This post 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 business 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.
Note: I've only provided the best quote for books that have publicly released excerpts. I will add best quotes as excerpts (or the book itself) become available.
Subtitle: How to Focus and Be More Productive
Author: Ned Hallowell
Available: January 6
Why Preorder: This book explains how the modern technology-driven workplace is creating in many workers an inability to focus, which in turns prevents them from completing important tasks, or enjoying it when they do. More important, the book provides an easy-to-follow recipe for teaching yourself to focus in the midst of the workplace chaos.
Best Quote: "Because I am a specialist in attention deficit disorder (ADD) many men and women seek consultation with me...because they've lost their ability to focus on anything; they're always in a rush, bounding from task to task like boats against the current, worried that they're falling behind even as they strive to get ahead. Multitasking, hopping from project to project, e-mailing while talking on the phone, rushing from meeting to meeting, texting under the table, squeezing in one last call while frantically trying to get to the next appointment on time, ending the day with a frustrated feeling of neither fulfilling all of their goals nor performing their best, let alone with equanimity, these people look as if they have true attention deficit disorder, when, in fact, most of the time, they do not. Instead, most of these people have a severe case of modern life--what I came to call attention deficit trait, or ADT."
Available: January 6
Author: Nicholas Carlson
Why Preorder: According to analysts, Yahoo's core business (meaning the part that's not an investment in Alibaba) is a huge money-loser. Mayer has so far failed to change Yahoo so that it can compete, making this book a definitive look at a corporate culture about to self-destruct.
Best Quote: "Mayer arrived at Yahoo like a superhero. She was confident and full of ideas, and for all the world looked like the exact right person for the job. But thanks to a series of her own mistakes and Yahoo's inherent problems, she soon realized she was in for a knock-down, drag-out fight."
Author: Andrew Keen
Available: January 6
Why Preorder: Keen's previous book The Cult of the Amateur was a widely discussed critique of the impact of the Internet on public culture. Keen's long experience with high tech and strong rÃ©sumÃ© as an industry observer guarantees this book will be a must-read.
Best quote: "The pace of change in our libertarian age is bewilderingly fast--so fast, indeed that most of us, while enjoying the Internet's convenience, remain nervous about...a disruptive economy in which a couple of smart kids in a dorm room can wreck an entire industry employing hundreds of thousands of people. With our permission, I say. As we all step into this brave new digital world, our challenge is to shape the networking tools before they shape us."
Subtitle: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power
Author: Steve Fraser
Available: February 17
Why Preorder: Fraser is a big thinker whose ideas go beyond the analysis of business as business. In this book, Fraser describes how previous generations of workers saw themselves as victims of monopolies and concentrated wealth. It also explains why that's no longer the case and why so many people appear content with the creation of an American aristocracy.
Subtitle: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It
Author: Marc Goodman
Available: February 24
Why Preorder: In the wake of North Korea's cyber-terrorist attack on Sony as well as numerous hacker break-ins throughout the corporate world, it's become increasingly obvious that neither governments nor corporations are prepared for the onslaught of problems created by the combination of the Internet and devices (particularly Windows PCs) that are inherently insecure. If the pre-publicity for this book is any indication, Goodman nails the issue and provides useful input on the changes needed to make our systems and infrastructure more secure.
Subtitle: Why Now Is the Time to #Join the Ride
Author: Darren Hardy
Available: March 3
Why Preorder: Hardy's previous book The Compound Effect laid out an easy-to-follow formula for personal success, based on the individual power to make meaningful decisions. This book extends that model to the most challenging job in the business world: entrepreneur.
Best quote: "Now is the time of great opportunity. I'm here to ensure you don't miss it. I'm here to help you rise above the doubts and seize the opportunity for yourself. While I might not know you personally, I know you are capable of being a great entrepreneur. How can I know? Because we all are. We started out as entrepreneurs, and in reality we always have been. This book is about helping you embolden that fiercely independent and powerfully self-reliant spirit that already resides inside you."
7. Elon Musk
Subtitle: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Author: Ashlee Vance
Available: May 19
Why Preorder: Musk looks likely to be the replacement for Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as the role model for the successful entrepreneur. He's one of the rare breed who can simultaneously be a visionary and run a viable business. This book looks likely to become the definitive biography of Musk at this point in his career.