Looking for your next inspiring read? Here are nine new books coming out next month that will help broaden your thinking and bring you--and your business--new ideas to consider.
1. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (October 7th)
Atul Gawande is a practicing surgeon and a staff writer for The New Yorker. His previous books are The Checklist Manifesto, Better, and Complications. Former secretary of the treasury Timothy Geithner praised Complications as an excellent guide to crisis management.
Gawande's new book examines end-of-life treatment. It will not be in the business aisle, but Gawande has a knack for making medical insights--how to manage a hospital, how to reduce mistakes during surgery, how to think clearly about medical errors--relevant to people in business.
In Being Mortal, Gawande shows that terminally ill patients should determine what kind of treatment they prefer--if they prefer treatment at all--instead of family or doctors imposing options on the patients. The goal should be the quality of life, not its mere extension. Parallels to employee management abound.
2. The Innovators by Walter Isaacson (October 7th)
The myth of the lone genius is a romantic and alluring image--think about Rodin's The Thinker--but it's a myth. Isaacson admits that after decades of celebrating the lone inventor--his previous books profiled Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin--collaborative creativity "is actually more important in understanding how today's technology revolution was fashioned."
The Innovators is the story of the computer and the Internet, how they came to be, and the inventors behind them.
3. How to Kill a Unicorn by Mark Payne (October 7th)
Mark Payne is the founder of Fahrenheit 212, a "consultancy that creates growth through innovation." Praise from Fortune ("The Innovator's Paradise"), Businessweek ("Inside a White-Hot Idea Factory"), and Fast Company ("Melding the Best of McKinsey and IDEO") has helped solidify the Fahrenheit 212 team's reputation as masters of innovation.
Is all this hype warranted? Find out on October 7th.
4. How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life by Russ Roberts (October 9th)
Adam Smith is known for The Wealth of Nations, but the Scottish philosopher also authored the revered Theory of Moral Sentiments, a masterful investigation of the human condition. In it, Smith discusses happiness, empathy, fairness, morality, and the disparity between how we treat others versus ourselves. Blurbs from Dan Pink, Nassim Taleb, Jonathan Haidt, Matt Ridley, and Diane Coyle suggest that it will appeal to both scholars and lay readers interested in human behavior.
5. Rookie Smarts by Liz Wiseman (October 14th)
Wharton professor Adam Grant is the author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. A glowing profile in The New York Times revealed that Grant is the youngest tenured and most highly rated professor at the Wharton School. In other words, when Grant recommends a book, people listen. Here's what he said about Rookie Smarts:
"If you believe in the value of experience, prepare to have your worldview turned upside down. Wiseman masterfully shows why novices can outdo veterans, expertise blinds us to fresh ideas, and we're all missing out on the brilliance of the newbies around us."
6. Winners Dream by Bill McDermott (October 14th)
Bill McDermott grew up in working-class Long Island, owned and managed a deli as a teenager, paid for grad school, and sold copiers door-to-door for Xerox, where he became the company's youngest-ever corporate officer. Today, McDermott is the CEO of SAP. Winners Dream is his story.
7. You Only Have to Be Right Once by Randall Lane (October 16th)
Randall Lane is editor of Forbes. He co-founded POV, which Adweek named Startup of the Year, and Doubledown Media. His first book, The Zeroes, discusses his experience at Doubledown Media.
His new book, You Only Have to Be Right Once, takes a close look at how the startup world has turned entrepreneurs into billionaires--sometimes overnight. He profiles Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX; Evan Spiegel, the 23-year-old founder of Snapchat; and Alex Karp, the co-founder of Palantir Technologies, which specializes in data analysis.
8. Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values by Lawrence Cunningham (October 21st)
Lawrence Cunningham, the Henry St. George Tucker III Research Professor of Law at George Washington University, is an expert on Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. He arranged and edited The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, a collection of Buffett's writing, which is in its third edition.
In Berkshire Beyond Buffett, Cunningham discusses what will happen to Berkshire Hathaway after its founder, Buffett, who is widely considered the most successful investor in the 20th century, passes away. Will the multinational conglomerate survive his death? Cunningham considers the full history of Berkshire, its culture, its people, and its current subsidiaries.
Read a sample chapter--or preorder the book--here.
9. How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson (September 30th)
Technically, this book is not out in October, but Steven Johnson is a prolific writer worth reading. He is the author of, most recently, Where Good Ideas Come From and Future Perfect. His latest book examines "six innovations that made the modern world." It "explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences."
Did you miss good books from the summer? Check out our guide to summer business books.