- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio; 1 edition (February 5, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591842409
- ISBN-13: 978-1591842408
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
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The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You Hardcover – February 5, 2009
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*Starred Review* Unbelievably, over 10,000 business books are published each year, creating a dizzying array of choices for the budding entrepreneur or executive manager seeking solutions. In some circles, the genre may have a reputation for being dull, but the best written have much to offer to a wider audience. A great business book can encompass inspirational writing, biography, engaging narratives, even mystery and suspense. Covert and Sattersten operate 800-CEO-READ, a specialty business-book retailer. Out of the countless business books they have read every year for a quarter century, they have culled 100 of the best and presented them in review format. Of course, you get the classics, like How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie (1936), and The HP Way, by David Packard (1995), but you also get the whimsical (Oh, the Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss, 1990); historical (Never Give In, speeches by Winston Churchill, 2003); artistic (The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp, 2003); and philosophical (The Monk and the Riddle, by Komisar and Lineback, 2000). This list and the fine reviews are proof positive that business books can offer a rich treasure of stories and inspiration. --David Siegfried
About the Author
Jack Covert is the founder and president of 800-CEO-READ, a specialty business book retailer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Todd Sattersten runs BizBookLab, a company that identifies, develops, and launches business books around the world. Todd is based in Portland, Oregon.
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The co-authors run 800-CEO-READ and have been recommending business books for years--so buying the book was a no-brainer. It called out to me. Reading the book was both mandatory and motivating. The 100 best business books are categorized in 12 sections including: you (strengths, etc.), leadership, strategy, sales and marketing, rules and scorekeeping, management, biographies, entrepreneurship, narratives, innovation and creativity, big ideas and takeaways.
I've read 21 of the 100 books. I'm familiar with another 25--and have always wanted to read about half of those. So the value of this book, for me, is having at my finger tips a two-page morsel on each of the 54 books I've never read. If your favorite book is missing, you can recommend it on their website. I've added my own, of course, Mastering The Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Non-profit.
Each book summary includes a memorable quote in big, bold type, like "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it," from The Balanced Scorecard. Or, this from Moments of Truth, the classic customer service book by Jan Carlzon, who led the Swedish airline, SAS: "An individual without information cannot take responsibility; an individual who is given information cannot help but take responsibility." And how about this line from The Partnership Charter: How to Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (or Fix the One You're In), "A charter is a necessary tool because few people have been taught how to be partners."
The co-authors are like fine surgeons in the art of reviewing business books: no wasted words, get to the heart of the matter, get out. Each two-page review delivers the diagnosis and enough medicine to get you moving. Even reading the summary of The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker (one of my personal Top-20 books), gave me new insight and a new one-liner, "Effective executives solve problems once."
This book is a treasure, and besides the 100 book summaries, it's jammed with delightful full-page sidebars including a readers' Top-10 poll (The Goal was No. 1), conferences to attend (like the TED conference), an interesting chart on the differences between fables, modern books and classics (with examples), the Top-10 bestselling business books from 2004 to 2008 (Good to Great was No. 1 with 1.4 million sales), six leadership movies, and why The Economist is the only magazine you need to read.
4 SALES & MARKETING
5 RULES & SCOREKEEPING
10 INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY
11 BIG IDEAS
I personally picked up a lot of books after reading the summaries. If you are looking into a book that saves you time from reading 100 books... you can also pick this book up, however, to get the most out of the book(s), I recommend reading the book(s).
::: I know, the suspense is slaying you! :::
So one day I'm listening to Wayne "The Cranky Middle Manager Himself" Turmel's world-beating podcast when he ever-so-delicately slips in the plug for our good friends Jack and Todd over at the friendly confines of 800-CEO-Read. I'd never heard of the boys from Milwaukee before until I let my fast-as-flight fingers "do da walking," comme on dit.
With nary a minute to spare, I hopped onto the interwebs and scored a fresh juicy copy off Amazon's UK affiliate (who says the "Special Relationship" is dead?), and within days I was building up my finger callouses flipping frantically through this treasure trove's pages, devouring the words printed on the several hundred legacies of downed primeval forests. Um...perhaps let's not go there...
Why do I dig this book, you ask? Well, for one, the concept's never been done before.
Second, if you're anything like me (and I'm guessing if you're reading this then you are), you've likely had a difficult time keeping your tickler file updated with the thousand-and-one books your friends and colleagues have been raving about as "gotta have-must reads."
Between my Amazon Wish List, my scrapbook, my laptop, and the caverns of my ailing grey matter, that's more titles than any Chromosomal Unit can shake a stick at. Ergo, the advent of "100 Best."
Jack & Todd's book removes all this organizational trouble. FYI, my personal copy gravitated from my nighttable/laptop bag/hipside to colonized center stage on my desk. Slowly, but surely, I've been going through the titles of interest and literally feeling my synapses firing off. My brain is GROWING!
For the record, I shared my copy...so I had to buy a new one. That's how "sticky" this read was! Oh yes!
I found only two problems with "The 100 Best Business Books of All Time" -- one, the omission of page totals in the footers might have better crystallized my choices of "what to read next," better enabling me to determine how long it would take me to complete a read instead of hopping online to Amazon for more details.
Two, what are Jack Covert & Todd Sattersten going to do for an encore?! Egad!
Does it get any better than this? Not according to this here reader.