News & Opinion

The 2015 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards Longlist

November 03, 2015


These 40 books—five selections across eight distinct categories—make up the 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards Longlist.

Forty books might sound like a fairly sizable number of titles to make up a longlist, but when you consider hundreds upon hundreds of entries, the number forty is excruciating to reach. As Dylan, our Editorial Director, so eloquently wrote last year, "The culling process we undertake during the awards process is always painful. As great as it is to dive into the stacks and discover some books for the first time, and rediscover and revisit some past favorites from the year, there are always ones left behind, books that get laid back down softly on our desks with care instead of thrown back in a box on the floor. There is a list of books just as long as the list of books that made it here that caused us real distress to leave off—that we want to stand behind and will in other ways." 

But here we are today, having completed this year's culling process, and like every year, one gratifying exercise is to take a step back and examine what trends the list reveals. Some years the trends are harder to identify, but that was not the case this year. From our General Manager, Sally Haldorson: 

Whereas in years past we've seen books about how technological innovation is changing the world and shaping our future for the better, this year, perhaps the most optimistic books on our future are those that focus on social entrepreneurship (Getting Beyond Better), narratives of classic industries and bricks-and-mortar business striving to reinvigorate their culture through humanistic management practices (Everybody Matters, We Are Market Basket), and even books about devising new accounting metrics (Six Capitals, Or Can Accountants Save The World?), instead of laudatory accounts of tech companies. Even the tech startup book on the list—Startupland—is about a business that builds customer service tools. 

And this from Dylan Schleicher, our Editorial Director: 

Looking up and down this year's list, we see a continuing trend of books at the intersection of digital technology and business. And though a few extoll the benefits, more and more begin questioning technology as panacea for business. And it is not just the books that actively question its effect, like The Rise of the Robots, Geek Heresy, and Reclaiming Conversation, but books that remind us that so much of the work left to be done is inherently and entirely human—Unfinished Business, Everybody Matters, Widgets, and Boss Life, among others. There are more books this year about workplace culture, human psychology, action and interaction, our behavior in the marketplace, and how we make a better world and business world together.

We'll let you consider this trend and determine what you think it means for your business and for the greater business world. Is it a course correction compensating for a business media perceived to devote an overabundance of space to tech? Is it a reminder that while new and life-changing processes, products, and tools are leading to globally ubiquitous usage, we are still human, and therefore still require tangible, personal, sensory human interaction to thrive? Or, is this and any other overarching theme blanketing our longlist the product of good, old-fashioned coincidence? Could be all of it, might be none of it, but it is almost certainly a little bit of all these possibilities... and so, so many more. 

If you're as fascinated by business book trends as we are, feel free to dig further. The aforementioned trend is just one of many you might extrapolate. But now, without further ado, we present to you the longlist for 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year:










Stay tuned for the Shortlist for the 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year, which we will announce on Tuesday, December 8. The Shortlist will be comprised of the winner of each of the eight above categories.

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