We are proud to announce the longlist for the 13th annual Porchlight Business Book Awards! These 40 books contain not only ideas that make businesses better, but a reflection of the entire biosphere that business exists within.
Reading through and discussing the (over 600) books we receive for our annual business book awards is always an exciting and thought-provoking time for our company. Books get shifted into new categories and passed around among the awards committee, and as individuals in a business that sells books, reading books about business, the conversations often become very meta and self-reflective as we consider what in these books may inform and be actionable within our own company.
With books that span in their focus from the individual to the organization, and from the organization to larger concerns of our time and place here on Earth, the eight categories we put books into sometimes bleed into one another. The books on personal development often demand we consider the life of the planet we live on, while books on current events call on conscious individuals (and knowledge of the past) to stand up and take notice—and individual action. Ranging from innovation and entrepreneurship to the effects of immigration and information technology on our economy and society (and the way bias and race affects how one navigates their role in both), the books on this year’s longlist contain not only ideas that make businesses better, but a reflection of the entire biosphere that business exists within.
As our General Manager & Chief Strategist, Sally Haldorson, says:
Tune into any media site and the messaging is the same: we live in a time of “us versus them,” “cancel culture,” stratification rather than intersectionality. But there is no either/or in this complex world of ours, and these 40 books on this year’s longlist refuse such easy categorizations and elevate the depth of our discourse about what matters. And what matters, each book exclaims, are the people. We can celebrate technological advances and financial escapades—and these books do with aplomb, but each also considers how the human experience is made better or worse by such systemic accomplishments and offers strategies for coping and communing that are as individual as the people who contribute to them.
These forty books taken together, those we consider the very best of 2019, have a breadth that help us pull lessons from the past, dissect the present, and point to the future.
LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY
- The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek, Portfolio
- Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez, Abrams Press
- It's How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference. by Ed Stack, Scribner
- The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace by Lindsey Pollak, Harper Business
- Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen by Rita McGrath, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
MANAGEMENT & WORKPLACE CULTURE
- The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhuo, Portfolio
- Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader's Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall, Harvard Business Review Press
- No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work by Liz Fosslien & Mollie West Duffy, Portfolio
- Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff, W.W. Norton & Company
- What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture by Ben Horowitz, Harper Business
MARKETING & SALES
- Follow the Feeling: Brand Building in a Noisy World by Kai D. Wright, Wiley
- The Invisible Brand: Marketing in the Age of Automation, Big Data, and Machine Learning by William Ammerman, McGraw-Hill Education
- Junior: Writing Your Way Ahead in Advertising by Thomas Kemeny, powerHouse Books
- The Turn On: How the Powerful Make Us Like Them—From Washington to Wall Street to Hollywood by Steven Goldstein, Harper Business
- Winning Her Business: How to Transform the Customer Experience for the World's Most Powerful Consumers by Bridget Brennan, HarperCollins Leadership
INNOVATION & CREATIVITY
- The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday by Rob Walker, Knopf
- Chutzpah: Why Israel Is a Hub of Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Inbal Arieli, Harper Business
- Creative Trespassing: How to Put the Spark and Joy Back Into Your Work and Life by Tania Katan, Currency
- How We Make Stuff Now: Turn Ideas Into Products That Build Successful Businesses by Jules Pieri, McGraw-Hill Education
- Innovation on Tap: Stories of Entrepreneurship from the Cotton Gin to Broadway's Hamilton by Eric B. Schultz, Greenleaf Book Group
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT & HUMAN BEHAVIOR
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD, Viking
- Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport, Portfolio
- How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell, Melville House
- Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life by Twyla Tharp, Simon & Schuster
- Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein, Riverhead Books
CURRENT EVENTS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS
- The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara, Penguin Press
- Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles—and All of Us by Rana Foroohar, Currency
- Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, PublicAffairs
- Moneyland: The Inside Story of the Crooks and Kleptocrats Who Rule the World by Oliver Bullough, St. Martin’s Press
- Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream by Nicholas Lemann, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
NARRATIVE & BIOGRAPHY
- The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll by Ian S. Port, Scribner
- The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society by Binyamin Appelbaum, Little, Brown and Company
- Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard, Simon & Schuster
- She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey, Penguin Press
- Think Black: A Memoir by Clyde W. Ford, Amistad
BIG IDEAS & NEW PERSPECTIVES
- The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff, PublicAffairs
- Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City by A. K. Sandoval-Strausz, Basic Books
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, One World
- A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence Is Redefining Who We Are by Flynn Coleman, Counterpoint Press
- The Making of a Democratic Economy: Building Prosperity For the Many, Not Just the Few by Marjorie Kelly & Ted Howard, Berrett-Koehler Publishers
We will announce our shortlist on December 18, and our overall winner on January 16, 2020, in New York City.
We will also be diving deeper into the books as our staff begins writing up the categories they curated beginning this week. Stay tuned here for more.