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What Are the Best Business Books of 2015?

Top tomes explore robots, leadership, and predicting the future.

December 11, 2015

The best business books in 2015 explored a variety of subjects in 2015, according to the numerous “best of lists” that are floating around the Internet. Here are a few:

• Named the business book of the year by The Financial Times and McKinsey & Co., “The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future,” by Martin Ford, looks at the evolution of artificial intelligence from simple task-based machines into programs that can replace service workers, journalists, and programmers.

It not only details what machine intelligence and robots can accomplish, but also urges people to face the implications.

• Topping the list of the Strategy+Business’ list of Best Business Books of 2015 in the leadership category is “Every Town is a Sports Town: Business Leadership at ESPN, from the Mailroom to the Boardroom,” by George Bodenheimer.

It’s a memoir about Bodenheimer, a long-time behind-the-scenes-head at ESPN. It touches on all facets of business leadership and provides practical examples for how Bodenheimer applied state-of-the-art thinking about leadership.

• “Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead,” by Laszlo Bock made Fast Company’s list of 10 books in 2015.
Bock, the head of People Operations at Google, gives readers a blueprint for attracting talent and ensuring they succeed while also showing how to build a better company from within.

• Do you want to be better at predicting the future? Check out “Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction.”

In the book, which made Bloomberg Business’ list of best of books of 2015, authors Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner show how good forecasting doesn’t require powerful computers or secret methods. Instead it involves gathering evidence from a variety of sources, thinking probabilistically, working in teams, keeping score, and being willing to admit you’re wrong and change course.

• In “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” technology journalist Ashlee Vance gives a look into the life of Musk, Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. The New York Times bestseller tells the story of Musk, from his upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world.

Now it’s your turn. What was the best business book that you read this year?

Send titles, a brief synopsis, and why it tops your list to Senior Editor Jennifer Woldt.