Business Books of the Year: 2012 edition
December 26th, 2012
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.