Business books to read in 2017: Your Amazon queue is about to get longer

Does anyone actually read business books? Judging by how many business books regularly land on the New York Times and Amazon bestseller lists. Indeed they do. We were inspired to put together a short reading list of some of the best business books of 2016 and 2017 so far. Pick up one of these books to get inspired, to learn leadership lessons or look for tools to improve your decision-making skills.

Memoirs and personal stories by inspirational business leaders. 

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight

Nike Founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares a personal, vulnerable memoir about the lessons learned from the financial, legal and competitive struggles Knight faced while building Nike into the global brand it is today. This is a beautifully written book, perfect for business people, entrepreneurs or just those looking for inspiration.
Option B by Sheryl Sandburg and Adam Grant

One of the most eagerly anticipated business books of 2017 is by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and bestselling author Adam Grant. Written as a reaction to the sudden death of her husband, Sandberg and Grant share stories about healing, resilience, and how to help others through challenging times. Option B comes out on the 24th of this month. Co-author Adam Grant also wrote another of the favorites on our list, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.  

These authors spoke with some of the world’s most successful executives to find out what makes them tick and how they rose to the top. 

Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World by Joann S. Lublin

Joann S. Lublin, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, and management news editor for The Wall Street Journal, and one of The Alexander Group's favorite writers, interviewed more than fifty women executives for her book Earning It. Lublin shares examples of the gender issues that women face in the workplace and offers advice and inspiration for women at every stage of their careers.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris

Tim Ferris, entrepreneur and New York Times Bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek captures the best business advice, productivity tips, life lessons and more gleaned from his interviews with over 200 of the world’s most recognizable figures in business, celebrity, sports and more. In the prologue, Ferris explains that his 650+ page book is not meant to be read straight through. You will thank him for the warning, and relax knowing that you can pick and choose what topic or type of information you are looking for on a particular day. This book is a valuable, entertaining resource we will be referencing for years to come.

These books discuss the traits needed to be successful in business: creativity, ability to focus and forming good habits.

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

 Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author Adam Grant seeks to inspire readers to use their creativity to reject conformity and challenge the status quo. Grant shares anecdotes about an employee at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA and an entrepreneur that pitches his startups highlighting reasons not to invest, and more.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit asks “what do successful people have in common? They achieved success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of their life.” The book gives several examples that show how patterns are formed, so you can better understand how to change them. This is a great book for those looking to make lasting changes for the better. 

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Although some of us will not admit it, we can barely focus long enough to read this whole paragraph, much less an entire book on one subject.  And therein lays the value of Deep Work. Newport begins his book with the premise that one of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare - the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. He then makes a compelling case for mastering the capacity to focus. Who doesn’t want to understand complex issues better or get more done in less time? Count us in.

 Although people and technology constantly vie for your attention, opt instead to pick up a book--it is never a bad use of your time. What books would you add to this list? 


Tell us what you think!