There have been plenty of roll-ups of the best books of 2017. This post is different. It describes seven books you should preorder immediately. I believe they're going to be much discussed, so getting one of the first copies will give you a leg up on everyone else.
In addition, I've seen books of this caliber sell out their first printing, which means if you don't act now, you might not get a copy for several weeks. For your convenience, each title is clickable to the Amazon preorder page.
Subtitle: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley Hardcover
Author: Emily Chang
Available On: February 6, 2018
Why It's Important: I just read the excerpt published in Vanity Fair and this book is dynamite, dangerous stuff. Apparently, many of the venture capitalists and billionaires that we lionize and idolize are habitual attendees of private house parties where business is discussed amidst indiscriminant drug-taking (ecstasy, mostly) and group sex (aka "cuddle puddles"). Young women are encouraged (i.e. required) to attend in the (false) hope that they'll make connections and get funding/backing for their projects. And that's just one part of one chapter. Seriously, folks, when it comes to Silicon Valley, this is the expose to end all exposes. Order it now because it will sell out.
Subtitle: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance--and What We Can Do About It
Author: Jeffrey Pfeffer
Available On: March 20, 2018
Why It's Important: As I've repeatedly posted, many of the management techniques practiced and encouraged by today's executives are toxic to their employees. This expose draws a direct line from these predatory practices massive to financial underperformance. Since this is the only language that investors understand, this book won't just make people more aware of the abuse... it might actually get some companies to wake up and change their behavior.
Subtitle: The Corruption of the American Republic
Author: David Frum
Available On: January 16, 2018
Why It's Important: This year will necessarily and inevitably see numerous takedowns (and defenses) of the Trump administration. As of this writing, most of the excitement surrounds Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury. However, as a well-known conservative and former speech-writer for President George W. Bush, Frum is likely to bring a more reasoned perspective than authors with a specifically liberal bent. I think this book will be the definitive analysis of the startling changes taking place in Washington D.C.
Subtitle: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together
Author: Joanne Lipman
Available On: January 30, 2018
Why It's Important: The sudden (but long-needed) emergence of the #METOO movement guarantees a slew of books on the subject. I think this one will be the breakout because it's based on science, doesn't indulge in "man shaming," and contains some prescriptions for change that go beyond outing and ostracizing the worst offenders (important though that obviously is). In other words, men as well as women will buy and read this book, effectively doubling its potential audience.
Subtitle: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia
Author: Michael Shermer
Available On: January 9, 2018
Why It's Important: In a world where people seem to be growing increasingly gullible, nothing is more important than a huge dose of fact-based skepticism. Shermer, who has dedicated his life to debunking superstition and pseudo-science, is the perfect spokesperson for rational thought. In this book, Shermer investigates the persistence of belief in an afterlife, "focusing on recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality by radical life extentionists, extropians, transhumanists, cryonicists, and mind-uploaders, along with utopians who have attempted to create heaven on earth." The excerpts I've read are insightful, fact-based and full of wit, like all of Shermer's previous work.
Subtitle: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win
Author: Jeff Haden
Available On: January 9, 2018
Why It's Important: Just for the sake of full disclosure: Jeff has been my fellow columnist at Inc.com for about six years. However, I swear to God Jeff didn't ask me to promote his book or even mention that he was publishing it. I ran across it whilst searching a list of soon-to-be-published business books. I've been a huge fan of Jeff's for a long time and regularly read his blog, which is almost always insightful and interesting. I don't know whether this book is a collection of his posts or something completely new (I suspect the latter) but he's a very clear thinker and a good writer, so I'm willing to bet this book will the breakaway hit of "motivational" genre in 2018.
Subtitle: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Author: Steven Pinker
Available On: February 27, 2018
Why It's Important: Pinker's groundbreaking previous bestseller, The Better Angels of Our Nature, pointed out that, despite all the problems in the world, people in the past were far crueler than today and that, overall, we "may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. This book contains a passionate defense of the "conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing" (aka, the Enlightenment) as opposed to "currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit."