Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

18 Curated Books of the Year Lists For 2018

At the beginning of the year, all things seem possible, especially for authors who will be publishing books during the next 12 months. The fortunate few will see their efforts rewarded by landing on various best-of-the-year lists.

As in several previous years, I have collected and curated some of the most interesting lists. Some, but not all, are focused on the best business/leadership/management books of the year. But even those lists, especially those that reached out to various leaders for their recommendations, were not strictly bound to those genres. In that spirit, enjoy these 18 lists for 2018:

800-CEO-READ: The 2018 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards

Bloomberg: The Best Books of 2018

BookBub: The Best Business Books of 2018

CNBC: Business books recommended by Bill Gates, Barack Obama and other successful people

Esquire: The Best Books of 2018

Financial Times: ‘Bad Blood’ wins the FT and McKinsey Business Book of 2018

Foreign Policy: The Books We Read in 2018

Fortune: The Best Books of 2018, According to CEOs

The Guardian: Best Books of The Year

Inc.com: The 10 Best Business Books of 2018

Kottke.org: The Best Books of 2018

The New York Times: The 10 Best Books of 2018

The New Yorker: The Best Books of 2018

NPR: NPR’s Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2018’s Great Reads

Publishers Weekly: Best Books of 2018

strategy+business: Best Business Books 2018

Thrillist: The 32 Best Books of 2018

Yahoo! Finance: The best business books we read in 2018

By my estimation, the big winner, at least in business-related titles, was John Carryrou’s Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, the awardee for the FT and McKinsey Business Book of 2018, and on several other lists, including a recommendation from Bill Gates in CNBC, and by Kathryn Haun, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz, in Bloomberg. Carryrou’s book builds on his investigative reporting for The Wall Street Journal about the ill-fated company Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes.

It’s always interesting to learn about recommendations from executives and other high-profile leaders. For instance, elsewhere on the CNBC list, the choices include Barack Obama (The New Geography of Jobs, by University of California Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti; media mogul Arianna Huffington (The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate, by Fran Hauser); Wharton School professor and bestselling author Adam Grant (The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias, by Dolly Chugh); and Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block (Leadership in Turbulent Times, by Doris Kearns Goodwin).

On the Bloomberg list, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recommends The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect, by Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie; and Bharat Masrani, Group president and CEO, TD Bank Group recommends Nadella’s Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone. In addition, there are personal picks from Vanessa Colella, Chief innovation officer and head of Citi Ventures, Citi (Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover); Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber (Principles: Life and Work, by Ray Dalio); Josh Reeves, Co-founder and CEO, Gusto (Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts., by Brené Brown), and others.

As successful as many of these books have been, they still represent a small percentage of the many worthy and high-quality books that were published this year. We will undoubtedly see many exciting titles in 2019. Happy reading, and happy new year!

17 Books of the Year Lists for 2017

If it’s really the most wonderful time of the year, one reason must be the publication of so many books of the year lists. As in past years, I have collected and curated some of the most informative lists for my year-end post. The amount and quality of these books is breathtaking. And it’s safe to say that many other noteworthy books did not make these lists, but are still worthy of attention. Here are 17 of the top lists, business-focused and otherwise, for 2017:

Photo credit: Bigstock

Bloomberg: the Best Books of 2017

CNBC: 13 of the best business books of 2017

The Economist: Books of the Year 2017

Financial Times: FT Series: Books of the Year 2017

Financial Times: FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2017

(The winner is Amy Goldstein’s Janesville: An American Story.)

Forbes: Top 10 Business Books for 2017, by Shep Hyken

Fortune: Fortune’s Favorite Business Books of the Year

The Globe and Mail: The Globe 100

Inc.com: 12 of the Best Business Books of 2017, According to the Stanford Business School

The Irish Times: The best business books of 2017 and the ones to avoid

Library Journal: Best Books 2017

Los Angeles Times: Best Books of 2017/Best Non-Fiction

The New York Times: The 10 Best Books of 2017

Publishers Weekly: Best Books 2017

Strategy + Business: Best Business Books 2017

USA TODAY: 10 books we loved reading in 2017

The Washington Post: Best Books 2017

The Bloomberg list  is particularly intriguing, as it’s a survey of recommendations from major names in the business world, including Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia Business School (the above-mentioned Janesville: An American Story, by Amy Goldstein); Marc Andreessen, software pioneer/venture capitalist (Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin); Alexa von Tobel, Chief Digital Officer, Northwestern Mutual (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, by Kevin Kelly); Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs (Grant, by Ron Chernow); and Karen Katz, President and CEO, Neiman Marcus Group (The Man Who Could Be King: A Novel, by the recently deceased John Ripin Miller).

The new year promises many exemplary titles in all genres; the fortunate few will populate similar lists a year from now. In the meantime, enjoy your reading time during this holiday season, and a Happy New Year to all!

16 Business Books of the Year Lists for 2016

One of my favorite activities of each holiday season is to round up and write about best business books of the year lists.


2016 has been a tumultuous year to say the least, but it’s been a great one for business and leadership books, as demonstrated by these lists:

Bloomberg: Best Books of 2016

CNBC: Richard Branson shares the 5 best leadership books he read in 2016

The Economist: Books of the Year

Fast Company: The 10 Best Business Books of 2016

Financial Times: The best thing I read all year — 2016

Financial Times/FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
(The winner is The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, by Sebastian Mallaby):

Forbes: Top Ten Business Books of 2016, by Shep Hyken

The Globe and Mail: Ten books to top your business reading list, by Harvey Schachter

The Huffington Post: 10 of the Best Business Books of 2016

Inc.: The Best Management Books of 2016, by Geoffrey James

Inc.: The 7 Best Personal Finance Books of 2016, by Geoffrey James

Inc.: The 10 Best Business Books of 2016 (So Far), by Sujan Patel

Inc.: The 10 Smartest Reads for Entrepreneurs From 2016, by Leigh Buchanan

Inc.: 2016’s Best Books on Sales and Marketing, by David Burkus

strategy + business: Best Business Books 2016

Time: Bill Gates Picked These Books as the Best of 2016

If your book made it to one or more of these lists, congratulations! And if you have a book ready to be published next year, fingers crossed for making the best of 2017 lists. A great holiday and a Happy New Year to all.

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10 Great 2015 Business Books of the Year Lists

It’s always fun writing about end-of-year best business books lists. These ten showcase a number of terrific books, although it’s sobering to think about the many other worthy titles published this year that did not get year-end recognition. How many of the listed books have you read, and how many do you plan to read in the coming year?

 

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Amazon.com: 2015 Best Books of the Year: Business & Investing

Business Insider: The 20 Best Business Books of 2015

CBC News: 9 notable business books for your Christmas gift list

800 ceoread: The 2015 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards Shortlist

Fast Company: The 10 Best Business and Productivity Books of 2015

Forbes: 15 Best Business Books of 2015

The Globe and Mail: Top 10 leadership and management books of 2015

Holy Kaw!/Alltop: Top 100 Business Books of 2015

Inc.: The 100 Best Business Books of 2015

strategy+business: Best Business Books 2015

Finally, there is the highly coveted Financial Times and McKinsey Best Business Books Award, won this year by Martin Ford’s Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future.

We don’t know what 2016 will bring, but one thing is certain: it will not be a bookless future!

10 Great 2013 Business Books of the Year Lists

As we start 2014, take a few moments to consider some of the best business/management/leadership books of 2013. These ten lists will guide you to many of the top titles of the year, including ones that placed on a variety of lists, such as Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead; Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon; Daniel Pink’s To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others; Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism ; and two books from Wharton professors,  Adam Grant’s Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success; and Jonah Berger’s Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

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Matthew Bishop/LinkedIn: The Best Business Books of the Year
CNNMoney: Five Must-Read Business Books
The Economist: Books of the Year
Globe and Mail/Harvey Schachter: Top Business Books of 2013
Inc.: Best 2013 Books for Entrepreneurs
InformationWeek: 10 Best Business Books of 2013
Matthew E. May/Edit Innovation: 2013 Holiday Book List
Strategy + Business: Best Business Books 2013
The Washington Post: 2013 Books Every Leader Should Read
World Economic Forum: Top 10 Business Books of 2013

As a bonus, check out Todd Sattersten’s The 50 Best Business Books of the Past Five Years. Todd is the co-author of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You, with Jack Covert, founder of 800ceoread, which has published its own Bestsellers of 2013 list. Happy reading, and happy new year!

Business Books of the Year: 2012 edition

The holiday season marks the publication of various business-oriented best-of lists. I always enjoy reading these roundups, and also wrote about them in 2011 and 2010. Jack Covert and his colleagues at 800ceoread have picked The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni, as the business book of the year. Earlier, they released the “elite eight” of picks, subdivided into categories, with The Advantage picked in management. Other winners included Cal Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You (personal development), which, along with Lencioni, also appears in the Top 10 Business Books of the Year, by Harvey Schachter, in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. Steve Coll’s Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power is on the 800ceoread list (general business), and is also the winner of this year’s Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Todd Sattersten, Covert’s former colleague and co-author of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time, cautions that he read fewer books this year, so his list is called “My Favorite Business Books of 2012.” One of the titles is The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau, which also made the 800ceoread list for small business & entrepreneurship. Bloomberg BusinessWeek chose the Best Books of 2012, According to Business Leaders. Not all of these books are in the business category, but it is interesting to see what these leaders are reading, such as the choices of Jan Hatzius, chief economist of the Goldman Sachs Group (Nate Silver’s The Signal and The Noise); and Lawrence Summers, former Treasury secretary (Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined). The British publication Management Today runs Andy Haldane’s top business books of the year, from the executive director, financial stability of the Bank of England. His top pick is the 50th anniversary edition of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas S. Kuhn (influential for his concept of the “paradigm shift”). And it is always a pleasure to read about the books of the year from The Economist. Economics and business is only one category of many; one of its titles is the ubiquitous Private Empire. The race for 2013 begins in less than one week.

19 Eclectic Books for 119 Years of Borges

“The fact is that each writer creates his precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.” – Jorge Luis Borges, Kafka and His Precursors, 1951, in Selected Non-Fictions, page 365; 2000, translated by Eliot Weinberger

August 24 will mark the 119th anniversary of the birth of the Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges. As with last year and in some previous years, I like to honor his life with a post that ideally captures his spirit in some way. This year I call attention to 19 books, all published long after his 1986 death; many containing new translations, added introductions by important writers, or new artwork:

The Aleph and Other Stories, Introduction by Andrew Hurley, 2004
The Book of Imaginary Beings (Classics Deluxe Edition), illustrated by Peter Sis, 2006
The Book of Sand and Shakespeare’s Memory, 2007
Borges at Eighty: Conversations, 2013
Brodie’s Report, 2005
Collected Fictions, 1999
Everything and Nothing (New Directions Pearls series), 2010
Ficciones (Everyman’s Library Contemporary Classics Series), Introduction by John Sturrock, 1993
Jorge Luis Borges: The Last Interview: and Other Conversations (The Last Interview Series), 2013
Labyrinths; With a new introduction by William Gibson, 2007
On Argentina, Introduction by Alfred MacAdam, 2010
On Writing, 2010
Professor Borges: A Course on English Literature, 2013
Selected Non-Fictions, 2000
Selected Poems, 2000
Seven Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges, 2010
Seven Nights (From lectures on Buddhism, The Kabbalah, blindness, and more; delivered in Buenos Aires in 1977), 2009
The Sonnets (Dual language edition with parallel texts), introduction by Stephen Kessler, 2010
This Craft of Verse (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures), 2002

These books have much to offer to both dedicated Borges followers, and new fans of his incomparable work. Let’s hope that one year from now, at 120 years since his birth, we will witness even more words and images to mark a new milestone in Borges studies.

The Year in Business Books: 2010

As the year winds down, some useful best-of-business-book posts have been published recently, particularly Todd Sattersten’s The Top 10 Business Books of 2010. I saw Todd do terrific presentations at the 2009 and 2010 BK authors marketing workshops, and last year he was the first person to review Living in More Than One World, when he was with 800ceoread. Todd and Jack Covert, the Founder and President of 800ceoread, are the co-authors of a great book, The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. Todd’s new post also includes links to podcast interviews he did with some of the authors on his 10 best list, including Daniel Pink, Seth Godin, Chip Heath and William Poundstone.  Another author on the list, Steven Johnson, was interviewed recently on the 800ceoread blog. In 2008, I interviewed Daniel Pink and reviewed his book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need, for USA TODAY. In 2003, I reviewed Poundstone’s How Would You Move Mount Fuji? Microsoft’s Cult of the Puzzle; How the World’s Smartest Company Selects the Most Creative Thinkers, for USAT. Miami Herald columnist Richard Pachter has Pachter’s Picks: The best business books of 2010. It includes three that also made Sattersten’s list: Pink’s Drive, Godin’s Linchpin and Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s Switch. Bloomberg.com’s best-of article is James Pressley’s Paulson Plays Chicken, Rich Get Richer in Best Business Books. Also on his list is Poundstone’s Priceless and Michael Lewis’ The Big Short, and such titles as Crash of the Titans, by my former USAT colleague Greg Farrell, now of the Financial Times. Finally, McCombs Today, the blog of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, has The Best Business Books of 2010, including The Big Short and, in agreement with Pachter, The Great Reset by Richard Florida; and in common with Bloomberg, Fault Lines by Raghuram G. Rajan and Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager, by Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager, n+1 and Keith Gessen. We will soon start seeing how the best business books of 2011 will unfold. Happy New Year!

33 Eclectic Books About Jorge Luis Borges

Last week, to honor the August 24, 1899 birth of the Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, I wrote about 19 Eclectic Books for 119 Years of Borges. This week I explore 33 books about him, covering many aspects of his life, thinking, and work. The inspiration for the post is the release this May, by The University of Virginia Press, of How Borges Wrote, by Daniel Balderston, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, director of The Borges Center, which is based at the University, and editor of Variaciones Borges.

All of the books are in English (though some are translations from Spanish), with the exception of Borges y La Cábala. La búsqueda del verbo; by Saúl Sosnowski, a professor at the University of Maryland. I previously wrote about my connection to Saúl in my 2017 post 6 Success Strategies of Jorge Luis Borges, and in the 2010 post 111 Years of Jorge Luis Borges.

The combined books from last week and this post add up to exactly one for each week of the year, for reading/studying. If anyone approaches it that way, please let me know!

Borges, a Life; by Edwin Williamson

Borges: A Life; by James Woodall

Borges, a Writer on the Edge. Borges Studies Online; by Beatriz Sarlo

Borges and His Fiction: A Guide to His Mind and Art, Revised Edition; by Gene H. Bell-Villada

Borges and Kafka: Sons and Writers; by Sarah Roger

Borges and Memory: Encounters with the Human Brain; by Rodrigo Quian Quiroga

Borges and Space; by Bill Richardson

Borges and the Eternal Orangutans; by Luis Fernando Verissimo

Borges y La Cábala. La búsqueda del verbo; by Saúl Sosnowski

Borges in 90 Minutes; by Paul Strathern

Borges, the Jew; by Ilan Stavans

Borges: The Passion of an Endless Quotation, Second Edition; by Lisa Block de Behar; translated and with an introduction by William Egginton

Borges’s Poe: the Influence and Reinvention of Edgar Allan Poe in Spanish America; by Emron Esplin

Borges’ Short Stories: a Reader’s Guide; by Rex Butler

Cambridge Companion to Jorge Luis Borges; edited By Edwin Williamson

Georgie & Elsa: Jorge Luis Borges and His Wife, the Untold Story; by Norman Thomas Di Giovanni

How Borges Wrote; by Daniel Balderston

Humor in Borges; by René de Costa

Jorge Luis Borges; by Jason Wilson

Jorge Luis Borges: Modern Critical Views; edited and with an introduction by Harold Bloom

Jorge Luis Borges, Post-Analytic Philosophy, and Representation; by Silvia G. Dapía

Kant’s Dog: on Borges, Philosophy, and the Time of Translation; by David E. Johnson

Lesson of the Master: on Borges and His Work; by Norman Thomas Di Giovanni

Letters to Borges; by Stephen Kuusisto

The Mystery to a Solution: Poe, Borges, and the Analytic Detective Story; by John T. Irwin

Painting Borges: Philosophy Interpreting Art Interpreting Literature; by Jorge J.E. Gracia

Postcolonial Borges: Argument and Artistry; by Robin Fiddian

Quest for God in the Work of Borges; by Annette U. Flynn

Reading Borges After Benjamin: Allegory, Afterlife, and the Writing of History; by Kate Jenckes

Thinking with Borges; William Egginton and David E. Johnson, editors

The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel; by William Goldbloom Block

With Borges; by Alberto Manguel

You Might Be Able to Get There From Here: Reconsidering Borges and the Postmodern; by Mark Frisch

These books are ultra-intriguing, and have some of the coolest titles on the planet. Scholars will continue to explore multiple aspects of Borges’ life and writing years into the future. He has provided a rich body of work that is unlikely to lose its appeal, or its mystery.

150 Years On: Karl Marx, Das Kapital/Capital, and the British Library

September 14 marked the 150th anniversary of the original, German-language publication of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, later published in English-language editions (in multiple volumes) as Capital. What I find particularly interesting is that it was largely written in the reading room of the British Library (at the time located at the British Museum). Marx’s long history of using the library for reading, research and writing is detailed in the recent British Library European studies blog post by Izzy Gibbin, “150 Years of Capital.

In Germany, the land of Marx’s birth, the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) recently published “Karl Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’ still fascinates after 150 years,” a Q&A with author/journalist Bernd Ziesemer. To demonstrate that Marx’s influence goes well beyond economics and politics, on September 14th Artworld published “On the 150th Anniversary of ‘Das Kapital,’ Here Are 5 Works Inspired by Marx’s Seminal Text.” It depicts the influence on various works of dance, illustration, sculpture and other artistic expressions.

The anniversary has also been marked by a new book, Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason by longtime Marx scholar David Harvey, a professor at the CUNY/City University of New York Graduate Center. You can read an excerpt via the publisher, Oxford University Press; and it has recently been reviewed by the Financial Times and the LSE Review of Books, from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In addition, next year is the bicentenary of Marx’s birth, so there is sure to be more activity around the man, his work and his legacy. But interest in Marx remains high, anniversary or not. For instance, there is a new film from director Raoul Peck, The Young Karl Marx, which covers the time period 20 years before Capital, and well before Marx settled in London, where he lived until he end of his life. Late last year, Louis Menand wrote an extensive piece for The New Yorker, “Karl Marx, Yesterday and Today.”

It’s worth reflecting if a present-day Marx would also camp out and research/write/work in the British Library, or, taking advantage of modern technology, if he would spread his time over a variety of settings. He was a tenuously-employed freelance writer for the New York Tribune and elsewhere (Penguin has also published Dispatches from the New York Tribune: Selected Journalism of Karl Marx), and as such, would be familiar with today’s Gig Economy. It’s easy to think of a current-day Marx working from libraries, his home and perhaps Starbucks or a similar commercial venue. Or maybe even paying for coworking space at WeWork or elsewhere.

As I noted in a recent post, Capital is one of the featured works in 50 Economics Classics, by Tom Butler-Bowdon. In placing Capital in context and in assessing its continued relevance, Butler-Bowdon writes that “Marx wished to provide a damning case against laissez-faire economics, and even if you are an ardent capitalist it is hard to walk away from the book without thinking about the perennial question of labor versus capital, and whether things have even changed much since Marx’s day.”