Honey Copy


Riffs on marketing, writing, creativity and life ––

A living, breathing list of the best books I've ever read summed up in one sentence.

my book list.

I read a lot. Like, a lot, a lot.

In part, because I adore reading, it’s a lovely way to learn, to explore and to get lost for an afternoon.

But, in addition to this, reading and writing go hand in hand.

Reading good writers makes writers better writers. In fact, I’d argue it’s nearly impossible to become a great or even a good writer if you’re not willing to set aside some time each day to read.

For writers, reading is like honey –– it’s impossible to touch without walking away with some of its stickiness stuck to you and your pen.

At Honey Copy, my creative writing shop that grows brands with pretty words, I put to paper somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 words each week.

The only way to keep my pen full of ink is to read. Period.

Now, in addition to just writers, I think the same goes for marketers, entrepreneurs, snow cone vendors and really anyone who makes a living creatively.

Reading gifts us ideas, it enhances creativity, it sharpens critical thinking, it lowers anxiety and it teaches us things we previously did not know.

Bottom line –– read.

The list you’ll find below is not finished. It will never be finished.

It’s a living breathing list of the best books I’ve ever read summed up in one sentence. My favorite sentence I read in the book.

Unlike other lists littering the internet, you won’t strictly find best-selling business books on mine.

You will, however, find books about poetry, writing, creativity, the Hell’s Angels, some of the greatest people who have ever lived and, yes, the occasional one about business.

Regardless, most (if not all) of the books on this list have lessons that can be applied to life, love, creativity and doing work that matters. Both myself and Honey Copy are a living breathing culmination of these books. Enjoy.

  1. Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs.

    By Henry Carroll.

    The magic of photography, the bit that can’t be explained, is you.

  2. Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga.

    By Hunter S. Thompson.

    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

  3. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

    By Stephen King.

    Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.

  4. Citizen Illegal.

    By Jose Olivarez.

    My mom still loved me so I invented her sadness and asked her to hold it like a bouquet of fake flowers.

  5. A Monster Calls.

    By Patrick Ness.

    I don’t want you to go.

  6. Hidden Water.

    By Frank Stanford.

    He was crazy, he was a dreamer, lovely and dark, like a chinaberry tree, a pond, a stump with a jar of lightening.

  7. This Boy’s Life: A Memoir.

    By Tobias Wolff.

    It was like fishing a swamp, where you feel the tug of something that at first seems promising and then resistant and finally hopeless as you realize that you've snagged the bottom, that you have the whole planet on the other end of your line.

  8. Ogilvy on Advertising.

    By David Ogilvy.

    It isn’t the whiskey they choose, it’s the image.

  9. Insomniac City.

    By Billy Hayes.

    In the middle of the night: "Wouldn't it be nice if we could dream together?" Oliver whispers.

  10. The War of Art.

    By Steven Pressfield.

    It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.

  11. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.

    By Al Ries & Jack Trout.

    Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products.

  12. Gates of Fire.

    By Steven Pressfield.

    Nothing fires the warrior’s heart more with courage than to find himself and his comrades at the point of annihilation, at the brink of being routed and overrun, and then to dredge not merely from one’s own bowels or guts but from one’s discipline and training the presence of mind not to panic, not to yield to the possession of despair, but instead to complete those homely acts of order which Dienekes had ever declared the supreme accomplishment of the warrior: to perform the commonplace under far-from-commonplace conditions.

  13. Bird By Bird.

    By Anne Lamott.

    It's not unlike finding a mate, where little by little you begin to feel that you've stepped into a shape that was waiting there all along.

  14. She Comes First.

    By William Morrow.

    The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug.

  15. The Laws of the Skies.

    By Courtois Gregoire.

    [ pending ].

  16. When.

    by Daniel Pink.

    Breaks are not a sign of sloth but a sign of strength.

  17. Ham on Rye.

    By Charles Bukowski.

    They were beautiful nothings.

  18. Post Office.

    By Charles Bukowski.

    I wanted the whole world or nothing.

  19. Hegarty on Advertising.

    By Thames & Hudson.

    If I want to make you think I’m funny, I don’t tell you I’m really funny; I tell you a joke.

  20. Like shaking hands with God.

    By Kurt Vonnegut & Lee Stringer.

    I went to a good high school, and everything was noise after that.

More coming soon… in the mean time, sign up for Sticky Notes, my email list reserved strictly for entrepreneurs and creatives looking to write pretty words and sell like hell.

By Cole Schafer.

Cole Schafer