Most nations of the world are in a state of lockdown to combat the coronavirus. And while this is a troubling time for all of us, the silver lining is that we have more time for ourselves, to do things that we always wanted to but never had the time.
And for all you reading buffs, we have brought in five business books that are very engaging and gripping. And for those of us that do not read, this is the perfect time to start off.
5. Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future ~ by Paul Krugman
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, a lot is changing around the world. The world events leading to this pandemic have not been any less jarring: the impeachment of the President of the United States Donald Trump, the devastating Australian bushfires, and escalating tensions due to the US-China trade war, to name a few.
This book is an account of how these world events have impacted the United States and where the superpower is headed in the future. The book lucidly explains the complexities of health care, housing bubbles, tax reform, Social Security, and so much more with unrivaled clarity and precision.
One of the finest collections of essays covering two decades of the US economic and political history, it also contains a couple of foundational works in economics from the early 90’s – good to refreshing your economics! Written by Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman, the book will take you through his breadth and depth of economic research and public policy polemics.
From a reader’s review on Goodreads: “If you are interested in macroeconomics, in the way political and economic decisions affect the world, then you’ll want to read (or listen to) this book. It’s a compilation of Krugmans essays, columns, and blog posts from 2004 through late 2019, discussing everything from health care to tax cuts, from depressions and recessions to economic prosperity.”
4. Facebook: The Inside Story ~ by Steven Levy
If you are like me – an average person who picks up the phone everytime a new notification pops up – you are most likely spending over 2hrs 24mins per day on Facebook! This book will take you through the mostly known history of Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, but you will also get a very close look at the life inside Facebook.
It has been written by the renowned tech writer Steven Levy, who has had unprecedented access to Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg for over three years. The book is based on hundreds of interviews, both inside and outside the company, that the author conducted during these years. This is a book that would feel like living and experiencing the life within one of the largest, most influential, and controversial companies.
From a reader’s review on Goodreads: “A fascinating history. As a Facebook engineer who joined just before the 2016 election, this is a fascinating insight into what the management thinks about the issues of the day as well as Facebook’s mission. Not commenting on the facts, but the atmosphere portrayed, and the big picture, seems accurate.”
3. Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction ~ by David Enrich
“A jaw-dropping financial thriller.” — Philadelphia Inquirer
This one is a New York Times bestseller written by New York Times finance editor David Enrich. The book is a dramatic exposé of the most scandalous bank in the world, revealing its shadowy ties to Donald Trump, Putin’s Russia, and Nazi Germany!
On a late January Sunday of 2014, Bill Broeksmit, a senior executive at Deutsche Bank was found hanging in his London apartment. Bill had helped build Deutsche Bank into a global financial behemoth, and his sudden death was a mystery. It turned out Bill, for his ill luck, knew too much about the bank’s operations and evil deeds.
In this book, David Enrich reveals the bank’s dark history back to its propping up of a default-prone American developer in the 1880s, helping the Nazis build Auschwitz, and wooing Eastern Bloc authoritarians. Perhaps the most gripping book you’d read about the fall of a once most valuable financial brand in the world.
“A saga of how Deutsche Bank became the global face of financial recklessness and criminality—the corporate equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction. It is also the story of a man who was consumed by fear of what he’d seen at the bank—and his son’s obsessive search for the secrets he kept.”
From a reader’s review on Goodreads: “Surprising, a financial page turner!
To me, this is possibly the non-fiction book of 2020, like Bad Blood was the non-fiction book of 2018. Dark Towers talks to the spectacular mismanagement of Deutsche Bank (their stock chart since inception is a thing to behold… from $147 at peak to under $10 now).
The author moves briskly through its inception in the late 19th century and the majority of the book is focused on their effort in the 1990s onwards to become a buccaneering Wall St firm, and the epic failure that ensued.”
2. Whistleblower: My Journey to Silicon Valley and Fight for Justice at Uber ~ by Susan Fowler
We’ve all heard about the misconduct of Uber founder and erstwhile CEO, Travis Kalanick. This book is a first hand account of the story leading up to Travis’s expulsion from the company he founded.
“The unbelievable true story of the young woman who faced down one of the most valuable startups in Silicon Valley history–and what came after.”
It all started in 2017, when Susan Fowler published a blog post about the sexual harassment and retaliation she’d experienced as an entry-level engineer at Uber. We all remember how the post went viral and led to “starting a bonfire on creepy sexual behavior in Silicon Valley that . . . spread to Hollywood and engulfed Harvey Weinstein” (Maureen Dowd, The New York Times) and the global #MeToo movement against sexual harassment at workplace. This book throws more light on this controversial topic.
From a reader’s review on Goodreads: “I almost read it in one gulp but I had to take a break in between because what happened to Susan totally incensed me.
I loved every chapter of it, her upbringing, the dreams, the hunger for knowledge, awful stories of what to her happened (sexual harassment on her first day, Jesus Christ!).
And Susan, you are very very brave. You had to revisit and open the wounds again to write this book. You totally deserve to be commended.”
1. Master of One: Find and Focus on the Work You Were Created to Do ~ by Jordan Raynor
“A compelling case for embracing our vocational limits and choosing to do our one thing well.” – Emily P. Freeman, Wall Street Journal best-selling author of ‘The Next Right Thing’.
This book is a bible for anyone who feels overwhelmed with his/her never ending list of todo’s! Like me, if you too sometimes feel overwhelmed, overcommitted, and overstressed, this book has the answers to overcome your stressful situation–the path to becoming a master of one!
This book will help you discover the power of pursuing a singular craft. Packed with helpful practical principles, author Jordan Raynor provides straightforward and easy steps for finding and thriving in your calling. You will also be introduced to a dozen real-life examples of high-impact individuals who have chosen to focus on and excel in the power of pursuing their singular craft.
From a reader’s review on Goodreads: “Jordan writes an easy to follow guide for finding your calling and pursuing it to mastery. As someone who thought she knew her calling from a young age, then made a major “pivot” once I realized it wasn’t what I thought, this book gives me the confidence to pursue the skills and career that ultimately match my gifts with my passion. You won’t be disappointed!”
How many of these books have you read? And which one do you plan to start off with? Do share your views and comment in the section below.
Hey there! Thanks so much for including Master of One on this amazing list!
It is my pleasure, Jordan! It is an amazing book and has inspired me tremendously. Thank you for authoring such a fantastic one.