from company to company were 50% to 100%.“


Designing Your Life 
by Bill Burnett

Length: 274 Pages
Genre: Career
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Liz Jurewicz


Here’s what Liz had to say:

“It was written by two Stanford professors and takes such a practical yet creative approach to making life changes. I think it’s a brilliant read for people who are into their careers but also want to keep innovating.

Watch the author’s Tedx Talk:

Click here to enter to win the entire library 

- On Management -



Deep Work 
by Cal Newport 

Length: 287 Pages
Genre: Time Management
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Heather Wagoner


Here’s what Heather had to say:

It’s all about attention fragmentation and how in order to get to an elite level or to just simply to be able do something with our full cognitive capacity—we have to allow ourselves to focus. It’s very difficult to do, but it’s the only way.

There are also some relevant historical points for internal comms, based on the evolution of work, and industry, and the rise of the knowledge worker (that’s us). It discusses how that has been combined with an ‘industrial’ mindset—meaning ‘producing’ and ‘productivity’ is what is rewarded—when in fact, we’d be better off doing less, but better, and using our full cognitive capacity.”




Strengths Finder 
by Tom Rath

Length: 192 Pages
Genre: Management
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Brenton Miller & Victoria Dew


Here’s what Brenton had to say:

“It helped me narrow down where I was most effective and how to best leverage my skills and professional strengths within my role.”

Here’s what Victoria had to say:

“It is the book I feel like I give to others the most often, and that’s probably a good indicator of its impact on my own life.”


Crucial Conversations 
by Kerry Patterson,
Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan,
and Al Switzler

Length: 272 Pages
Genre: Training
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Elisabeth Wang 
& Pinaki Kathiari



Here’s what Elisabeth had to say:

“I think about this book often as I am building relationships and coaching my team.”




7 Habits of Highly Effective People 
by Stephen Covey

Length: 432 Pages
Genre: Self-Improvement & Management
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Elisabeth Wang, 
Pinaki Kathiari & Jen Hall


Here’s what Jen had to say:

“Covey has one little chart that changed my world. For my entire career, I’ve been tied to Outlook as though an invisible chain connects us, and priorities that may not be mine or my team’s tend to drive more than half of my day—and they arrive in tens of thousands of emails—that we constantly monitor.

Covey has great tips about “closing out of your email,” that I’m afraid I need to politely ignore to stay employed, but the chart helps me prioritize and weed through all the demands on our limited resources and time.

When you absolutely have to say “no” to things, it really helps to identify what is “important and urgent” and not just “urgent, but not important” or “urgent, but important to someone else.”

May sound kinda harsh, but when you’re in a corporate role supporting an entire system, it’s very helpful to boil things down to “which task would serve the most people or add the most value to the organization” if you have to pick just one.”



The ONE Thing 
by Gary W. Keller and 
Jay Papasan

Length: 240 Pages
Genre: Management
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Recommended By: Jennifer Andrick


Here’s what Jennifer had to say:

“As communicators we often wear multiple “hats”, which sometimes is great, but can also be to our detriment. Often we get pulled into so many projects and customer requests that we lose focus on what’s most important for our organization. This really helped me reset and reflect on what’s the one strategy I need to work on to take internal communications to the next level.”





Now, Discover your Strengths 
by Marcus Buckingham

Length: 272 Pages
Genre: Management
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Priya Bates

 now, discover.jpeg

Here’s what Priya had to say:

“It’s the premise that we all have something we’re naturally good at. If you focus on people’s strengths versus their weaknesses and struggles, you build confidence that will serve them well even when they are struggling. For me, whether it’s managing teams, coaching leaders, consulting with organizations, or building brands, I alway focus on strengths that we can build on.”


The First 90 Days 
by Michael Watkins

Length: 304 Pages
Genre: Management & Leadership
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Recommended By: Rita Zonius


Here’s what Rita had to say:

I love it because it provides practical tools to help you transition from an old role into a new one. Michael describes the ‘breakeven point’ - the stage at which you’ve learned just enough in a new role so you can begin taking action and adding value - being at around the six-month mark. So, what you do in your first 90 days is critical to ensure you go into a new role with your eyes open, learn as much as you can as quickly as you can, to enable you to make informed decisions about your strategies and plans.



The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
by Greg McKeown

Length: 272 Pages
Genre: Time Management
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Angee Linsey 
Rocky Walls


Here’s what Rocky had to say:

“I think a huge problem in any communication is that we’re not concise enough, we don’t prioritize, and perhaps related, we don’t stop and listen. I think if communicators could carefully focus their efforts on just the communication, that's going to make the biggest differences, the results would speak for themselves.”




Start With Why 
by Simon Sinek

Length: 272 Pages
Genre: Management & Leadership
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Recommended By: Sharon O’Dea


Here’s what Sharon had to say:

I find myself coming back to this one for quotes time and again, as it explains how organisations need to have purpose, and connect people to that purpose.

Watch the author's Ted Talk:


The Goal 
by Eliyahu M. Goldratt 
& Jeff Cox

Length: 408 Pages
Genre: Business Management
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Recommended By: Carrie Basham Young


Here’s what Carrie had to say:

I read this when I was getting my MBA about ten years ago. It’s not a sexy “social business” book. But it does help you understand the fundamentals of running an efficient business - I have always tended to be a bottleneck, and I constantly go back to The Goal in order to remind myself that I have to let go a little bit in order to grow.


Who Moved my Cheese 
by Spencer Johnson

Length: 96 Pages
Genre: Human Resources
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Recommended By: Sean Williams


Here’s what Sean had to say:

It’s the essence of change management.



10 Natural Laws of Successful
Time and Life Management 
by Hyrum Smith

Length: 204 Pages
Genre: Sales
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐   1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Chris Mcgrath


Here’s what Chris had to say:

It helped me define what’s really important to me and to set and achieve many goals.



The Trust Factor 
by Paul J. Zak

Length: 256 Pages
Genre: Organizational Behaviour
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Victoria Dew


Here’s what Victoria had to say:

I’m really interested in the effects of trust -- psychological safety, really -- on culture and the workplace, and he’s done some amazing work in this area.

Click here to enter to win the entire library 

- On Motivation and Inspiration -

The Pig of Happiness 
by Edward Monkton

Length: 32 Pages
Genre: Motivational
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Recommended By: Stephanie Richard

 pig of happiness.jpg

Here’s what Stephanie had to say:

“It’s a short read but it really speaks to standing apart when the world tends to get you down. I take from it, that my positively can be inspiring to others, so I try to keep this upbeat mindset in my work life and I hope in the long-run it wears off on others.”

Watch the animated video: 





Big Magic 
by Elizabeth Gilbert

Length: 285 Pages
Genre: Creativity
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Alan Oram


Here’s what Alan had to say:

It made me start thinking more deeply about my own creative process and why creativity is important to me.

The Design of 
Everyday Things 
by Don Norman

Length: 368 Pages
Genre: Psychology and Design
Amazon Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  1/2
Goodreads Reviews: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommended By: Chuck Gose


Here’s what Chuck had to say:

It's one of my favorite reads and it's been around for a while. This book makes you think about how important design is in how interact with everything from physical objects to software to - gasp- even communications. It might help communicators hit refresh or redo on the way internal comms channels and messages are designed.


With these 22 fantastic recommendations, everyone on your team is sure to find something to inspire them for the new year.