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Five Top New Business Books To Read This Fall

As the kids settle in to their new classes at school for the fall, it’s time for the rest of us to hit the books as well. Fall ushers in a new season of business books. Here’s a look at five of the most promising titles that are newly published or about to be published.

Business Books – The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership (Hardcover released Sept. 9) by Richard Branson

Richard Branson never seems to lack confidence, and the jacket of his new book shows him standing with his arms folded with one hand on his chin as he seems to challenge his readers to pick up the book. The unconventional and even irreverent Virgin Group founder reveals some of the methodology he has used over the past 40 years as he has built his multibillion-dollar business empire. A high school drop-out, Branson admits he suffers from dyslexia and that he has never read a book on leadership himself.

Notable Quote: “I’d just urge you to do a lot more listening than talking; don’t be afraid to wear your passion on your sleeve for all the world to see and when in doubt, trust your instincts.”

Business Books – The Shifts and the Shocks: What We’ve Learned—and Have Still to Learn—from the Financial Crisis (Hardcover released Sept. 11) by Martin Wolf

Wolf, the chief economic commentator for the Financial Times, doesn’t just try to explain the causes of the financial and economic crisis which began in 2007; he explains what we should learn from it. The author suggests that radical reforms are needed to address the instabilities globalization has caused and argues that further crises are certain if changes in the management of the Eurozone, in particular, are not implemented.

Notable Quote: “Yet perhaps the biggest way in which the crises have changes the world is – or at least should be – intellectual. They have shown that established views of how (and how well) the world’s most sophisticated economies and financial systems work were nonsense.”

Business Books – Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (Hardcover released Sept. 16, 2014) by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

As the founder of PayPal, Thiel knows a thing or two about start-ups. Here he presents his philosophy that the most important business skill anyone needs to learn is the ability to think for oneself. He challenges readers not to just add to something someone else has done but to create something entirely new – in other words, to go from 0 to 1. The idea for the book came from the notes Blake Masters took and posted online from his 2012 Stanford class on start-ups taught by Thiel.

Notable Quote: The paradox of teaching entrepreneurship is that such a formula necessarily cannot exist; because every innovation is new and unique, no authority can prescribe in concrete terms how to be innovative. Indeed the single most powerful patterns I have noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas.

Business Books – How Google Works (Hardcover release Sept. 23) by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

Eric Schmidt, former Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO and now executive chairman, and Jonathan Rosenberg, currently an advisor to Google CEO Larry Page, have written a business primer of sorts that explains how they built a Silicon Valley start-up to become a global company worth about $350 billion. Topics include establishing a corporate culture, setting a strategy, recognizing talent, making decisions and dealing with disruption.

Notable Quote: ”So just because you don’t have a hoodie and a seven-figure check from a venture capitalist, that doesn’t means that you can’t create the next big thing. All you need is the insight that your industry is transforming at a rapid pace, the guts to take a risk and be part of that transformation and the willingness and ability to attract the best smart creatives and lead them to make it happen.”

Business Books – Crazy Is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags (Hardcover release Oct. 2, 2014) by Linda Rottenberg

The co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, a global nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurs, Linda Rottenberg advises that we all need to be a little bit crazy in order to succeed. But how do you know what is a bold and crazy idea and what is just a dumb and crazy one?

Rottenberg uses her own experiences as well as the inspiring stories of other entrepreneurs to give some practical advice on how to launch your dream business and how to make it a success.

Notable Quote: “To survive, we all need the skills required to continually reinvent ourselves. Everyone needs to take some risk or risk being left behind. Here’s the good news: Anybody can be a change agent today. There are no admission criteria. There is no wardrobe department. There is no secret vote.”

Five Top New Business Books To Read This Fall