Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

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?

 

Opened book and business leadership conceptual words

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.

Best Business Books Roundup for 2011

Many excellent business-related books were published in 2011; more than most people can either read (or write about) during the year. So we owe a debt of gratitude to the reviewers who help us make sense of what’s been published during that time. Matthew E. May, author of The Shibumi Strategy: A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change, has a really useful post on Open Forum, Best Business Books of 2011.  It’s got links to his original reviews of the top books, including one that is on many best-of lists this year, Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs. Matt’s reviews are concise, yet highly descriptive and informative.
Todd Sattersten weighs in with the 11 Best Business Books of 2011. His list includes three also charted by May: the Jobs biography, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and Practically Radical by William C. Taylor. Todd wrote, with Jack Covert of 800-CEO-READ, the 100 Best Business Books of All Time, recently released in paperback. They have become perhaps the best-known commentators on business books in recent years. The 800-CEO-READ blog also has a running list of candidates for best business book of the year, in such categories as General Business, Leadership, Management and others.
Another helpful guide is the expert advice on offer in Marketplace radio’s best-of list. They polled a variety of people for their top choices, with brief explanations. Examples include author-professor Clay Shirky’s choice of Michael Nielsen’s Reinventing Discovery and Liaquat Ahamed, author of the award-winning Lords of Finance, with Ron Chernow’s Washington: A Life.
James Pressley’s article Lehman Trader Goes Mad, Geithner Saves Citi: Top Business Books is Bloomberg.com’s best-of roundup. It starts with 10 books on the financial crisis, five on general business and five on economics. Number one on the latter list is Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman; I wrote about Kahneman and other leading psychologists in a recent post. 2012 will no doubt present us very soon with many candidates for next year’s best-of lists. I hope everyone has a happy and prosperous new year!

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!

Tom Butler-Bowdon’s Latest Book: 50 Business Classics

One of the featured titles in 50 Business Classics, the newly-released, latest title in the 50 Classics series by Tom Butler-Bowdon, is The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, by Josh Kaufman. Alternately, by carefully reading and absorbing the contents of 50 Business Classics (and perhaps some of the other books in the series, such as the recently-released 50 Economics Classics), you could build a different foundation for your own personal MBA.

Butler-Bowdon, whom I have written about often, was born to write these concise books, which succinctly distill the right amount of wisdom from key works in various disciplines. But it goes beyond that. He is a curator extraordinaire, and unerringly determines the appropriate books to cover, which is far from an easy task. 50 Business Classics balances between older and newer titles, and between first-person narratives, conceptual books, and biographical material. For instance, he reaches as far back as late 19th century titles by Andrew Carnegie and P.T. Barnum, though most of the books are of more recent vintage, including Martin Ford’s The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment, winner of the FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2015. There are several books from 2016, including Duncan Clark ‘s Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, and Seema Singh’s Mythbreaker: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and the Story of Indian Biotech. Although I was previously unfamiliar with this book, Mazumdar-Shaw wrote an article, “Leading with a Social Conscience,” for the Summer 2013 issue of Leader to Leader, the journal I edit. (Tom was also featured in our Winter 2018 issue, for the article/interview “Reading Economics for Lessons on Prosperity.”)

A major theme in the new book is first-person innovation/entrepreneurship/entrepreneurial thinking, represented by the likes of Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity, Conrad Hilton’s Be My Guest, Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog, Terry Leahy’s Management in Ten Words, Howard Schultz’s Pour Your Heart Into It and Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. On the biographical end, there are such titles as Ron Chernow’s Titan: The Life and Times of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs, Alice Schroeder’s The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, and Ashlee Vance’s Elon Musk. And as an admirer of Penguin Books, I was also pleased to see a book I was unfamiliar with, Stuart Kells’ 2015 Penguin and the Lane Brothers.

There are many works in the conceptual category, including Jim Collins’ Great By Choice, Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy, Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood’s Simplify, Douglas McGregor’s The Human Side of Enterprise (originator of Theory X/Theory Y), Geoffrey A. Moore’s Crossing the Chasm, Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline, and Matthew Syed’s Black Box Thinking.

50 Business Classics also covers books that have become part of the zeitgeist in today’s business and organizational world, including Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton’s negotiation classic Getting to Yes, and Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. Chances are, within the past week or so, you’ve heard or read variations of such phrases as ‘disruptive innovation,’ ‘getting/get to yes,’ and ‘start with/find my-our why.’

Part of the brilliance of the 50 Classics Series is that it lends itself to updated editions (as have already happened with several of the titles) and the concept can be taken into many directions and topics, if Tom chooses to do so. Given that he acknowledges that he reads slowly and carefully (beyond how much time it must take to choose his titles), time could be the limiting factor for future topics . As he writes in his chapter on Drucker’s The Effective Executive, “You can always obtain more capital or find the right people, but you can’t “get” time from anywhere.”

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:

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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!

10 Great Summer Books Lists for 2013

Now that we are a day away from the 4th of July, it’s time for one of my favorite summer activities, rounding up some of the many helpful and downright addictive Summer reading lists published recently. Reading/skimming these lists provides a window into the world of other people and organizations — how they are planning to spend their summer; outlining their desires, hopes and good intentions, looking for the promise that a great book can deliver.

Relaxing by reading on the beach

 

Here are ten of the many lists that aim to guide us to reading bliss for the next couple of months:

Financial Times: Summer books guide
The Guardian: Summer Reading
Los Angeles Times: Summer books
NPR: Summer Books 2013
Oprah/O: O’s 2013 Summer Reading List
Publishers Weekly: Best Summer Books 2013
Slate: Summer Reading 2013
Stanford Graduate School of Business: Top 13 Business Books to Read This Summer
TED blog: Your mega summer reading list: 200 books recommended by TEDsters
USA TODAY: 30 Hot Books for Summer

Along with the Los Angeles Times list, in the article “David L. Ulin’s summer reading project,” the newspaper’s book critic captures the particular pleasures and motivations of summer reading: “Reading, after all,” Ulin writes, “takes place, in many ways, out of time: We leave ourselves behind a little whenever we immerse in a book. That’s the best thing about it, that sense of giving yourself over to another world.”

What books are you reading this summer? Do these and other lists influence your choices?

David Whyte: Poetry, Business and Beyond

David Whyte has for many years been a great example of living in more than one world. He is a successful poet, author, speaker and business consultant. Check out Colleen Smith’s insightful profile/interview, David Whyte’s nonprosaic world, in the Denver Post. She was writing in advance of his appearance at a bookstore in Boulder, Col., promoting his latest book, The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self & Relationship. You can read selections from his poetry on his site, which has quite a bit of interesting material. Whyte’s quote ending the Denver Post story is instructive, as it contrasts the hard times we are living in, with the value provided by poets: “I often think of poets as makers of identity, so these are good times for poets, who speak not only for the individual, but for society and for the future at the horizon about to appear.”