It’s been another roller-coaster year for businesses in 2015. From plummeting oil prices to an impending interest rate hike, authors have done their best to educate their readership on… well, pretty much anything.
Here are our favourite reads of 2015. You’ll find a little bit of everything for everyone – from advice on time-management to inspiration on becoming the next big entrepreneur.
Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Author: Walter Isaacson
What is it? CNN chairman and Time magazine managing editor Isaacson, who also wrote a bestseller on Apple founder Steve Jobs, whisks readers through analyses of the world's greatest technologists, from Victorian-era computer programmer Ada Lovelace to Google creator Larry Page.
What Amazon said: “Great whistlestop history of the milestones that have allowed us to reach great heights as a species. Also refreshing to see the common themes of collaboration and the way all innovation is the tip of an ever growing stack of innovations that came before it.”
Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us
Author: Kabir Sehgal
Publication date: 26 February 2015
What is it? From its origins in primitive cultures to frequent flyer miles, Apple Pay and Bitcoin, former JPMorgan Chase vice president Sehgal explains how money has shaped the way we "view, cope and harmonise the world". "Money isn't just what makes the world go around; it is largely what makes each of us go around."
What Amazon said: “Kabir Sehgal reminds us that, at the end of the day, money is what we allow it to be in our lives. It can be a means to an end, an instrument of good or ill, an obsession, an object of art, a symbol, a link to our histories, and even a reminder to hold tight to the things in life that we value more highly than material objects.”
Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin
Author: Nathaniel Popper
Publication date: 19 May 2015
What is it? An insight into the world of Bitcoin, the latest craze in digital payment, told from the perspective of a New York Times technology and business reporter. Though the success of the cryptocurrency has been joked about in recent years, Popper explores its beginnings and growth in the financial system and its potential to integrate itself into banks and government.
What Amazon said: “To say it was a page turner is an understatement. Fantastic read on the early years of Bitcoin and insight into the people who helped build it.”
Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future
Author: Ashlee Vance
Publication date: 21 May 2015
What is it? From being bullied in grade school to suffering abuse from his own father, Vance takes readers through the hardships and successes of Elon Musk, the mastermind behind PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla – and the real-life inspiration behind the Iron Man movie franchise.
What Amazon said: “A very objective and informative biography about a truly amazing entrepreneur. After reading this book, you can't help but be inspired at what one man is capable of accomplishing.”
I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time
Author: Laura Vanderkam
Publication date: 25 June 2015
What is it? Are there ways to spend more time on things that are actually enjoyable? Vanderkam asked women making more than $100,000 a year to share tips for staying sane when they have children. What's surprising is that most still said they have time for themselves.
What Amazon said: “I loved this book and thought it had particularly practical advice about managing your time to find your own personal version of happiness. I liked her message to other working moms that we need to be more thoughtful about the messages young women hear that it ‘can't be done’ and focus more energy in showing each other ‘what we choose to get done and how we do it.’”
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics
Author: Richard Thaler
Publication date: 7 May 2015
What is it? Thaler’s approachable writing style makes a complicated topic easy to understand. The economist and behavioural scientist uses his distinguished background to take a look at why we buy what we buy and how to make smarter decisions to get the biggest bang out of our buck.
What Amazon said: “An excellent book exploring in depth concepts about behavioural economics and its origins, but written in a down to earth style so that everyone can understand.”
The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
Author: Guy Kawasaki
What is it? Superstar entrepreneur Kawasaki has come out with the second part of his highly successful “The Art of the Start”, explaining how to be the best entrepreneur you can be. This witty read explains the sea-change in business in the past decade, from the importance of social media to the revolutionary method of fundraising that is crowdfunding.
Publication date: 5 March 2015
What Amazon said: “Would I recommend this book to somebody who already had read the first edition? Yes, absolutely, yes. Everything has been totally updated and revised. It is almost like reading a complete new book, with totally new examples, topics and solutions. The advices about social networking alone are a perfect reason to buy it.”