The holiday season is just about here, and my personal favorite aspect isn't the family gatherings, delicious meals, or festive good cheer (though those are all nice). No, it's the best books of the year lists.

This time of year, a parade of lists and reviews looks back at the previous 12 months flagging up the best reads to add to your bookshelf or e-reader, or to wrap up for someone special.  

The latest out is Amazon's annual roundup of its picks for 2019. Here for business-minded Inc.com readers (and those who have to buy for them) is the online retail behemoth's top pics in the business and leadership category

  1. Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac: A deeply reported bestseller  about the rise (and fall) of Travis Kalanick-era Uber. Vanity Fair called it "a riveting read about bro culture gone awry."

  2. The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger: The memoir of the longtime Disney CEO, stuffed full of hard-won lessons on leadership and creativity.  

  3. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek: The latest from the best-selling leadership guru offers "a bold framework for leadership in today's ever-changing world," according to Amazon. Get a little peak at what you'll find inside here

  4. Company of One by Paul Jarvis: An argument that the best path for most people isn't chasing startup greatness but building a sustainable solopreneur business. 

  5. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport: Computer science professor Newport has been called "the Marie Kondo of technology," offering lessons in how to right-scale your digital life

  6. The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna: This one argues that while the 20th century was dominated by America, the 21st will be dominated by an ever more tightly linked Asia. 

  7. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis: Just as the title suggests, a call for women to get over their fears and live up to their full potential. 

  8. The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo: "I've seen so many people thrust into management in high-growth companies with so little guidance. From now on, I will hand them this book," enthuses Twitter CEO Ev Williams about this one by a woman who became a (initially clueless) manager at 25. 

  9. Loonshots by Safi Bahcall: "A surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs," explains Amazon, which adds that the book is recommended by Bill Gates, Daniel Kahneman, and Tim Ferrriss. 

  10. The 100X Leader by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram: How to scale up your leadership by following the example of the Sherpas who literally help people scale Mount Everest. 

  11. Nine Lies About Work by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall: "Your organization's culture is the key to its success. Strategic planning is essential. Your competencies should be measured and your weaknesses shored up. Leadership is a thing." All lies, according to this book. 

  12. Range by David Epstein: "Cultivating range prepares us for the wickedly unanticipated ... a well-supported and smoothly written case on behalf of breadth and late starts," said The Wall Street Journal of this book. 

  13. This Is Not a T-Shirt by Bobby Hundreds: Streetwear entrepreneur Bobby Kim (a.k.a. Bobby Hundreds) tells his story. Reviewers say it's laugh-out-loud funny. 

  14. Reboot by Jerry Colonna: "If you want to be a better leader, or a better person, or both, read this book," by the famed CEO whisperer, insists Grit researcher Angela Duckworth. 

  15. Ultralearning by Scott Young and James Clear: This one "offers nine principles to master hard skills quickly. This is the essential guide to future-proof your career and maximize your competitive advantage through self-education," says Amazon. 

  16. The Optimist's Telescope by Bina Venkataraman: A former climate adviser to the Obama administration explains how to work around our own human shortsightedness and better plan for the future. 

  17. What It Takes by Stephen A. Schwarzman: The Blackstone founder and CEO explains how to build and lead successful organizations.

  18. Indistractable by Nir Eyal: As the title suggests, this is another look at how to tame technology and other distractions and gain the focus you need to get ahead. 

  19. Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday: "Whether you are an athlete, an investor, a writer, or an entrepreneur, this little but wise and soulful book will open the door to a healthier, less anxious, and more productive life and career," raves Arianna Huffington of this book that draws on the wisdom of ancient philosophers. 

  20. The Man Who Solved the Market by Gregory Zuckerman: A former Wall Street Journal reporter explains how investor and quant Jim Simmons has managed a 66 percent average annual return since 1988. 

Published on: Nov 22, 2019
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