2019 summer reading: 10 business books

A selection of books perfect for your commute — or the beach.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

Why big-wave surfers are just like actuaries

by Allison Schrager

In her new book, An Economist Walks Into a Brothel, Allison Schrager argues that we can learn a lot about risk management, moral hazard, and financial safety from the dudes who tackle 80-foot waves on fiberglass boards.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

Finding your company’s cultural sweet spot

by Theodore Kinni

In Rule Makers, Rule Breakers, psychology professor Michele Gelfand explains some of the differences between social groups, and the conflicts that erupt among them.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

Leadership lessons from Game of Thrones

by Bruce Craven

In Win or Die, Bruce Craven notes that paying attention to your values and persuasion style can help you avoid getting beheaded or stabbed to death.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

The wisdom of The Old Wives’ Tale

by Daniel Akst

Arnold Bennett’s 1908 novel about the fate of two sisters in Victorian England, The Old Wives’ Tale, has a great deal to teach us about the challenges women face in the business world.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

The short life of enlightened leadership (and how to extend it)

by James O’Toole

In The Enlightened Capitalists, James O’Toole argues that most companies that try to do well by doing good can’t make it last. Their leaders need to think more carefully about their philosophy and governance.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

Large businesses don’t have to be lousy innovators

by Theodore Kinni

In Creative Construction, Harvard Business School prof Gary Pisano offers senior leaders a three-part solution to the innovation challenge.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

Can capitalism be fixed?

by David J. Lynch

In his new book, The Future of Capitalism, Oxford economist Paul Collier lays out a path to restore the ethical foundations of the free-market system in the U.S. and Europe.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

Bad meetings no more

by Theodore Kinni

In The Surprising Science of Meetings, UNC-Charlotte professor Steven Rogelberg offers an evidence-based guide to holding better meetings.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

The case for general excellence

by Daniel Akst

In his new book, Range, David Epstein argues that although specialization has its virtues, businesses need people with wide horizons and ranges of interests in order to succeed.

Illustration by Patrick Hruby
 

Diving into deep learning

by Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine

In Search of Deeper Learning, their new book on what makes high schools work, education experts Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine offer vital lessons for business leaders as well.

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