Working behind the scenes on the Small Business Book Awards, you get to discover a lot of books you might not have known about otherwise. Here are just three uniquely-named books that we found there.
The Cheese Mall
If the title of this book isn’t enough to make you read it, I don’t know what will. Written by Bernie Tracey (@theBeaconCoach ), The Cheese Mall  teaches lessons about marketing through the story of Millie and Matthew (they’re mice), who decide to start a business.
Putting the customer first is the recurring theme and one we could all stand to have drilled into our heads. The theme of the Cheese Mall is connected through the book’s Twitter account, @theCheeseMall , its blog , and its Facebook Page . In fact, the theme is so convincing (there are cheese recipes on the Facebook Page), I had to explore to determine it wasn’t really a store selling cheese (and yes, I was a tad bit disappointed!)
The author, Tracey, owns Beacon Coaching Consultancy  in Ireland and mentors business owners through development and growth. This book is an easy read (you can consume it in an hour or so), and an intro to marketing. The book’s use of a story line makes it stand out from other more technical texts.
The book is for readers looking for simple beginner info on marketing. On the book’s website , reader Enda Brennan said:
“A great step by step guide for any entrepreneur, with each step being immediately convertible to action, and apart from that, a charming read.”
…and Death Came Third
Another unique book title is …and Death Came Third . Andy Lopata (@AndyLopata ) and Peter Roper (@NaturalSpeaker ) reveal that in a survey of biggest fears, walking into a room of strangers and speaking in public ranked as larger fears than death (which came first. Get it?).
The book aims to help readers banish those first two fears by improving networking and public speaking skills.
Lopata has written several books on networking and is a featured columnist for The National Networker . Roper is a business consultant and speaker.
Reviews suggest that this is a handy book to keep close by for reference. Here’s a review from Andy Moss , Senior Business Development Manager for Lloyds TSB:
“It’s the kind of book that should be close by day to day, because it gives you punchy reminders and summaries that help to keep you sharp and focused.”
Shifting the Monkey: The Art of Protecting Good People From Liars, Criers, and Other Slackers
Author Todd Whitaker (@ToddWhitaker ) uses monkeys to illustrate his point in Shifting the Monkey . Often in corporate culture, leaders give too much attention to underperformers who take the monkeys off of their own backs and put them on others.
They should instead, he says, focus that attention on rising stars with potential. From Amazon:
“Too often when monkeys shift, leaders think it will be easier or faster to just reassign the work or worse, do it themselves.”
Whitaker encourages leaders to stop compensating for laggards and instead reward those that do a good job. He is a professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University, and has written 24 books about staff motivation, teacher leadership, and principal effectiveness. For leaders wasting their energy on problem employees, this is a fantastic read, says William C. McIlroy, President of the Community State Bank of Missouri on Amazon:
“A great book…gives good perspective for dealing with the difficult employee. I highly recommend this book for all people who direct and manage others.”