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The Best Business Books of 2010

The subprime housing crisis, Wall Street collapse, recession, bailouts--it's been a wild couple of years for business, so it's no surprise the financial crisis is the subject of most of the books on our 2010 Best Books in Business List. We asked our fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter to name their favorite titles of the year, and we got enough suggestions to keep your bookshelf full for quite some time.

So whether you're looking for a sure-to-please holiday gift or just trying to add you to your own library, happy reading!

The Great Reset by Richard Florida"The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity," by Richard Florida
Bestselling author and economic development expert Richard Florida provides an examination of previous economic epochs or “resets,” distilling the deep forces that shaped their physical and social landscapes, reshaping economies and societies. Looking toward the future, Florida identifies the patterns that will drive the next Great Reset and simultaneously reshape virtually every aspect of our lives.

"Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy," by Raghuram G. Rajan
Raghuram Rajan was one of the few economists who warned of the global financial crisis before it hit. Now, as the world struggles to recover, it's tempting to blame what happened on just a few greedy bankers who took irrational risks and left the rest of us to foot the bill. In Fault Lines, Rajan argues that serious flaws in the economy are also to blame, and warns that a potentially more devastating crisis awaits us if they aren't fixed.

Rework"Rework," by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
"Ignore this book at your own peril," warns Seth Godin's cover blurb for this book, written by the founders of web applications firm 37 Signals. "The Long Tail" author Chris Anderson describes "Rework" as "Part entrepreneurial handbook for the twenty-first century, part manifesto for anyone wondering how work really works in the modern age, REWORK is required reading for anyone tired of business platitudes."

"Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup," by Brad Feld and David Cohen
"Do More Faster" is a collection of advice that comes from individuals who have passed through, or are part of, the TechStars program, a mentorship-driven startup accelerator with operations in three U.S. cities. Each vignette is an exploration of information often heard during the TechStars program and provides practical insights into early stage entrepreneurship.

"Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager," edited by Keith Gessen
A candid account of the economic crisis and subprime mortgage collapse, from an anonymous hedge fund manager, as told to the editors of New York literary magazine n+1.

A Colassal Failure of Common Sense"A Colossal Failure of Common Sense," by Lawrence McDonald
McDonald, a former vice-president of Lehman Brothers, reveals the culture and unspoken rules of Wall Street. Part autobiography, part finance thriller, this book introduces the firm's leaders and offers a close-up view of the other participants in the Lehman collapse, those who saw it coming.   

"How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In," by Jim Collins
"How the Mighty Fall" presents the hope that leaders can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course--in part by understanding the five step-wise stages of decline uncovered in the four year research project behind the book.

Too Big to Fail"Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves," by Andrew Ross Sorkin
New York Times reporter and columnist Sorkin delivers a behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami. From inside the corner office at Lehman Brothers to secret meetings in South Korea, and the corridors of Washington, "Too Big to Fail" is the story of the most powerful men and women in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego and greed, and, ultimately, the fate of the world’s economy.

"The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine," by Michael Lewis
The #1 New York Times bestseller is a character-rich, darkly humorous account of how the U.S. economy was driven over the cliff. Who got it right? Lewis asks. Who saw the real estate market for the black hole it would become, and eventually made billions of dollars from that perception? And what qualities of character made those few persist when their peers and colleagues dismissed them as Chicken Littles?

"The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History," by Gregory Zuckerman
Written by the prizewinning reporter who broke the story in The Wall Street Journal, The Greatest Trade Ever is a superbly written, fast-paced, behind-the-scenes narrative of how a contrarian foresaw an escalating financial crisis--that outwitted Chuck Prince, Stanley O'Neal, Richard Fuld, and Wall Street's titans--to make financial history.

Editor's Picks

Africa Rising“Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think," by Vijay Mahajan
McCombs School of Business Professor of Marketing Vijay Mahajan makes his case for Africa as a compelling business opportunity in many ways, beginning with a presentation of the economic data to the continent’s youth. He embarked on a journey across Africa, traveling thousands of miles and listening to hundreds of stories from business leaders, entrepreneurs and consumers over three years.

Socialnomics“Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business," by Erik Qualman
Qualman, MBA '99, shares research and insights on how social media and business interact. From a business perspective, social media has demonstrated an ability to influence how products are marketed and sold. But Qualman suggests it also can eliminate inefficient marketing middlemen, making better products that are cheaper for the consumers.

Both Mahajan's and Qualman's books are finalists for this year's American Marketing Association Berry Book Prize for the best book in marketing.

Don't see your favorite on the list? Add it in the comments section!


#1 "Rework," by Jason Fried and

"Rework," by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is highly recommended.

#2 Great, I found my preferred

Great, I found my preferred author of 2010 in your list: G.Zuckerman. I also like very much you talk about best and not bestseller books. Best are best.

#3 Africa Rising would be one of

Africa Rising would be one of my picks too, great book

#4 I give a hearty

I give a hearty recommendation for Rob Adams' new book, "If You Build It Will They Come? Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity." Anyone who is thinking about launching a new business should read this. It's straight forward, very practical, and a quick read. I like the fact that it isn't theoretical...all of this advice is gleaned from years of working directly with startups, both successful and not. Good holiday gift for the budding entrepreneur, I gave my copy to my son who is in the business school at BYU.

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