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Business Book Suggestions

Larry Gennari writes a regular column in the Boston Business Journal reviewing business books and other thoughtful publications as part of our curation for Authors & Innovators each year. 
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What if you could do...anything?

  • Is Your Work Worth It? 
    by Christopher Wong Michaelson and Jennifer Tosti-Kharas

  • Get the Picture  
    by Bianca Bosker

  • Ghost Town Living 
    by Brent Underwood

  • Briefly Perfectly Human 
    by Alua Arthur


Juneteenth in Boston then and now

  • No Right to an Honest Living
    by Jacqueline Jones

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Nakedly afraid and heading outside

  • Walk Ride Paddle: A Life Outside
    by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine

  • L.I.T.: Life Ignition Tools

by Jeff Karp

  • Total Garbage: How We Can Fix Our Waste and Heal Our World
    by Edward Humes

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Jeff Bezos needs to leave me alone

  • The Everything War
    by Dana Mattioli

  • Means of Control 
    by Byron Tau

  • The Heart and The Chip: Our Bright Future With Robots
    by Daniela Rus and Gregory Mone

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All the news we get to print

  • Actual Malice
    by Samantha Barbas

  • Hedged  
    by Margot Susca

  • What Works in Community News
    by Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy


Maine: A humble appreciation of well-crafted things

  • Making It In America
    by Rachel Slade

  • Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks  
    by Amy Brady

  • Ours was the Shining Future 
    by David Leonhardt

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Milton Friedman has left the building

  • Higher Purpose Venture Capital  
    by Ron Levin

  • Becoming a Public Benefit Corporation  
    by Michael Dorff

  • The Injustice of Place  
    by Kathryn Edi and Timothy Nelson

  • Crossings  
    by Ben Goldfarb

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Gifts for Thinkers: 2023 Notable Books

  • Higher Purpose Venture Capital  by Ron Levin

  • Crisis-Proofing Today’s Learners  by Jean Eddy

  • The Portfolio Life  by Christina Wallace

  • The Injustice of Place  by Kathryn Edi and Timothy Nelson

  • The ROI of LOL  by Steve Cody and Clayton Fletcher

  • Your Face Belongs To Us  by Kashmir Hill

  • Know What Matters  by Ron Shaich

  • Powered By Me by Neha Sangwan

  • Your Brain on Art  by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross

  • Paved Paradise  by Henry Grabar

  • Deeply Responsible Business  by Geoffrey Jones

  • The Way We Build  by Mark Erlich

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Avoid 'Kitchen Nightmares'

  • Your Face Belongs to Us

​          by Kashmir Hill

  • Know What Matters

              by Ron Shah

  • Powered By Me
    by Neha Sangwan

  • The ROI of LOL

          by Clayton Fletcher and Steve Cody

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AI, Ikigai, and the new world of work

  • The Case for Good Jobs
    by Zeynep Ton

  • The Portfolio Life

              by Christina Wallace

  • Crisis-Proofing Today's Learners
    by Jean Eddy

  • The Way We Build

          by Mark Ehrlich

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AI is here, so now what?

  • Your Brain on Art: How The Arts Transform Us
    by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross

  • Kind of a Big Deal

               by Saul Austerlitz

  • Generations
    by Jean Twenge

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On the road and paving the way for change

  • Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World
    by Henry Grabar

  • Gradual: The Case For Incremental Change in a Radical Age.

               by Greg Berman and Aubrey Fox

  • King: A Life
    by Jonathan Eig

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Woke, broke, or bespoke

  • Chokepoint Capitalism
    by Cory Doctorow and Rebecca Giblin

  • Plunder: Private Equity’s Plan to Pillage America

               by Brendan Ballou

  • Deeply Responsible Business: A Global History of Values-Driven Business
    by Geoffrey Jones

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Talking, and not talking

  • Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way
    by Jonah Berger

  •  STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut In An Endlessly Noisy World
    by Dan Lyons

  • Win Every Argument: The Art of Debating, Persuading, and Public Speaking
    by Mehdi Hasan

  • The Great Escape: A True Story of Forced Labor and Immigrant Dreams in America
    by Saket Soni

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Truly, madly, and sometimes deeply, with Philomena Cunk

  • The Future Normal: How We Will Live, Work, and Thrive In The Next Decade
    by Rohit Bhargarva and Henry Coutinho-Mason

  •  Mindreader
    by Dr. David Lieberman

  • Foolproof 
    by Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

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Maybe We Need More "Travels with Charley"

  • Still Broke
    by Rick Wartzman

  • The Future Of Business Journalism: Why It Matters For Wall Street And Main Street
    by Chris Roush

  • Chip War: The Fight For The World’s Most Critical Technology 
    by Chris Miller

  • Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict With China
    by Michael Beckley and Hal Brands

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Top 10 Must-Reads for 2022

  • This is What it Sounds Like  by Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas

  • Benjamin Franklin’s Last Bet  by Michael Meyer

  • Rebel With A Clause  by Ellen Jovin

  • Purpose + Profit  by George Serafeim

  • When Women Lead  by Julia Boorstin

  • The Man Who Broke Capitalism  by David Gelles

  • Build For Tomorrow  by Jason Feifer

  • Golden  by Justin Zorn and Leigh Marz

  • The Art of Insubordination  by Todd Kashdan

  • Influence Is Your Superpower  by Zoe Chance

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The Sound of Leadership

  • This is What it Sounds Like
    by Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas

  • The Prepared Leader  

​      ​by Erika James and Lynn Perry Wooten

  • The Answer is You
    by Alex Amouyel

  • Purpose & Profit

​      by George Serafeim


The Pleasing Appeal of Harry Styles

  • When Women Lead
    by Julia Boorstin

  • Build Your Board, Build Your Business  

​      ​by Barbara Clarke

  • Startup Boards
    by Brad Feld, Matt Blumberg and Mahendra Ramsinghani

  • The Art of Conscious Conversation

​      by Chuck Wisner

Chocolate, Capitalism, and a Sweet Approach

  • The Man Who Broke Capitalism
    by David Gelles

  • Launchpad Republic  

​      ​by Howard Wolk and John Landry

  • Build for Tomorrow
    by Jason Feifer

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Don't Just Do Something, Stand There

  • Golden: The Power of Silence in a World Of Noise 
    by Justin Zorn and Leigh Marz

  • The Eloquence of The Sardine: Extraordinary Encounters Beneath The Sea  by Bill Francois

  • The Eye Test: A Case For Human Creativity in The Age of Analytics  
    by Chris Jones


Is It All About the Benjamins?

  • Benjamin Franklin's Last Bet  by Michael Meyer

  • See, Solve, Scale: How Anyone Can Turn an Unsolved Problem Into a Breakthrough Success  by Danny Warshay

  • The Privatization of Everything  
    by Donald Cohen and Allen Mikaelian


For the Sake ofArgument

  • Off the Edge: Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture and Why People Will Believe Anything  by Kelly Weill

  •  Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times  by Monica Guzman

  • Results: Getting Beyond Politics to Get Important Work Done  
    by Charlie Baker and Steve Kadish


Everybody Wants to Rule the World

  • Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking  by Leonard Mlodinow

  • Influence Is Your Superpower  by Zoe Chance

  • The Art of Insubordination: How To Dissent And Defy Effectively  
    by Todd Kashdan


Exit Like Springsteen

  • Major Labels  by Kelefa Sanneh

  • Branding for Buyout  by Ted Schlueter

  • Making Numbers Count  by Chip Heath and Karla Starr

  • American Afterlife   by Shannon Dawdy

  • Rescuing Socrates   by Roosevelt Montas


Feeling Like Charlie Brown

  • The Voice Catchers  by Joseph Turow

  • The Power of Geography  by Tim Marshall

  • Running Out: In Search Of Water On The High Plains by Luca Bessires

  • Taste: My Life Through Food   by Stanley Tucci


Gifts for Thinkers: The top 10 business books of 2021

  • Machiavelli for Women  by Stacey Vanek Smith

  • You Have More Influence Than You Think  by Vanessa Bohns

  • The New Builders by Seth Levine and Elizabeth MacBride

  • American Made  by Farah Stockman

  • The Power of Trust  by Sandra Sucher

  • Think Again  by Adam Grant

  • High Conflict  by Amanda Ripley

  • Better, Simpler Strategy  by Felix Oberholzer-Gee

  • The Unspoken Rules  by Gorick Ng

  • Living a Life That Matters  by Rabbi Harold Kushner

You can't fire me. I quit. 

  • The Raging 2020s by Alec Ross

  • Untapped Talent  by Jeffrey Korzenik

  • American Made: What Happens To People When Work Disappears  by Farah Stockman


You've got the power. Now use it!

  • Power for All  by Julie Battilana & Tiziana Casciaro

  • The Power of Nothing to Lose: The Hail Mary Effect in Politics, War and Business.  by William Silber

  • The Transformation Myth: Leading Your Organization Through Uncertain Times  by Gerald Kane & Anh Nguyen Phillips

  • You Have More Influence Than You Think by Vanessa Bohns

  • Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust & Connection,
    No Matter the Distance  
    by Erica Dhawan

  • Beyond Collaboration Overload  by Rob Cross

  • Republic of Detours  by Scott Borchert


Machiavelli, women, and the art of talking back

  • Machiavelli For Women: Defend Your Worth, Grow Your Ambition, and Win the Workplace  by Stacey Vanek Smith

  • The Premonition  by Michael Lewis

  • The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy 1865-1915  by Jon Grinspan


Monopoly: A new take on an old game

  • Antitrust  by Amy Klobuchar

  • The New Builders  by Seth Levine & Elizabeth McBride

  • The Power of Trust  by Sandra Sucher & Shalene Gupta

  • Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America
    by Alec MacGillis

Recent articles:
  • Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding From Anywhere
    by Tsedal Neely

  • The Human Cloud  by Matthew Mottola and Matthew Coatney

  • Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is A Secret Weapon In Business And In Life  by Jennifer Aaker & Naomi Bagdonas


Commencement and Beyond

  • The Imagination Machine  by Martin Reeves & Jack Fuller

  • High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out
    by Amanda Ripley

  • Better, Simpler Strategy by Felix Oberholzer-Gee

  • The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right 
    by Gorick Ng


Family Business Advice Fit for a Godfather

  • Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook
    by Josh Baron& Rob Lachenauer

  •  Think Again  by Adam Grant

  • Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships With Family, Friends, and Colleagues  by David Bradford & Carole Robin


Leaders Must Be Readers

  • We Have Been Harmonized: Life in China’s Surveillance State 
     by Kai Strittmatter

  • We The Possibility  by Mitchell Weiss

  • The Entrepreneurial State  by Mariana Mazzucato

  • The Passion Economy  by Adam Davidson


2021? You Got This!

  • You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters  
     by Kate Murphy

  • Invent & Wander  by Jeff Bezos

  • Long Life Learning  by Michelle Weise

  • The Deficit Myth  by Stephanie Kelton

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Must-Read Books of the Year

  • Post-Corona  by Scott Galloway

  • How I Built This  by Guy Raz

  • The Growing Season by Sarah Frey

  • Blindsight  by Prince Ghuman

  • The Power of Bad and How to Overcome It  by John Tierney

  • The Startup Playbook  by Will Herman and Raj Bhargava

  • First Pitch  by Debi Kleiman

  • Girl Decoded  by Rana el Kaliouby

  • Overground Railroad  by Candacy Taylor

  • The Tyranny of Merit  by Michael Sandel


Welcome to the Rest of 2020

  • The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good  
     by Michael Sandel

  • If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future 
    by Jill Lepore

  • Good Company by Arthur Blank

  • The Entrepreneur's Journey by Hambleton Lord, Christopher Mirabile and Joseph Mandato


Rewriting Your Story

  • How I Built This  by Guy Raz

  • The Growing Season  by Sarah Frey


Bill Murray, Negotiating, and the Art of the Deal

  • Protocol  by Capricia Penavic Marshall 

  • Blindsight  by Matt Johnson and Prince Ghuman


Zombies, Books, and the End of the World

  • People, Power & Profits  by Joseph Stiglitz 

  • The Reality Game by Samuel Woolley


Black Entrepreneurship Matters

  • American Prison  by Shane Bauer

  • The Master Plan  by Chris Wilson

Channeling Warren Buffet

  • The $100 Startup  by Chris Guillebeau

  • The Power of Bad and How to Overcome It
     by John Tierney and Roy Baumeister

Thinking Fast Means Going Slow

  • Girl Decoded   by Rana el Kaliouby

  • Lift  by Dan Ward

MLK and the Unfinished Fight for Economic Justice

The Truth About Sharks

  • Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral & Drive Major Economic Events   by Robert Shiller

  • Messengers, Who We Listen to, Who We Don’t and Why  by Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks

Love It Or List It

  • Creative Construction  by Gary Pisano

  • The AI Advantage  by Tom Davenport

  • The Technology Fallacy  by Gerald Kane

  • Leading With Dignity  by Donna Hicks

  • Jump-Starting America by Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson

Bill Murray is Everywhere You Want to Be

  • How We Make Stuff Now  by Jules Pieri

  • Are We There Yet: The American Automobile, Past, Present and Driverless  by Dan Albert

Hello, Cleveland

  • Crooked River Burning  by Mark Winegardner

  • The Birth of Loud  by Les Paul and Leo Fender

  • Music on the Chain  by Anthony McGuire

Fishing for Answers

  • Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table  by Langdon Cook

  • Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World  by Adam Tooze

2019 is Here!

  • AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order  by Kai-Fu Lee

  • Inspired: How to Build an Organization where Everyone Loves to Work  by Aron Ain

Time to Reflect on 'Vocational Discernment'

  • The Job: Work and its Future in a Time of Radical Change  by Ellen Ruppel Shell

  • The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make A Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future  by Chris Guillebeau

Holiday Food and Common Ground

  • Entrepreneurial Negotiation  by Samuel Dinnar and Lawrence Susskind

  • The Gift of Global Talent: How Migration Shapes Business, Economy and Society  by William Kerr

Head to Sweden...and Bring These Books

  • Reach  by Andy Molinsky

  • The Startup Playbook  by Will Herman and Rajat Bharagava

  • Detonate  by Geoff Tuff and Steven Goldbach 

In Search of a Good Business Book

  • A New U: Faster & Cheaper Alternatives to College  by Ryan Craig

  • The Challenge Culture  by Nigel Travis

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