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The Top 11 Business Books of 2018

I love to read business books that help me learn and grow, but sometimes it is hard to know where to start — especially because there are 11,000 new business books published every year.

To help narrow down my reading list, I went in search of the best-of-the-best business books from the past year. I researched just about every top media outlet that has been publishing “Best of 2018” lists, including Inc., Fast Company, Financial Times & McKinsey, Business Insider, Amazon, Goodreads, as well as the books recommended by Bill Gates, Barack Obama and other successful people.

I then cross-referenced the lists to see which books showed up multiple times. It turns out that, among the seven lists I studied, only 11 books made the cut more than once.

That made an easy cutoff point for an overall Top Business Books of 2018 list. A “list of lists,” if you will.

I figure that if more than one top business media outlet believes a book is among the very best from the past year, that book is certainly worth my time (and yours).

The order of the Top 11 below is based on the number of times that book showed up on the various media lists I examined. For example, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou, is ranked #1 because it landed on five of the seven top lists I read, two more than the next closest competitor (the number of top lists for each book is included in parentheses after the author’s name below).

For tie-breakers, I referenced the book’s ranking from the lists I researched, as well as customer reviews and ratings on

If you keep reading past the overall Top 11 below, you will see the full list from each of the media outlets I studied (as well as links to purchase any of the books).

And at the end of this article, I share my personal favorite business book from the past year.


  1. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (5)

2. The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate by Fran Hauser (3)

3. New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World — and How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms (3)

4. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle (2)

5. Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans (2)

6. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr (2)

7. Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord (2)

8. Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin (2)

9. Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change by Beth Comstock with Tahl Raz (2)

10. The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age by James Crabtree (2)

11. Capitalism in America: A History by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge (2)

Here are the Best Business Books of 2018 as selected by each of the top media outlets I researched:


Fast Company

Financial Times & McKinsey

Business Insider


Recommended by Bill Gates, Barack Obama and other successful people


And finally, my personal favorite book of the past year (although it was actually published in late 2017) is Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul by Shawn Askinosie and Lawren Askinosie.

That book changed how I think about work and life more than anything else I read over the past year. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

I hope you all have a great year of reading ahead of you in 2019!



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