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Favorite Business Books Series - Part E



By now we’ve gone through those books that became the most popular in our query for favorite business books. Yet, since we had so many great responses, we wanted to include a lot more books, as some of these ones have also generated great ideas that benefitted the readers’ businesses. These are our Honorable Mentions.

Because it was hard to categorize them all in a way that would make sense for this blog post, we thought we’d just list them in alphabetical order. That way, we figured, it will be easier for you to come back to this list, should you want to try to find them by title. Here’s the guide:

Part E – Honorable Mentions: 100, A-D (below) 
Part F – Honorable Mentions: E-I
Part G – Honorable Mentions: J-N
Part H – Honorable Mentions: O-S
Part I – Honorable Mentions: T (The $100 – The Hard)
Part J – Honorable Mentions: T (The Intelligent – Traction)
Part K– Honorable Mentions: W-Y

Here is the first set of favorite business books that made the Honorable Mentions list. We love the fact that books can generate ideas, and make life and business all the better. See what these avid readers had to say!


100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever, by Steve Chandler


100 Ways to Motivate Yourself

“This book really blew me away. I loved how the author said that when you're watching television, you are watching other people do what they love doing and making lots of money. That made me realize that TV prevents one from achieving one's dreams because of all the wasted time that could be spent on one's business. He also has great ideas for organizing one's priorities and one's day.
He said that your day is essentially the same as your life. He said to make four circles, your day, your month, your year, and your life, and write down everything you want to do.”

- Dan Nainan, Comedian,


Anyone Can Do It: My Story – From an Ice Cream Van to Dragon’s Den, by Duncan Bannatyne


Anyone Can Do It

“This is not the best business book I have read, but the first book I read that truly inspired me to make a change in my life. For me that is what makes a good book for business ventures: it can be an autobiography, a self-help book or a book about a specific skill you need for business. If it inspires you to take action, improve or change something in your life, or re-frame how you see the world, then it's a great time investment. I will never forget where I was when I finished Anyone can do it, I was sitting by a pool in Peru on an around-the-world adventure, and I made a pact to myself that I was going to start my first proper business. And I did when I got home after my trip.”

- Andy Shanks, CEO, Ideas Made


Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand


Atlas Shrugged

“Although it’s not strictly speaking a ‘business book’, this is my personal favorite. It’s not practical to be quite as cutthroat as the philosophy suggests, yet it’s always a reminder to me to try and remain objective in business. I’ve so far read it twice… not because I don’t love the book, but because each time is a couple-of-months’ commitment!” [The book is about 1,000 pages long.]

- Robb Young, Managing Director, Xperience Days, Inc.


Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert


Big Magic

“This book is such a gem and is truly a license to tap into your creativity and embrace it. This book really spoke to my entrepreneurial voice that kept softly asking "what if?" to shout "now or never." To this day, Big Magic reminds me to remain tapped into my creative side and to never phone it in.”

- Patty Mocarski, Owner, Little Space Salon


Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, by Andrew M. Davis



“As entrepreneurs, we are very guarded about the love of our careers—our business. We approach collaborations with utmost caution and mostly skepticism. Brandscaping opens your mind to the wonderful possibilities of collaborating with complementary businesses where the combined pool of resources works as the rising tide that lifts all ships. It also provokes you to think beyond content and leverage the power of content continuum.
It's simple advice: ‘study the content your customer already has a relationship with’ has made us take special notice of what our customers comment on and share in their daily lives. Practiced frequently, this exercise starts connecting dots magically and time and again gives you an a-ha moment.
I have myriad highlights in this book that I return to frequently to stimulate my approach to business and collaborations. Thanks to this book, I look forward to cold calls with prospective partners because I ask myself this simple question: ‘how can we both benefit?’ If you want to think beyond advertising, then this is the book.”

-Aditi Tandon, Co-Founder, MaroonOak


Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur


Business Model Generation

“This is my favorite book because it really covers the big picture of what it takes to start your business, and how all the moving parts will work together. I am a visual learner and it is extremely visual. It's perfect for the left-brained entrepreneur. I read this book before I launched Horacio Printing and it helped me to successfully start my business and have a grasp on how my product would flow from manufacturer to customer. It is a book that invites you to write in it and take action. I revisit my business canvas often and can easily remember the principles because it was so visual.”

- Polly Payne, Founder and CEO, Horacio Printing


Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice, by Clayton M. Christensen, David S Duncan, Karen Dillon, and Taddy Hall


Competing Against Luck

“In the book, Christensen explains his ‘jobs to be done theory,’ which essentially means that customers are looking to ‘hire’ products or services to solve ‘jobs’ in their daily life. The customer’s goal is to make progress in a certain set of circumstances.
I've read the book multiple times. It has helped me think about how I can alter my product so that readers will ‘hire’ my service when they want to learn more about the world. I believe that satisfying a customer's job is the north star of product innovation, and I'm constantly relying on Christensen's book if I feel like I am straying off course.
I would highly recommend this book.”

- Adam Pascarella, Founder, Suspend the Rules, and Podcaster at The Power of Bold


Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation, by Blake J. Harris


Console Wars

“I've read this book in paper copy twice and through an audio book once as well. It's not a book that teaches you how to do things. It's the story of how an understaffed, far out-budgeted team used clever business strategies, smart hiring, and resourceful tactics to compete against an industry leader. The book is a very easy read because it's told as a story and the lessons come rolling in almost immediately.
I have based a number of strategic decisions on some lessons that were learned from the book. For example, SEGA was very active in spending time with their players, looking to capture the feelings that the players were already trying to feel and putting it into the games. Similarly, we studied the creators on Commaful, our company, and noticed that love was a common theme amongst our target users to write about. By creating prompts and contests around the tag "love", we doubled our creation rate for the month. We have also used the book's lessons on resourcefulness, hiring, and leadership. We are a small startup fighting for attention, just as SEGA was the smaller company, making a dent in the video game industry.”

- Sydney Liu, CEO, Commaful


Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown


Daring Greatly

“Brené has a kind, down-to-earth way that really helps you accept what you may consider ‘flaws,’ and to be open to loving them, offering them, and learning to grow from them without judgment. I think not having read this book, I may have started my business way more stubborn and scared. Being vulnerable and asking for help was initially a challenge while starting my own business. Yet by reading Daring Greatly I understood that by opening myself up to others there truly was strength in numbers. And certainly a much kinder path to go down.”

- Patty Mocarski, Owner, Little Space Salon


Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable ...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business, by Patrick Lencioni


Death by Meeting

“The book discusses how to make more effective use of the meetings you have and what types of meetings you should schedule. It breaks it down into short daily meetings, weekly meetings, one-on-one meetings, and monthly meetings.
Being a law firm, our lawyers like to talk a bit. So, implementing these guides has been extremely beneficial for us. Anything that doesn’t require the team gets scheduled separately in a one-on-one type meeting. Each week we have an hour-long team meeting where each person submits their topic before hand and we go around discussing each one with the team.
Another key component is knowing what can wait and what can’t. By having each person submit topics beforehand, it helps us get to all of the important matters first, saving the less important ones for the extra time, if there is any, at the end.”

- Mitch Brudy, Communications Director of Freiwald Law


Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh


Delivering Happiness

“It's my favorite business book because he changed his company’s culture with happiness. His obsession to delivering happiness sounded crazy, but it was innovative and it helped differentiate his company. In the book he shares different business experiences, wisdom and overall tips to creating a happy and positive work environment. Through experience, Tony Hsieh was able to use happiness as a framework to produce passion, purpose and, most importantly, profits. I have read the book over a dozen times and it changed my perspective on the way I run my business.
Seeing the unique business culture created by Tony Hsieh and how it positively affected his employees and customers was inspirational. I borrowed his ideas and used them as a blueprint to improve my company. By applying happiness to my own business I saw a dramatic increase in productivity and customer satisfaction. My employees are more accountable for their actions when they feel a sense of purpose. Giving my employees a more relaxed and happy environment really helped change their mindset and attitude when helping customers.
The book is incredibly relevant to the modern business and I would recommend it to every aspiring entrepreneur or business owner.”

- Lisa Chu, Business Owner, Black N Bianco


I know there are several books in here that I can’t wait to get my hands on! The list of topics is long but enticing: motivation, organization, inspiration, empowerment, collaboration, life and business design, innovation, vulnerability, efficiency, happiness and outstanding customer service. After reading this post, are there any books that you are just itching to read? Let me know in the comments!

And you will not believe how many other great books are in our list of Honorable Mentions. Please come back tomorrow for Part F to read our next installment. See you soon!

* * * 

P.S. - Besides the links at the top to each part of the Honorable Mentions, here's a quick reference for you to look at the previous parts of this series. Enjoy!

Part A – The Most Popular Business Book
Part B - Second & Third Most Popular Business Books
Part C – Fourth Most Popular Business Books
Part D – Fifth Most Popular Business Books


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

One of these I'm going to

One of these I'm going to tackle Atlas Shrugged, it's. Even on the shelf for too long.

Atlas Shrugged

Hi Nick! I'm cheering for you with Atlas Shrugged -- it is indeed a long book, but it's well worth it! Whenever there are long books that my husband and I want to read, what we do is schedule a particular amount of time, say our commutes over the following two weeks, to read said book. And then in the evenings, once we're home, we tell each other what we read that day. It is a fun way to stick to the commitment of reading a long book, plus knowing that you'll have to relay what you read makes you pay even more attention to the details, and it makes for great conversation. So if you have a significant other or a friend, this is a great way to read, learn and share. Try it out with Atlas Shrugged and let me know how it goes--best of luck!!

Wow, that's a great buddy

Wow, that's a great buddy system to read books. I'm going to give it a try with my wife. Thanks again for the great series!

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