It looks like 2019 is going to be a big year for business books.
Yay! I tend to read a lot (see: Want To Read More Books? Here’s How…). My preference is business or general non-fiction books (in that order). I read to be inspired. I read because I host a lot of business book authors on the Six Pixels of Separation Podcast. I read to stay up-to-date on business today. I read so that I can generate better articles, radio segments, podcasts, presentations, book ideas and more. I read books to avoid getting trapped in the shallow waters of the social media feeds. There’s a long list of some great thinkers who have new books coming out in 2019.
Here are what will be the best and biggest in 2019 (in alphabetical order by author):
- Non-Obvious 2019 – How To Predict Trends and Win The Future by Rohit Bhargava. “For the past 9 years, Rohit Bhargava has curated his best-selling list of non-obvious trends by asking the questions that most trend predictors miss. In this all-new ninth edition, discover what more than a million readers already have: how to use the power of non-obvious thinking to grow your business and make a bigger impact in the world. In total, the Non-Obvious 2019 edition features 15 all-new trends across 5 categories including Culture, Consumer Behavior, Marketing, Social Media, Media & Education, Technology, Design plus Economics, and Entrepreneurship. The book also features a detailed section with a review and rating for more than 115 previously predicted trends, with longevity ratings for each.” December 28th, 2019.
- Hustle and Float – Reclaim Your Creativity and Thrive in a World Obsessed with Work by Rahaf Harfoush. “Our culture has become obsesses with hustling. As we struggle to keep up in a knowledge economy that never sleeps, we arm ourselves with life hacks, to-do lists, and an inbox-zero mentality, grasping at anything that will help us work faster, push harder, and produce more. There’s just one problem: most of these solutions are making things worse. Creativity isn’t produced on an assembly line, and endless hustle is ruining our mental and physical health while subtracting from our creative performance. Productivity and creativity are not compatible; we are stuck between them, and like the opposite poles of a magnet, they are tearing us apart. When we’re told to sleep more, meditate, and slow down, we nod our heads in agreement, yet seem incapable of applying this advice in our own lives. Why do we act against our creative best interests? We have forgotten how to float. The answer lies in our history, culture, and biology. Instead of focusing on how we work, we must understand why we work―why we believe that what we do determines who we are.” – January 15th, 2019.
- The Right Story – A Brief Guide to Changing the World by Bernadette Jiwa. “What makes some bad ideas successful, and why do many good ideas fail? It turns out that there’s no such thing as a bad idea or a good idea. There is only the wrong story or the right story. The right story is one that is trusted. It is believed because it is told by the right person, for the right reasons, in the right way, at the right time, to the right people. The success or failure of our ideas depends on us telling the right story. We can only do that by being clear about the change we want to create, and why—and then bringing enough of the right people with us on the journey. It’s up to us, the changemakers of today and tomorrow, to galvanise those people we hope to bring on the journey with us. That’s what this book is about. It’s not just about helping you to change someone’s mind. It’s about how you can get better at articulating the change you want to create and understanding the people you want to influence, inspire or impact—so you can build upon what they already believe and ultimately shape the future you and they want to see.” – January 9th, 2019.
- Bedtime Stories for Managers – Farewell to Lofty Leadership… Welcome Engaging Management by Henry Mintzberg. “If you’re like most managers and things keep you up at night, now you can turn to a book that’s designed especially for you! But you won’t find talking rabbits or princesses here. (There is a cow, but it doesn’t jump.) Henry Mintzberg has culled forty-two of the best posts from his widely read blog and turned them into a deceptively light, sneakily serious compendium of sometimes heretical reflections on management. The moral here is this: managers need to leave their castles and find out what’s actually going on in their kingdoms. And like real bedtime stories, these essays have metaphors galore. So prepare to grow strategies like weeds and organize like a cow. Discover the maestro myth of managing, find the soft underbelly of hard data, and learn why downsizing is bloodletting and your board should be a bee. Mintzberg writes, ‘Just try not to be outraged by anything you read, because some of my most outrageous ideas turn out to be my best. They just take a while to become obvious.’” – February 5th, 2019.
- Digital Minimalism – Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport. “Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It’s the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world. In this timely and enlightening book, the bestselling author of Deep Work introduces a philosophy for technology use that has already improved countless lives. Digital minimalists are all around us. They’re the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a woodworking project, or a leisurely morning run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don’t feel overwhelmed by it. They don’t experience ‘fear of missing out’ because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction. Now, Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement, and makes a persuasive case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world. Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you.” – February 5th, 2019.
- Limitless – How to Ignore Everybody, Carve your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life by Laura Gassner Otting. “Limitless helps innovators, idealists, and iconoclasts get unstuck — and achieve extraordinary results. This book is like a high energy masterclass and brainstorming session all in one – with actionable tips to transform your vision for your career and doing work with purpose. What if success doesn’t equal happiness? Many of us spend our lives pursuing a singular idea of success, one that was created for us by someone else. We give votes to those who shouldn’t even have voices and strive to go faster and faster even as we find ourselves falling further and further behind. We chase gold stars, we check all the boxes, we Lean In – and we still feel incomplete. This is not a story about failure, but it might as well be. When we don’t define success in our own terms, finding our purpose and carving our own path becomes impossible. How do you break the cycle so that you can be better at work and life? In this book, Laura Gassner Otting teaches you how to ignore the rules that created your limits, align your energies and your actions, and do work that really matters so that you can live your best life. Often described as ‘a kick in the ass surrounded by a warm hug,’ Laura brings both tough love and wisdom and offers a no-holds-barred look at what it really takes to get out of your own way and earn your success today.” – April 2nd, 2019.
- Figuring – Maria Popova. “Figuring explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries. Stretching between these figures is a cast of artists, writers, and scientists—mostly women, mostly queer—whose public contribution have risen out of their unclassifiable and often heartbreaking private relationships to change the way we understand, experience, and appreciate the universe. Emanating from these lives are larger questions about the measure of a good life and what it means to leave a lasting mark of betterment on an imperfect world: Are achievement and acclaim enough for happiness? Is genius? Is love?” – February 5th, 2019.
- Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff. “Team Human is a manifesto—a fiery distillation of preeminent digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s most urgent thoughts on civilization and human nature. In one hundred lean and incisive statements, he argues that we are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together — not as individuals. Yet today society is threatened by a vast antihuman infrastructure that undermines our ability to connect. Money, once a means of exchange, is now a means of exploitation; education, conceived as way to elevate the working class, has become another assembly line; and the internet has only further divided us into increasingly atomized and radicalized groups. Team Human delivers a call to arms. If we are to resist and survive these destructive forces, we must recognize that being human is a team sport. In Rushkoff’s own words: ‘Being social may be the whole point.’ Harnessing wide-ranging research on human evolution, biology, and psychology, Rushkoff shows that when we work together we realize greater happiness, productivity, and peace. If we can find the others who understand this fundamental truth and reassert our humanity—together—we can make the world a better place to be human.” – January 22nd, 2019.
- Trillion Dollar Coach – The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle. “The team behind How Google Works returns with management lessons from legendary coach and business executive, Bill Campbell, whose mentoring of some of our most successful modern entrepreneurs has helped create well over a trillion dollars in market value. Bill Campbell played an instrumental role in the growth of several prominent companies, such as Google, Apple, and Intuit, fostering deep relationships with Silicon Valley visionaries, including Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt. In addition, this business genius mentored dozens of other important leaders on both coasts, from entrepreneurs to venture capitalists to educators to football players, leaving behind a legacy of growing companies, successful people, respect, friendship, and love after his death in 2016… To honor their mentor and inspire and teach future generations, they have codified his wisdom in this essential guide.” – April 16th, 2019.
- The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. “Do you know how to play the game you’re in? In finite games, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. The winners and losers are easily identified. In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind. The more I started to understand the difference between finite and infinite games, the more I began to see infinite games all around us. I started to see that many of the struggles that organizations face exist simply because their leaders were playing with a finite mindset in an infinite game. These organizations tend to lag behind in innovation, discretionary effort, morale and ultimately performance. The leaders who embrace an infinite mindset, in stark contrast, build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Their people trust each other and their leaders. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their competitors fall by the wayside. Ultimately, they are the ones who lead the rest of us into the future.” – June 4th, 2019.
- Coders – The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson. “Facebook‘s algorithms shaping the news. Self-driving cars roaming the streets. Revolution on Twitter and romance on Tinder. We live in a world constructed of code – and coders are the ones who built it for us. From acclaimed tech writer Clive Thompson comes a brilliant anthropological reckoning with the most powerful tribe in the world today, computer programmers, in a book that interrogates who they are, how they think, what qualifies as greatness in their world, and what should give us pause. They are the most quietly influential people on the planet, and Coders shines a light on their culture. In pop culture and media, the people who create the code that rules our world are regularly portrayed in hackneyed, simplified terms, as ciphers in hoodies. Thompson goes far deeper, dramatizing the psychology of the invisible architects of the culture, exploring their passions and their values, as well as their messy history. In nuanced portraits, Coders takes us close to some of the great programmers of our time, including the creators of Facebook’s News Feed, Instagram, Google’s cutting-edge AI, and more. With Coders,Thompson gives a definitive look into the heart of the machine.” – March 26th, 2019.
- The Art of Noticing – 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday by Rob Walker. “Welcome to the era of white noise. Our lives are in constant tether to phones, to email, and to social media. In this age of distraction, the ability to experience and be present is often lost: to think and to see and to listen. Enter Rob Walker’s The Art of Noticing. This gorgeously illustrated volume will spark your creativity – and most importantly, help you see the world anew. Through a series of simple and playful exercises – 131 of them – Walker maps ways for you to become a clearer thinker, a better listener, a more creative workplace colleague and finally, to rediscover your sense of passion and to notice what really matters to you.” – May 7th, 2019.
- The Age of Surveillance Capitalism – The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff. “The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called ‘surveillance capitalism,’ and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior. Shoshana Zuboff’s interdisciplinary breadth and depth enable her to come to grips with the social, political, business, and technological meaning of the changes taking place in our time. We are at a critical juncture in the confrontation between the vast power of giant high-tech companies and government, the hidden economic logic of surveillance capitalism, and the propaganda of machine supremacy that threaten to shape and control human life. Will the brazen new methods of social engineering and behavior modification threaten individual autonomy and democratic rights and introduce extreme new forms of social inequality? Or will the promise of the digital age be one of individual empowerment and democratization?” January 15th, 2019.
Any other business books coming out in 2019 that you think should be on this list? Happy reading…