The business section of my local bookstores is a weird place. A Martian visiting the planet would wonder what “business” is all about. At the same time, some of the best books about contemporary business are in the fiction sections.
I see books ranging from the expected junk (“how to get rich without working”, “how ‘those people’ are stealing all your cheese”, “memoirs of <some tycoon>”), stuff that used to be pop psychology (“believe in yourself”, “believe in others”, “lead by example”, “who moved my chicken soup?”), and, these days, Internet-ty stuff (“the world is two dimensional”, “networks/big data/<other flavor of the month> changes everything”).
Not only are the topics all over the map, if you actually read everything, you’d be paralyzed by contradictions. Should I look out for myself, or trust others? How do I share everything for free, and also get rich without working? Are big companies obsolete or what we want to grow to be? Is the problem with government that it does its job too well or too poorly?
Being more or less a Dumb Old Socialist (TM), I’m neither impressed nor intimidated by this mush. But there are occasionally some notable titles shelved under “business”.
Here is roundup with a Good, a Bad, and an Ugly one. Plus another an “interesting” one. Full Post.
Good: Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley and David Kelley (Crown Business, 2013)
Bad? Work Like a Spy: Business Tipsfrom a Former CIA Officer. By J. C. Carelson (Penguin, 2013).
Ugly. Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton (Penquin, 2013)
Interesting. The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun (Jossey-Bass, 2013)