What to Read in 2015: The Best Business Books to Help Advance Your Career (Part 1)

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by David C. Wyld of Southeastern Louisiana University.

One of the best, proven ways to get ahead in your career is to keep abreast of the latest, best thinking in management. So, here is a compilation of the best business books of 2014. In it, you will find titles spanning topics from corporate and career strategies to tech and social media to finance and investing to marketing and branding. You should be able to find a title that speaks to where you are in your career today - and where you want to be going. So, use this list to your advantage, and feel free to share with your friends, family and colleagues.

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This list was developed by scouring the end of year best book lists from a number of sources, including Amazon, Business Insider, The Globe and Mail, Inc. Magazine and more.

For a book to have “made the cut” and be included on this “best of” list, the title had to appear on 2 or more of the best books of 2014 lists developed by these publications/websites. This will be presented as a 2-part article, with this first installment sharing books from authors with last names from A-L. The second installment will have the remainder of the list, encompassing titles from authors with last names from M-Z.

So, without further adieu, here are the best business books of the past year, with links to the titles on Amazon so you can read more about the books that interest you and see reviews from both book critics and most importantly, from readers like yourselves.

Hopefully, you will follow-through and begin reading one of these titles on your Kindle or - still an option in 2015 - a real book with real pages - quite soon!


Author: Sophia Amoruso


The First Mile: A Launch Manual for Getting Great Ideas into the Market
Author: Scott D. Anthony

the first mile


Free: Love Your Work, Love Your Life
Author: Chris Baréz-Brown

free love

Location Is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One
Author: David Bell

location is still

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas
Author: Warren Berger

a more beautiful question

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership
by Richard Branson

the virgin way

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change
Author: Adam Braun

the promise of a pencil

The Leader's Guide to Managing People: How to Use Soft Skills to Get Hard Results
Author: Mike Brent

managing people

The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power
Author: Brendon Burchard

motivation manifesto


Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Authors: Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace


Economics: The User's Guide
Author: Ha-Joon Chang


Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder
Authors: Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal

entrep stregthsfinder

Smart Tribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together
Author: Christine Comaford

small tribes


Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers
Author: Niraj Dawar


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Author: Charles Duhigg

te power of habit


Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative
Author: Scott Eblin


Low-Hanging Fruit: 77 Eye-Opening Ways to Improve Productivity and Profits
Authors: Jeremy Eden and Terri Long

low hanging fruit

The Circle
by Dave Eggers

the circle

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Author: Nir Eyal



Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds
Author: Carmine Gallo

talk like ted

Outliers: The Story of Success
Author: Malcolm Gladwell


The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All
Author: Jon Gordon

the carpenter

The Key: How Corporations Succeed by Solving the World's Toughest Problems
Author: Lynda Gratton

the key

Open Data Now: The Secret to Hot Startups, Smart Investing, Savvy Marketing, and Fast Innovation
Author: Joel Gurin

open data now


Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld
Author: Jake Halpern

bad paper

Fish Can't See Water: How National Culture Can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy
Authors: Kai Hammerich and Richard D. Lewis

fish cant see

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
Author: Blake J. Harris

console wars

A Bigger Prize: How We Can Do Better than the Competition
Author: Margaret Heffernan

a bigger prize

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age
Authors: Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

the alliance

How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination
Author: Sally Hogshead

how the world

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
Author: Ryan Holiday

the ostacle way

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
Author: Ben Horowitz

the hard thing

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
Author: Arianna Huffington



The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Author: Walter Isaacson



Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know
Author: Geoffrey James

business without the

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
Author: Steven Johnson

how we got to


The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success
Author: Rich Karlgaard

the soft edge

Fewer, Bigger, Bolder: From Mindless Expansion to Focused Growth
Authors: Sanjay Khosla and Mohanbir Sawhney

bigger bolder

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
Author: Naomi Klein

this changes

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
Author: Austin Kleon

show your work

Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World
Author: John P. Kotter

XL r8

The Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business
Authors: Tom Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen

gen z


The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload
Author: Daniel J. Levitin

organized mind

Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain
Authors: Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

think like a freak

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
Author: Michael Lewis

flash boys

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