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!