News & Opinion

The 2019 Porchlight Business Book Awards Shortlist

Dylan Schleicher

December 18, 2019


We are proud to announce the shortlist for the 13th annual Porchlight Business Book Awards!

We believe in books. That is always true, but never more so than after all the reading and consideration and debate that goes into our annual business book awards. It inevitably leads us to reflect on our own company and our place in the community, in the industry, and in the larger marketplace of ideas. We discuss what we can and should improve upon as a business, and what ideas and debates we believe are most beneficial to the business community—or, perhaps, the ideas that would be most beneficial to society for business to adopt, or even where business interests have been driving the dialogue and we think there is a need for wider attentions and debate on the issues. We respectfully question each other, and ourselves, and the arguments authors are making, and we always end up with a list of books we are proud to promote, even as we feel there are so many others worth including every year.

As our Owner, President & CEO, Rebecca Schwartz, said:

It is important for any business to know the products it sells as thoroughly as possible, and this undoubtedly holds true in bookselling. Of course, a book is not a blender.  Books require our most intimate attention, our generous spirit, our intellectual curiosity. As the submissions pour in for our annual business book awards every year, the task of selecting from the myriad entries feels daunting, but with each book read, we find the products we sell impress and delight and inform us, just as they inform how we run our own business. They also inform how we live our lives both inside and outside of the business, and help us make sense of the times in which we live as well as the events that shaped them. That is the challenge we meet every year as autumn sets in and awards books begin to arrive here at Porchlight Book Company in Milwaukee—and we couldn’t be more thankful to the authors, publishers, and everyone else in the industry who provide such a bountiful and nourishing harvest year in and year out.

For this year’s shortlist, the Porchlight editorial team chose the following eight titles as the best in their categories, which are the finalists for the Porchlight Business Book of the Year for 2019:

Leadership & Strategy Book of the Year: It's How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference. by Ed Stack, Scribner

Management & Workplace Culture Book of the Year: Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff, W.W. Norton & Company

Marketing & Sales Book of the Year: The Invisible Brand: Marketing in the Age of Automation, Big Data, and Machine Learning by William Ammerman, McGraw-Hill Education

Innovation & Creativity Book of the Year: Creative Trespassing: How to Put the Spark and Joy Back Into Your Work and Life by Tania Katan, Currency

Personal Development & Human Behavior Book of the Year: How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell, Melville House

Current Events & Public Affairs Book of the Year: Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles—and All of Us by Rana Foroohar, Currency

Narrative & Biography Book of the Year: The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society by Binyamin Appelbaum, Little, Brown and Company

Big Ideas & New Perspectives Book of the Year: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff, PublicAffairs


We will announce The 2019 Business Book of the Year and the Jack Covert Award for Contribution to the Business Book Industry at our annual awards ceremony and business book industry celebration in New York City on Thursday, January 16th, 2020.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of Porchlight since 2003. After beginning in shipping and receiving, he moved through customer service (with some accounting on the side) before entering into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the marketing and editorial aspects of the company. Outside of work, you’ll find him volunteering or playing basketball at his kids’ school, catching the weekly summer concert at the Washington Park Bandshell, or strolling through one of the many other parks or green spaces around his home in Milwaukee (most likely his own gardens). He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.

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