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Here are some of the top business books to read in 2015

Pick up some inspiration from some of these…

PREPARING TO GO back to work tomorrow?

There may be some inspiration out there to help you feel better about that.

You can catch up on some of last year’s best business books, like Peter Thiel’s Zero to One and Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS.

But it’s also time to start looking forward to some of big releases of 2015.

We’ve looked through the books that have been announced for 2015 and picked out the highlights, from a history of money to the story of Marissa Mayer’s rise to the top.

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value


Release date: 30 December 2014

This one may be on the cusp of the new year, but we’re looking forward to it. John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen interviewed and studied some of the world’s 800 self-made billionaires, including Mark Cuban and Sara Blakely, and determined that their defining feature was a “Producer” mindset that allowed them to add tremendous value to a company through the creation of new strategies rather than meeting or even exceeding pre-existing goals. The authors break down this Producer mindset into five habits anyone can learn from.

Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!


Release date: 6 January 2015

Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson has turned his 2013 long-form article on Yahoo’s polarizing CEO into a full-length book. It’s a detailed look at Mayer’s controversial rise to power and her attempt to turn Yahoo from a has-been back into a pillar of the tech world.

How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery


Author Kevin Ashton is the man behind the term “the Internet of Things” and is a pioneer in the field of radio frequency identification (RFID) networks. His book is a study of the behind-the-scenes process of world-changing creativity, as told through the stories of how the Wright brothers set out to “fly a horse” and how the stealth bomber was the result of a 25-cent bet.

The Reputation Economy: How to Optimize Your Digital Footprint in a World Where Your Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset


Release date: 20 January 2015

As CEO of Reputation.com, Michael Fertik has spent the past several years dedicated to determining how individuals and companies can have the biggest possible positive impact online. With the help of writer David Thompson, he lays out a guide ensuring that the next time a potential employer searches you on Google or LinkedIn, they’ll like what they see.

The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs


Release date: 27 January 2015

Earlier this year, Inc. published a study from author Jurgen Appelo and his team that determined John C. Maxwell is the most influential leadership expert out there right now. In his latest book, reminiscent of the classics of Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie, he delves into 26 tested strategies for overcoming failure and knowing which risks to take.

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World


Release date: 3 February 2015

Serial tech entrepreneur Peter H. Diamandis and author/entrepreneur Steven Kotler follow up their bestselling book “Abundance” with a look at the technologies and entrepreneurs redefining our world. The book has valuable insight from the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson.

Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most


Release date: 24 February 2015

Dr. Hendrie Weisinger is a psychologist who has taught at top b-schools like Wharton and consulted with Fortune 500 companies. J.P. Pawliw-Fry is a performance coach who works with executives at Marriott and Unilever and who has formerly taught at the Kellogg School of Management. The two brought their experiences together to develop 22 strategies that will allow you to avoid panicking and deliver your all when the stakes are highest.

Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us


Release date: 10 March 2015

Kabir Sehgal, vice president of emerging market equities at JPMorgan Chase, investigates the historical origins of money and then further analyses its psychological relationship with humanity. The book has already been praised by Bill Clinton and Richard Branson, and features a foreword by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus.

Do the KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately


Release date: 31 March 2015

Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of KIND Healthy Snacks, is an unconventional chief executive in the vein of Zappos’ Tony Hsieh or Starbucks’ Howard Schultz. His book is a breakdown of his management style and the story of how he was at the forefront of the social entrepreneurship movement.

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead


Release date: 7 April 2015

Google has developed a sterling reputation as one of the best places in the world to work, and a good deal of that is due to the efforts of Laszlo Bock, the company’s head of People Operations, which is essentially human resources. With the help of recent studies in behavioural economics and psychology, he breaks down the management and office culture principles that make Google a powerful company with happy employees.

The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain


Release date: 14 April 2015

Drexel’s John Kounios and Northwestern’s Mark Beeman are neuroscientists who have spent their careers studying the manifestation of creativity in the brain. Their book is a collection of their research into “Aha! moments” when the brain overcomes a confusion to have a spark of insight.

The Road to Character: The Humble Journey to an Excellent Life


Release date: 21 April 2015

New York Times columnist David Brooks believes the increasing fixation on online personal branding and racking up achievements for a CV has become toxic. He explores the lives of a wide variety of historical figures like St. Augustine and Dorothy Day to illustrate his point: that true success should be affiliated more closely with forgetting one’s self and connecting with others.

Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least


Release date: 23 June 2015

Popular TED speaker Jessica Jackley tells the story of how she became a co-founder of microlending site Kiva, and why supporting entrepreneurs from the world’s poorest countries is much more important than just being a feel-good act of charity.

Collaborative Intelligence: Four Influential Strategies for Thinking with People Who Think Differently


Release date: 14 July 2015

Dawna Markova and Angie McArthur of Professional Thinking Partners management consulting firm explain the team-building strategies and exercises they have used with teams at companies like PepsiCo and Microsoft.

If you want to grab something that is already out, what about these books, which Bill Gates said were the best business books he’d read in 2014.

Business Adventures by John Brooks 

This is Gates’ favorite business book of all-time. Although the collection of 12 “New Yorker” articles has been out-of-print since 1971, Gates says its lessons are as applicable now as ever.

Source: thegatesnotes/YouTube

“Even though Brooks wrote more than four decades ago,” Gates writes, “He offers sharp insights into timeless fundamentals of business, like the challenge of building a large organization, hiring people with the right skills, and listening to customers’ feedback.”

You can download a free chapter here.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty 


In “Capital,” Piketty focuses on wealth and income inequality in Europe and the United States and the role governments should play in reducing it. Gates admits that a ”700-page treatise on economics translated from French” isn’t exactly a light read, but calls the ideas in it very important.

“I admire [Piketty's] work and hope it draws in more smart people to study the causes of, and cures for, inequality,” he writes.

You can read Gates’ full review here.

How Asia Works by Joe Studwell

screen shot 2014-12-08 at 1.17.51 pm

In this work, Studwell tackles two big questions: How did countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and China achieve sustained, high growth? And why have so few other countries managed to do so?

“The agriculture section of the book was particularly insightful,” Gates says. “It provided ample food for thought for me as well as the whole Agriculture team at our foundation.”

You can read his full review here.

Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil 

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“One of Smil’s books makes my list of favorites pretty much every year,” Gates writes.

“Making the Modern World” looks at the how the world has become more dependent than ever on materials like wood, stone, metals, allows, plastics, and silicon

“With his usual skepticism and his love of data, Smil shows how our ability to make things with less material—say, soda cans that need less aluminum—makes them cheaper, which actually encourages more production,” Gates writes. “We’re using more stuff than ever.”

Read Gates’ full review here.

All books mentioned above are available now or on pre-order from Amazon.

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Published with permission from:

Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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