I have been a platinum member of Audible.com for the last decade or so. This means that for $240 I get 24 audio books per year. I listen to them when I run, mow the lawn, and on long drives. The average audiobook is about 9 hours, so an hour-long run, four or five times a week will get you through a book in about two weeks (especially if you listen at 1.5 speed). That’s right, two books per month is 24 books per year – the platinum membership is perfect. While the books I read in print tend to be fiction, my audiobooks are all non-fiction.
As an economist I always look for good business books – detailed accounts of how businesses actually work. I am interested in the nitty-gritty: what ideas worked or didn’t; how the products are made or not; customers gained or lost; employees hired or fired; financing closed or falling through. Interestingly, these books are generally not the best-selling titles in the business section. The best-sellers in this category include Rich Dad Poor Dad; Success Mindsets; Think and Grow Rich; Four-Hour Workweek; or, for those who consider four hours too exerting, Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Getting Rich–in Only 15 Minutes a Week!. Therefore, finding business books free of get-rich-quick advice takes some work. Given my exposure to a large number of books, I think I can provide some insights. In this post I humbly present my top recommendations (in no particular order). In future posts, I hope to give more details and perhaps address different genres, e.g. third vs. first person accounts, or Wall Street vs Main Street.
- King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone, by John E. Morris , David Carey
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir of the Creator of NIKE, by Phil Knight
- That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea, by Marc Randolph
- Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America, by Christopher Leonard
- Dear Chairman: Boardroom Battles and the Rise of Shareholder Activism, by Jeff Gramm
- Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, by Sheelah Kolhatkar
- Who Gets What – And Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design, by Alvin E. Roth
- Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry, by Jacquie McNish , Sean Silcoff
- Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, by: Michael Lewis
- Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long Short Story, by David Einhorn
- Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built, by Duncan Clark
- Steve Jobs, by: Walter Isaacson