As a lifelong book nerd, I often find myself disappointed by the "best of" lists I regulalrly come across online. It's not that I don't like The E-Myth Revisited, The 4-Hour Work Week, or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People-these are all excellent books with a lot to teach. The thing is, my competitors are reading them too, which negates any edge they might have given me.

So I thought I'd take the time to bring to you a list of more unusual books that have helped me grow my business. These aren't the kinds of books you'll find on The Wall Street Journal bestseller list, which is exactly the point.

1. Propaganda by Edward Bernays

Written by the man responsible for turning bacon into an American breakfast staple, this is a handbook for getting influential people to convince the masses to buy (and buy into) whatever you're selling. Bernays strongly believed that propaganda could be a benevolent undertaking. Regardless of whether you agree, this book gives you the opportunity to learn marketing from one of the best there ever was.

The book that gave Bernays many of this best ideas, The Crowd details how people act far differently in groups than they do as individuals. Although this was written more than a hundred years ago, the bulk of Le Bon's ideas are more applicable to the virtual tribes that dominate our era's interactions than they were even in his own time.

While the above two books describe what forces get people to follow and to buy, Subliminal explains why they do so in the first place. Relying on the most up-to-date scientific studies, Mladinow explores the true causes of human behavior.

A memoir of sorts by the King of B-Movies, you'll learn how to turn people's most primal emotions into cash without breaking the bank. Corman's book also includes fantastic lessons on the importance of mentorship, as we hear firsthand about how his willingness to take chances on newcomers such as Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola paid off.

A twisted rags to riches story by one of the originators of the punk rock movement, this book shows the importance of making waves. While reading about how a working class kid founded the Sex Pistols and inspired millions of imitators, you'll undoubtedly come away with more than a few powerful ways to attract attention to your most important ideas.