Ultimately we're all products of our influences. Even groundbreaking business thinkers use the ideas, perspectives, and advice of others as the basis for their own thoughts and actions.

Since much of that acquired knowledge comes from books -- and since thousands of books were published this year and one can read everything -- what were the best business books in 2015?

That's a great question, one Jurgen Appelo, a speaker, author, and leader of the business network Happy Melly, set out to answer. (I published his list of the Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts last year.) His team factored in ratings, votes, and rankings in an attempt to quantify the best business books of the year.

I've included Jurgen's description of the methodology at the bottom of this post. Though truly quantifying "best" is impossible, the approach Appelo's team used makes sense, especially when you read the books that made the list.

If you see books in the list below you haven't read, check them out. All of us are products of our influences, so it only makes sense to improve both the quantity and the quality of the people we listen to.

Here we go:

  1. A Work in Progress: A Memoir -- Connor Franta
  2. Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice -- Bill Browder
  3. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win -- Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
  4. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) -- Felicia Day
  5. Elon Musk: Inventing the Future -- Ashlee Vance
  6. Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few -- Robert B. Reich
  7. How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy -- Stephen Witt
  8. The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy -- Lewis Howes
  9. The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion -- Elle Luna
  10. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction -- Philip E. Tetlock, Dan Gardner
  11. Rising Strong: The Reckoning, the Rumble, the Revolution -- Brene Brown
  12. Do Over: Everything You Need to Get Unstuck at Work -- Jon Acuff
  13. Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead -- Laszlo Bock
  14. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics -- Richard H. Thaler
  15. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World -- General Stanley McChrystal
  16. Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World -- Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
  17. Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family -- Anne-Marie Slaughter
  18. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear -- Elizabeth Gilbert
  19. Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better -- Pema Chodron
  20. The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor -- Mark Schatzker
  21. The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5 -- Taylor Pearson
  22. America's Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve -- Roger Lowenstein
  23. The Steal Like an Artist Journal: A Notebook for Creative Kleptomaniacs -- Austin Kleon
  24. The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory -- John Seabrook
  25. Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World -- Bruce Schneier
  26. Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry -- Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff
  27. Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season -- Urban Meyer
  28. Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It -- Marc Goodman
  29. America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System -- Steven Brill
  30. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything -- Guy Kawasaki
  31. Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money -- Nathaniel Popper
  32. What to Do When It's Your Turn (and It's Always Your Turn) -- Seth Godin
  33. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives -- Gretchen Rubin
  34. The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge -- Matt Ridley
  35. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future -- Martin Ford
  36. Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be -- Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter
  37. Friend & Foe: When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both -- Adam Galinsky, Maurice Schweitzer
  38. The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money -- Ron Lieber
  39. The Road to Character - David Brooks
  40. Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective -- Thomas Sowell
  41. How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery -- Kevin Ashton
  42. Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection -- Jia Jiang
  43. How to Make a Living With Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More -- Joanna Penn
  44. Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media. -- Aliza Licht
  45. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age -- Sherry Turkle
  46. Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life -- Ron Clark
  47. Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future -- Paul Mason
  48. Who Gets What--and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design -- Alvin E. Roth
  49. People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful -- Dale Partridge
  50. Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly -- Bernadette Jiwa
  51. Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! -Nicholas Carlson
  52. 6 Months to 6 Figures -- Peter Voogd
  53. Life Is Good: The Book -- Bert Jacobs, John Jacobs
  54. Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era -- Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith
  55. The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You - Jessica N. Turner
  56. Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life -- Ruth Soukup
  57. Why We Work -- Barry Schwartz
  58. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users -- Guy Kawasaki, Peg Fitzpatrick
  59. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life -- Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman
  60. I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time -- Laura Vanderkam
  61. Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security -- Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller, Paul Solman
  62. God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican -- Gerald Posner
  63. Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe -- George Friedman
  64. You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C's to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life -- Jon Gordon, Mike Smith
  65. The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry -- John Warrillow
  66. The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time -- Alex Korb
  67. The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms -- Beth Buelow
  68. The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World -- Pedro Domingos
  69. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success -- Amy Morin
  70. Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time -- Jeffrey Pfeffer
  71. Louder Than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice -- Todd Henry
  72. The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game -- Mary Pilon
  73. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs -- Kevin Kruse
  74. Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success -- Matthew Syed
  75. Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World's Most Successful Companies -- Charles G. Koch
  76. Happy Habits: Energize Your Career and Life in 4 Minutes a Day -- Vicki Morris
  77. Are You Fully Charged?: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life -- Tom Rath
  78. Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance -- John Kay
  79. Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll -- Peter Guralnick
  80. Get Backed: Craft Your Story, Build the Perfect Pitch Deck, and Launch the Venture of Your Dreams -- Evan Baehr, Evan Loomis
  81. The Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading From the Heart Will Change Your Organization and Your Life -- Tommy Spaulding
  82. The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace -- Ron Friedman
  83. The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life -- Bernard Roth
  84. Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It -- Dorie Clark
  85. Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work -- Whitney Johnson
  86. Lean Out: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Tech and Start-Up Culture -- Elissa Shevinsky
  87. Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity -Joseph E. Stiglitz
  88. Activate Your Brain: How Understanding Your Brain Can Improve Your Work -- and Your Life -- Scott G. Halford
  89. Serial Winner: 5 Actions to Create Your Cycle of Success -- Larry Weidel
  90. Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate -- Spencer Rascoff, Stan Humphries
  91. Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception -- George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller
  92. Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking -- Richard E. Nisbett
  93. Works Well With Others: An Outsider's Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You -- Ross McCammon
  94. The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers -- Gillian Tett
  95. Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World -- Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt
  96. Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business -- Paul Downs
  97. Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You From Ordinary to Extraordinary -- Linda Kaplan Thaler, Robin Koval
  98. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses -- Joe Pulizzi
  99. Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life -- Michael Port
  100. Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together... Finally -- Nicole Lapin

The Methodology

Jurgen's team collected titles of business books throughout the year and augmented that list with books found in other "best of 2015" lists.

They then determined the earliest publication dates on Amazon and GoodReads and removed titles released before December, 1 2014, and after November 31, 2015.

Then they collected votes and ratings on GoodReads and created rankings based on the average number of votes per day, the average number of points per day, and the average rating. They then averaged those three ratings to determine a final ranking.