15 Influential Business Books of 2015

business books

Are you a reader? If not, you may want to become one. Reading can not only improve your intelligence, but it can also lead to innovation and insight – especially in the business world. Recently, the Financial Times and McKinsey & Co. released 15 semifinalists for their eleventh annual Business Book Awards list (finalists will be announced in September). Here are a few books you should consider picking up:

1. ‘Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics’ by Richard Thaler

“Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans?predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth?and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.”

2. ‘Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future’ by Ashlee Vance

“…veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world.”

3. ‘Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter PLanet’ by Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman

“…Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman explore in lively, clear terms the likely repercussions of a hotter planet, drawing on and expanding from work previously unavailable to general audiences. They show that the longer we wait to act, the more likely an extreme event will happen… the authors look at how economic forces that make sensible climate policies difficult to enact, make radical would-be fixes like geoengineering all the more probable.”

4. ‘Unfinished Business’ by Anne-Marie Slaughter

“…Now, in her refreshing and forthright voice, Anne-Marie Slaughter returns with her vision for what true equality between men and women really means, and how we can get there. She uncovers the missing piece of the puzzle, presenting a new focus that can reunite the women’s movement and provide a common banner under which both men and women can advance and thrive.”

5. ‘Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception’ by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller

“Ever since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well-being, as if by an invisible hand. In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize-winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight, arguing that markets harm as well as help us.”

6. ‘Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future’ by Martin Ford

“…Ford details what machine intelligence and robotics can accomplish, and implores employers, scholars, and policy makers alike to face the implications. The past solutions to technological disruption, especially more training and education, aren’t going to work, and we must decide, now, whether the future will see broad-based prosperity or catastrophic levels of inequality and economic insecurity.”

7. ‘How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Privacy’ by Stephen Witt

“‘How Music Got Free’ is a riveting story of obsession, music, crime, and money, featuring visionaries and criminals, moguls and tech-savvy teenagers. It’s about the greatest pirate in history, the most powerful executive in the music business, a revolutionary invention and an illegal website four times the size of the iTunes Music Store.”

8. ‘Restart’ by Mihir Sharma

“In Restart, Mihir S. Sharma shows what can and must change in Indias policies, its administration and even its attitudes. The answers he provides are not obvious. Nor are they all comforting or conventional. Yet they could, in less time than you can imagine, unleash the creativity of a billion hopeful Indians.”

9. ‘Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money’ by Nathaniel Popper

“An unusual tale of group invention, Digital Gold charts the rise of the Bitcoin technology through the eyes of the movement’s colorful central characters, including an Argentinian millionaire, a Chinese entrepreneur, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and Bitcoin’s elusive creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Already, Bitcoin has led to untold riches for some, and prison terms for others.”

10. ‘Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction’ by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner

“…Tetlock and coauthor Dan Gardner offer a masterwork on prediction, drawing on decades of research and the results of a massive, government-funded forecasting tournament. The Good Judgment Project involves tens of thousands of ordinary people—including a Brooklyn filmmaker, a retired pipe installer, and a former ballroom dancer—who set out to forecast global events.”

11. ‘Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry’ by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff

“‘Losing the Signal’ is a riveting story of a company that toppled global giants before succumbing to the ruthlessly competitive forces of Silicon Valley. This is not a conventional tale of modern business failure by fraud and greed. The rise and fall of BlackBerry reveals the dangerous speed at which innovators race along the information superhighway.”

12. ‘Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses-and-Misuses of History’ by Barry Eichengreen

“‘Hall of Mirrors’ is both a major work of economic history and an essential exploration of how we avoided making only some of the same mistakes twice. It shows not just how the “lessons” of Great Depression history continue to shape society’s response to contemporary economic problems, but also how the experience of the Great Recession will permanently change how we think about the Great Depression.”

13. ‘The Powerhouse: Inside the Invetion of a Battery to Save the World’ by Steve LeVine

“‘The Powerhouse’ is a real-time, two-year account of big invention, big commercialization, and big deception. It exposes the layers of aspiration and disappointment, competition and ambition behind this great turning point in the history of technology.”

14. ‘Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time’ – Jeffrey Pfeffer

“The author of Power, Stanford business school professor, and a leading management thinker offers a hard-hitting dissection of the leadership industry and ways to make workplaces and careers work better… Jeffrey Pfeffer shines a bright light on the leadership industry, showing why it’s failing and how it might be remade.”

15. ‘Black Horse Ride :The Inside Story of Lloyds and the Banking Crisis ‘ – Ivan Fallon

“…HBOS was rescued by Lloyds TSB, one of the country’s strongest banks, in circumstances that have since become the stuff of City legend. Through a compelling cast of high-profile bankers, politicians and investors, Ivan Fallon brings together the accounts of all the power players involved in this dramatic saga for the first time – including the key roles played by the Governor of the Bank of England, the Prime Minister and the Treasury.”

*All synopses taken from Amazon.com

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