Sections Supplements

A Bounty of Books

Some Gift Offerings Are Sure to Please Your Favorite Bibliophile

Books make wonderful holiday gifts. The right tome will not only hold your interest and keep you turning its pages long after it’s time to go to bed, it can offer insight into the past and future, as well as invaluable knowledge about yourself, the business world, and the motivations, struggles, and strategies adopted over the course of history by individuals and companies that led to their success or downfall.

For its Holiday Gift Guide, BusinessWest takes a look at 10 popular bestsellers culled from, the New York Times bestseller list and Business Week book reviews that contain wisdom, pertinent history, and advice about the business and finance world.

• Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System — and Themselves, by Andrew Ross Sorkin. Although many books deal with how the financial meltdown came to pass or how certain companies sank or were saved, Sorkin’s book is different. In its 600 pages, the New York Times columnist gives readers a comprehensive look at everything that occurred, along with a plethora of details, as he chronicles the interplay between Wall Street and Washington in the eight months that brought the financial system to the brink of collapse. Before writing his book, Sorkin interviewed hundreds of people and spent more than 500 hours with top government officials. As a result, readers will feel as if they are in the rooms where significant conversations took place. The book’s only downfall may be that the events are so recent that there’s no new news to read in its pages. (Viking, $32.95)

• This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. This book, written by two economists, begins by defining exactly what constitutes a financial crisis, and how each crisis is dated from beginning to end. The award-winning tome offers a compelling, enjoyable look into modern business practices, including management, finance, and economics, as well as an 800-year history, loads of empirical data, and a comprehensive review of global financial crises. It is filled with facts about debt crises, bank runs, currency collapses, episodes of financial contagion, and much more. A great read for anyone who enjoys an academic look at history. (Princeton University Press, $35)

• Getting Back to Even — Your Personal Economic Recovery Plan, by James J. Cramer with Cliff Mason. In this new bestseller, the host of CNBC’s Mad Money offers advice for investing in a changed market. It’s the first book in which Cramer recommends specific stocks — an even dozen — which he says are poised to profit from the economy. The book includes 25 rules to follow in the post-crash market and is sure to encourage and inspire people still reeling from the economic downfall. The dominant sentiment in this work is that if readers do their homework, they will not just survive, they can thrive. (Simon & Schuster, $26)

• Crush It — Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Own Passion, by Gary Vaynerchuk. This book is short, but its 140 pages contain a motivational message that tells readers it is never too late to discover their passion and turn it into cash. Vaynerchuk says that can be done by communicating one’s passion through a wide variety of media outlets. His book offers more in the way of inspiration than instruction on how to succeed, but is filled with real-world insights from a man who built a business using social channels. However, readers will find concrete advice on how to create content, how to choose the right platform, and how to find people on the social Web in tune with your products or services. (HarperStudio/HarperCollins, $19.99)

• How Remarkable Women Lead: A Breakthrough Model for Work and Life, By Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston. This book is filled with inspiring stories about women who hold powerful positions. The authors spent five years researching 100 women before sitting down to write, and the result is a book that borders on the self-help category. The authors have created a system they call “Centered Leadership,” based on five shared traits they claim to have discovered during their interviews, which are that female leaders possess good energy management skills, believe their work is meaningful, have superior problem-solving skills, interact with numerous colleagues or mentors, and are deeply committed to their jobs. Overall, this book rates as a good read for females aspiring to be leaders in their industries or companies. (Crown Business, $27.50)

• A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers, by Lawrence G. McDonald and Patrick Robinson. This book provides especially insightful reading, as it as was written by a former Lehman Brothers insider. It offers a compelling account of failure and the dysfunction that triggered our current financial crisis. The heart of the book details McDonald’s own career and takes the reader from his days as a pork-chop salesman to a man who rang doorbells to drum up brokerage clients for Merrill Lynch to making $5 million in one day. His personal history gives readers a look at life inside Lehman as well as a description of the financial products, regulatory changes, and economic environment that spawned an atmosphere rife with blunders. (Crown, $27)

• How The Mighty Fall … and Why Some Companies Never Give In, by Jim Collins. This book provides questions and answers as to why seemingly solvent businesses fail, explaining that not only does it happen in stages, but declines can be reversed. Collins examines 11 companies and outlines behaviors and strategies that led them to doom. They include denial of risk and failure, an undisciplined pursuit to gain more of the market, grasping for salvation, and more, as he details just how these things occurred. The author’s newest volume offers advice that could help leaders make a difference, and although it’s not always easy to see how Collins came to his findings, the book offers plenty of sage advice. (Jim Collins/Harper–Collins, $23.99)

• Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke The World, by Liaquat Ahamed. This book is a cautionary tale for our times, and offers an intimate and unforgettable portrait of four men at the head of central banks who made a series of decisions that resulted in the economic collapse of the 1920s, which set the stage for World War II and created a disastrous ripple affect that lasted for decades. Filled with drama, the story analzyes the actions of Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Amile Moreau of the Banque de France, Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, and Benjamin Strong of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who attempted to reconstruct the world of international finance after World War I. (Penguin Press, $32.95)

• Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase, by Duff McDonald. This book lets readers in on how one JPMorgan/Chase executive withstood the current financial hurricane and survived almost unscathed as it spins a colorful tale of the life of this 53-year-old banker who rose to the top and whose ambition was evident even at a young age. Dimon’s story is told in chronological order, which means readers will have to be patient before they get to the fascinating drama that took place during the last 18 months. The story shows, rather than tells, readers about Dimon’s scrupulous attention to detail along with his enormous ego. McDonald also shows that, although Dimon fared better than his rivals, he was inaccurate about the scope and severity of the crisis in its early days. A good read about a man whose rise and fall on Wall Street has kept him in the news. (Simon & Schuster, $28)

• Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company — and Revolutionized an Industry, by Marc Benioff and Carlye Adler. This brand-new book chronicles the story of how an idea — delivering business applications as a service over the Internet — was turned into a billion-dollar business, and takes readers from Benioff’s beginnings as a small start-up through his unconventional strategies, struggles (especially when the company came close to bankruptcy), and the tactics that led to its survival and success. Benioff has structured the book into a series of more than 100 ‘plays’ that showcase how the company stayed on the cutting edge, outwitted its competitors, and built a business with an inspiring philosophy. An easy read with lots of concrete ideas for start-up businesses. (Wiley, John & Sons, Inc. $27.95)

Related Posts

buy ivermectin for humans buy ivermectin online