What We're Listening To In September (Work It)

In our monthly series, we share recommendations from the Audible staffers least likely to remove their headphones for elevator small talk.

Given that Audible headquarters is in the New York metro area, we’re all about that commute. Some of us train, some of us drive — but all of us are, after a few months anyway, total pilgrimage pros. And we know to use this time to mentally prepare for the day ahead. 

For some of us, that means books encouraging us to bring our most creative selves to the job. Others are trying to better understand a specific business problem. Sometimes we like to better appreciate our jobs by hearing stories about much, much worse situations. In that range, here’s what staffers have found helpful on the hop into work:

Finding the Space to Lead

Janice Marturano was a high-powered attorney, and the practice of mindfulness changed her life. Fast-forward a few years, and she’s presenting mindfulness to other Type-A personalities … at Davos. Right, so not your usual self-help book. Anyway, I learned from Janice how to take a sanity-saving but unnoticeable pause in the middle of stressful situations and how to be more effective each day (spoiler: stop multitasking). While I’m not running the world (yet), I’m definitely more popular in meetings! –Christina, Content Acquisition

The Checklist Manifesto

Twitter/Square CEO Jack Dorsey used to make all new hires read The Checklist Manifesto, so I figured it must have some good, practical, tech-business advice. I started listening on the train to work on a Monday morning (prior to any caffeine) and was immediately caught off guard by gory tales of Intensive Care Unit triage. A few chapters later, he’s talking about construction projects. What does this have to do with business development in the tech industry?

The Checklist Manifesto is a rare business book that takes you completely out of your area of expertise and explains real-world examples of how other people maintain high efficiency, productivity, and excellence. It makes you think about how to increase error-proofing, rigor, teamwork, and communication to be better at your job. –Tommy, Business Development/Partnerships

Disrupted

If you’ve ever sat at work thinking “this place is insane,” you’ll feel a lot better after experiencing this hilarious, vicarious, and terrifying look behind the office-culture curtain of a Silicon Valley tech start-up. Forced to reinvent himself after a successful magazine career, Lyons joins the marketing team and encounters endless hyperbole, foosball tables, and a bro culture he was much too old (and smart) to join. What was obviously a nightmare for him was a fascinating listen for me. –Lou, Brand

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

Just Say No: “Not giving a fuck means taking care of yourself first — like affixing your own oxygen mask before helping others. Not giving a fuck means allowing yourself to say no. I don’t want to. I don’t have time. I can’t afford it. Not giving a fuck — crucially — means releasing yourself from the worry, anxiety, fear, and guilt associated with saying no, allowing you to stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do.”

Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits

On the days I find my brain spinning and whispering “but why do we think this?” I turn to Debbie Miliman’s Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits. I can jump to any chapter and leave with something to chew on for the day. The variety of perspectives in this book provides endless inspiration for anyone who helps shape modern brands and narrator Nicole Valencia gives an engaging, playful performance. –Deanna, Audible Range/Brand

Predictably Irrational

I'm a sucker for anything that tells me weird facts about human nature, so right now I'm loving Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. I always thought I was a pretty logical person until this book pointed out exactly how much of our thinking doesn't line up with the way the world actually works. You can almost hear the narrator, Simon Jones, raising one eyebrow in amusement every time he notes the silliness of how people act at work and in life. You might never become Mr. Spock, but this book can help you be a little wiser in your day-to-day life. -Rayna, Brand

Bird by Bird

YES moment: “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.”

Finding the Space to Lead

Janice Marturano was a high-powered attorney, and the practice of mindfulness changed her life. Fast-forward a few years, and she’s presenting mindfulness to other Type-A personalities … at Davos. Right, so not your usual self-help book. Anyway, I learned from Janice how to take a sanity-saving but unnoticeable pause in the middle of stressful situations and how to be more effective each day (spoiler: stop multitasking). While I’m not running the world (yet), I’m definitely more popular in meetings! –Christina, Content Acquisition

The Checklist Manifesto

Twitter/Square CEO Jack Dorsey used to make all new hires read The Checklist Manifesto, so I figured it must have some good, practical, tech-business advice. I started listening on the train to work on a Monday morning (prior to any caffeine) and was immediately caught off guard by gory tales of Intensive Care Unit triage. A few chapters later, he’s talking about construction projects. What does this have to do with business development in the tech industry?

The Checklist Manifesto is a rare business book that takes you completely out of your area of expertise and explains real-world examples of how other people maintain high efficiency, productivity, and excellence. It makes you think about how to increase error-proofing, rigor, teamwork, and communication to be better at your job. –Tommy, Business Development/Partnerships

Disrupted

If you’ve ever sat at work thinking “this place is insane,” you’ll feel a lot better after experiencing this hilarious, vicarious, and terrifying look behind the office-culture curtain of a Silicon Valley tech start-up. Forced to reinvent himself after a successful magazine career, Lyons joins the marketing team and encounters endless hyperbole, foosball tables, and a bro culture he was much too old (and smart) to join. What was obviously a nightmare for him was a fascinating listen for me. –Lou, Brand

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

Just Say No: “Not giving a fuck means taking care of yourself first — like affixing your own oxygen mask before helping others. Not giving a fuck means allowing yourself to say no. I don’t want to. I don’t have time. I can’t afford it. Not giving a fuck — crucially — means releasing yourself from the worry, anxiety, fear, and guilt associated with saying no, allowing you to stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do.”

Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits

On the days I find my brain spinning and whispering “but why do we think this?” I turn to Debbie Miliman’s Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits. I can jump to any chapter and leave with something to chew on for the day. The variety of perspectives in this book provides endless inspiration for anyone who helps shape modern brands and narrator Nicole Valencia gives an engaging, playful performance. –Deanna, Audible Range/Brand

Predictably Irrational

I'm a sucker for anything that tells me weird facts about human nature, so right now I'm loving Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. I always thought I was a pretty logical person until this book pointed out exactly how much of our thinking doesn't line up with the way the world actually works. You can almost hear the narrator, Simon Jones, raising one eyebrow in amusement every time he notes the silliness of how people act at work and in life. You might never become Mr. Spock, but this book can help you be a little wiser in your day-to-day life. -Rayna, Brand

Bird by Bird

YES moment: “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.”

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