The 10 must-read business books for 2017


Reading is a powerful habit. No wonder that this is the number 1 advice given by some of the most successful people. There is a hidden power in reading every day. By contiously reading every day, week and year you will learn. You can become a better person, become a little wiser and discover all that is around you. There are a lot of classics that you should read, like The Intelligent Investor, but what are the newsworthy newcomers of last year?

Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day – Charlie Munger


  1. Tools of Titans –  by Tim Ferris

    Tim Ferris is well known of the 4-hour workweek and has written a new book about the tactics, routines and habits of billionaires, icons and world-class performers. The stories within this book are derived from his podcast, where he interviewed more than 200 people, ranging from super celebs like Arnold Schwarzenegger, to athletes or black market biochemists. The premise: ‘Tools of Titans contains the distilled tools, tactics, and inside baseball you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met.

    Want to check more? Then check the info on his site where you can also read the first chapter.


  2. Grit – by Angela Duckworth

    Angela Lee Duckworth left a prestigious consultancy job to give seventh graders in New York mathematics. There she realized that IQ is not the only thing that mattered between successful and less successful students. In this book she explains her theory of determination as key factor explained.She researches intangible concepts such as self-control and grit to determine how they might predict both academic and professional success.

    From the book description:Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments.In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, she shows parents, educators, students, and business people both seasoned and new that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called grit.

    Also check out her TED-talk about the subject.

    The-Code-of-the Extraordinary-Mind .png

  3. The Code of the Extraordinary Mindby Vishen Lakhiani

    Vishen Lakhiani will make you question everything you thought you knew about your life. From happiness and health to purpose and power, this book is a revolutionary roadmap to become the best, most extraordinary version of yourself period. Blending evolutionary biology, computation thinking, meditation exercises and more.The Code of the Extraordinary Mind provides a new framework for understanding and enhancing the human self. It also includes interviews that Lakhiani has conducted with  Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Ken Wilber, Dave Asprey, Arianna Huffington, and other legendary actors on today’s stage ranging from billionaires to bio-hackers.
    Want to hear or read more about the book? There is a very good podcast from The Human XP, where they interviewed Lakhiana about the book and more detailed info about the subject and author.


  4. Smarter Better Fasterby Charles Duhigg

    Charles Duhigg is mostly known from his book, The Power of Habit. His new book, Smarter Faster Better, explores the science of productivity in a fascinating way. And show you why, in today’s world, managing HOW you think rather than WHAT you think can transform your life.

    Susan Cain, author of Quiet, says the following: “As he did in The Power of Habit, Duhigg melds cutting-edge science, deep reporting, and wide-ranging stories to give us a fuller, more human way of thinking about how productivity actually happens.”
    At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently

    They view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways.

    Want to hear another opinion? Then read on to this review of the NY Times.


  5. Shoe dog – by Phil Knight

    In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion.In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable symbols in the world today.But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, he tells his story.
    Bill Gates about Shoe Dog: ‘A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice… In the pages of Shoe Dog, however, Knight opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do. He’s incredibly tough on himself and his failings… Knight is amazingly honest about the accidental nature of his company’s success… It’s an amazing tale. It’s real.’


  6. The undoing project by Micheal Lewis

    Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process.  Which was the foundation as to how we now know the field of behavioral economics.The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between these two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.

    Bryan Appleyard of the Sunday Times says the following:
    I normally write two or three pages of notes when reviewing a book. On this occasion I scribbled six, often in high excitement. Lewis has a strong journalist’s sense of a good story and the book is dotted with hundreds. He also has a feeling for pace and intensity. Although this is an easy read, nothing is wasted and everything seems to be in the right place. And what a story it is!’
    Want to know more? Then check out this video with Malcolm Gladwell & Micheal Lewis on 92Y On Demand.


  7. Originals by Adam Grant

    The New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take examines how people can drive creative, moral, and organizational progress and how leaders can encourage originality.Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can fight groupthink to build cultures that welcome dissent.

    J.J. Abrams says this about the book: “This extraordinary, wildly entertaining book sheds new light on the Age of Disruption. What does it take to make a meaningful difference? And how can you apply this insight to your own life? By debunking myths of success stories, challenging long-held beliefs of process, and finding commonality among those who are agents of profound change, Adam Grant gives us a powerful new perspective on not just our place in the world, but our potential to shake it up entirely.
    Interested in the story of Adam Grant? Than you should definitely listen to his TED talk: the surprising habits of original thinkers.


  8. Pre-suasion – by Robert Cialdini

    Cialdini became famous for his book Influence (among others) and describes a revolutionary way to affect and persuade. This new book is adding a new dimension to the process of influencing. In the earlier book it was all about ‘what’ and ‘how’ you say things. Now he offers revelatory new insights into the art of winning people over: it isn’t just what we say or how we say it that counts, but also what goes on in the moments before we speak.And as Cialdini reveals, it’s a world you can master. If you understand the tools of pre-suasion, you will better placed to win a debate, get support for an idea or cause, promote a campaign – even persuade yourself to do something you find difficult.

    Matthew Syed of The Times:  “His trove of findings and case studies covers how our focal points determine who we see as influential Nature [Cialdini] argues that the content of an advertisement or selling strategy is less important than the context. You can try to improve your core pitch as much as you like, but if you haven’t paid attention to background circumstances (such as the film people were watching at the time), you won’t get anywhere.”

    Want know more? Then this review on might be interesting.


  9. The life-changing magic of don’t give a f*ck by Sarah Knight

    A must-read when you feel stressed, worn out or just too busy. You have to stop pleasing everybody but yourself. Just don’t give a f*ck. The book is inspired by Marie Kondo and her way of tidying. But just not for your house, but your mind. This book is about the quality of your life. And to make time for the things that really matter.

    From the Guardian: “Yes, it’s a parody of a cult book … but it’s something more, too. Knight acknowledges the overwhelmingness of the modern world in a different way to many before her.”


  10. Payoff – by Dan Ariely

    Ariely digs deep to find the root of motivation. How it works and how we can use this knowledge to approach important choices in our own lives. Along the way, he explores intriguing questions such as: Why is trust so crucial for successful motivation? What are our misconceptions about how to value our work? Why are we willing to part with money on some occasions and not others?Bestselling author Dan Ariely reveals fascinating new insights into motivation— showing that the subject is far more complex than we ever imagined.
    According to James Altucher from the Wall Street Journal: “Dan Ariely makes the strong case that the best way to motivate people, including ourselves, is not through persuasive tactics, however subtle, but by providing the groundwork for meaning in people’s lives. We are all striving to become better people. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, ‘we want to be healthier, wealthier and wiser”

    Ready for more? There is a very interesting TED Talk available from Dan Ariely about motivation and work.

The funny thing about these books? (besides there outstanding similarity in color) I haven’t read any of them. I hope to read them all this coming year and are my most favorites books at this moment. And according to the many, many lists circulating online these are definitely a few of which you shouldn’t miss out on.

Earlier this year I’ve set a goal on making a habit out of reading every day. Two of the books listed above are already lying in my bookcase, waiting to be read.

Is there any book of the list you want to read as well?  Or crossed a book off of your reading list already?  Do you know any other books we just have to read for this year?

11 thoughts on “The 10 must-read business books for 2017

  1. Hi Divnomics,

    Thanks for this list of books – I added a book to my reading list as a result, although the book in question wasn’t actually on your list. I ended up adding Uncovering Happiness from Elisha Goldstein as it was suggested as a better alternative to the Extraordinary Mind; we’ll see 🙂

    Thanks again,


    • Hi DL,

      Glad to be of help, even with a little detour 😉

      Didn’t knew Uncovering Happiness yet, although it looks like it’s aimed at depressions (and recovering from it) the synopsis looks quite good. I still have enough to read for the coming months probably, I’m interested in your thoughts when you’ve read the book 🙂


  2. I really PLAN to start reading and this is a very good start…all positivity producing content. Thank you for this list…✊


  3. Thanks for the list. I see some overlap with my wishlist :-). And I’ve added some of your suggestions. One book I’m looking forward to is “Competing against Luck” by Clayton Christensen.


  4. Happy I found this list of book recommendations. As a small business owner I am always looking for business books that get me thinking about things in a new way. Smarter, Faster, Better sounds great. I thought I would recommend a book that helped me immensely this past year called “Think Wrong” ( This book is innovative and pushes you and your business to go against the “status quo” and try something different! It is essentially a field guide for using this highly effective problem-solving system for all challenges you and your business might face. There are helpful drills, case studies and even free online resources for you to use. I can’t recommend it enough. Would love to hear what you think and perhaps it will make it on a future list


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