Books you should read before you finish college

One thing we don’t get much time to do in our class is explore readings that examine new technologies, and how those change the way we think and operate on a day-to-day basis. As you know by now, delivering presentations isn’t just face-to-face anymore. Those are still vital skills to develop– we have enough time to cover those concepts, moving beyond basic speaking and towards things that interest you, developing your persona as a speaker. We have time to talk about the ‘translation’ of those presentations to digital formats– but we really do not have the time to do many readings outside of our main text and the posts you see on this blog. So, I thought I’d share recommendations that I believe you would all benefit from that are relevant to our class and well beyond the completion of your degrees.

These are all very inexpensive, and if you have a reading app (You can download the Kindle app for your computer, even if you don’t own the device), you can typically find samples from the books for free.

If you have any interest in developing a better understanding of communication technologies, how they came to be, and why they work in the way that they do, I highly recommend reading the following:

Other books that are good to read:

If you’re interested in the way things work, the legitimacy of such spaces, etc., read The World and Wikipedia. Actually, maybe we can see if Brian has any additional recommendations on good readings. Much of his research is centered around the computational side of networks through the use of command line and software like P*NET (he crosses over between the Communication department and Statistics department, if that’s any indication).

And finally, our textbook. Simple to read, good, clear principles outlined, easy examples. I have used a variety of texts on presentational speaking. Many are very expensive, very big books, and take a lot of time describing what they want to say. Gallo’s text gets to the point, which is exactly what we need in such an applied setting.

What books do you recommend?


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About Rebecca K Britt

I'm Rebecca, an Associate Professor. I enjoy research & teaching, and painting. My husband and I love video games and traveling!

8 responses to “Books you should read before you finish college”

  1. tsamadif says :

    A couple of these books sound pretty interesting. I know that I am definitely interested in developing my technology knowledge more in depth. For me, when it comes to computers and web design, I generally feel clueless.

    The book Don’t Make Me Think:A Common Approach to Web Usability might be just the book I need to read to get a better understanding of web and give me great ideas for my portfolio project.

  2. Chelsea Berryman says :

    These are great books. I have read Outliers and I recommend anything from Gladwell, my favorite including ‘The Tipping Point’. I would also recommend these books:

    Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

    Talent Is Never Enough: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent by John C. Maxwell

    First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham

    There are many more books that are not only great reads, but you will learn a lot from, not only about businesses and leaderships, but about yourself.

    I believe that we need to constantly be reading books outside of our school work and plan of study to make us a more well rounded person, as well as grow as individuals.

  3. burnscp says :

    I can’t say I’ve heard of many of these books before but after a recommendation I am more than willing to go check out a few of them. I think it’s always a good thing to keep reading so we don’t get lost in the digital age.

  4. melvinallen says :

    I agree completely, though I haven’t heard of those books either, they do sound very interesting. This is a good point about technology though, it is always changing and very present in our daily lives. I feel I am somewhat technology friendly, but their are tons of things I definitely need more knowledge on. Honestly outside of the basic operations of the computer and interenet anything else is pretty much over my head. But, I definitely am going to check some of the books listed to further my knowledge.

  5. Cody Maus says :

    I love reading. I have never been much of a non fiction reader but there are a good deal of titles I would recommend. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski is an exciting mind bending read. Rant by Chuck Palahnuik will suck you in and keep you turning pages . If you are a fan of scary movies I suggest Hell House by Richard Matheson. Sadly the amount of recreational reading I get to do anymore is not near as much as I would like.

  6. kingkyle35 says :

    The book that sounds interesting to me was Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Approach to Web Usability by Steven Krug.
    Being that I will be looking for a job here soon, I have really wanted to extend my presence on the web. The online portfolio we are starting is an excellent start. But I would enjoy a good read on just what I can get out of the web. According to the user reviews, this book is excellent for novice, intermediate, or expert coders as well. This may have just made it to my christmas list, Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. robpingry says :

    Outliers is one of those great books that changed the way I look at success. The book explains how someone becomes successful. The author uses real data to show that it is hard work. That some people may be predisposed for greatness but they still have to work their asses off to get whats theirs. One of the stats I took away from the book is, it takes about 5,000 hours to master something. That tells me that I have a lot of work to do before I become a pro at anything,

  8. Mike Tuccori says :

    All of those recommendations sound very interesting and beneficial to read. Based on what was displayed, Outliers and Brain Rules seem to be the most general and applicable to everyday life in a multitude of different situations. This is the first time I am hearing about this Kindle App, and it like a must have especially because it is free. With regards to book recommendations, mine are more applicable to classic fiction books on life that take you along the journey of the characters in the book, puts you in their shoes, and allows you to learn the common life lessons necessary for any young student approaching this big, bad world. If lessons learned, these books will allow you to become more well-rounded, inspired, less ignorant, and mature. Some of these books are The Rum Diary, On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Lonesome Traveler, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to name a few. It is best to read those classic writers that everyone learned about in middle school and high school but was too young and distracted to understand and value.

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