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The 99 Best Business Books - Recommended Reading List


MBA programs dont have a monopoly on advanced business knowledge: you can teach yourself everything you need to know to succeed in life and at work. The Personal MBA features the very best business books available, based on thousands of hours of research. So skip business school and the $150,000 loan: you can get a world-class business education simply by reading these books.
This page lists all Personal MBA recommended books and resources for easy printing, bookmarking, and reference. For more information about the PersonalMBA and book selection criteria, read the manifesto. Purchasing books through this website helps support the Personal MBAs ongoing research. See my disclosures for details.

Here are the 99 business books the Personal MBA officially recommends click on the title to read a detailed description of each book and why its important.

START HERE: The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

The Personal MBA is a comprehensive overview of everything youll learn reading the books on this list its now an international bestseller. I wrote this book to summarize the most important concepts in business, psychology, and systems theory. Istrongly recommend reading this book first youll get much more from the books on this list if you learn the most important concepts first. Learn more

Business Creation

Go It Alone by Bruce Judson (review) The Lean Startup by Eric Ries (review) The Knack by Norm Brodsky & Bo Burlingham (review, audio) Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson (review, audio) Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim (review, audio) Bankable Business Plans by Edward Rogoff (review)

Value-Creation & Testing

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (review, audio) The New Business Road Test by John Mullins (review) How to Make Millions with Your Ideas by Dan Kennedy (review)


All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin (review, audio) Permission Marketing by Seth Godin (review, audio)

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout (review, audio) Getting Everything You Can Out of All Youve Got by Jay Abraham (review)


The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy (review) Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff (review) The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes (review, audio) Value-Based Fees by Alan Weiss (review) SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham (review, audio)


Indispensable by Joe Calloway (review) The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt (review, audio) Lean Thinking by James Womack and Daniel Jones (review, audio)

Finance & Accounting

Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs by Karen Berman and Joe Knight (review) Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits by Greg Crabtree (review) The 1% Windfall by Rafi Mohammed (review) Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper (review) How to Read a Financial Report by John A. Tracy (review) Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson (review)

The Human Mind

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (review) Brain Rules by John Medina (summary, review, audio) Making Sense of Behavior by William T. Powers (summary, review) Driven by Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria (summary, review, audio) Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales (review, audio)

Productivity & Effectiveness

Getting Things Done by David Allen (summary, review, audio) The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz (summary, review, audio) StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (summary, review) Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst (summary, review) 10 Days to Faster Reading by Abby Marks-Beale (summary, review)

Problem Solving

The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch (summary, review, audio) Accidental Genius by Mark Levy (review) Learning from the Future by Liam Fahey & Robert Randall (review)

Behavioral Change

The Power of Less by Leo Babauta (summary, review, audio) The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz (review) Re-Create Your Life by Morty Lefkoe (review) Self-Directed Behavior by David L. Watson & Roland G. Tharp (review)


Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions by Gary Klein (review) Smart Choices by John S. Hammond et al (review) Ethics for the Real World by Ronald Howard & Clinton Korver (review)


On Writing Well by William Zinsser (review, audio) Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds (review) Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath (review, audio) The Copywriters Handbook by Robert Bly (review) Show Me The Numbers by Stephen Few (review)


Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini (review) How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (review, audio) Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson et al (review, audio) The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (review, audio)


Bargaining For Advantage by G. Richard Shell (review) 3-D Negotiation by David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius (review, audio) The Partnership Charter by David Gage (review, audio)


First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman (review) 12: The Elements of Great Managing by Rodd Wagner & James Harter (review, audio)

Growing Great Employees by Erika Andersen (review) The Essential Drucker by Peter F. Drucker (review)


Tribes by Seth Godin (review, audio) Total Leadership by Stewart Friedman (review, audio) What Got You Here Wont Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith (review, audio) The New Leaders 100-Day Action Plan by George Bradt et al (review) The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig (review, audio)

Project Management

Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun (review) Results Without Authority by Tom Kendrick (review, audio)


Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows (review) Work the System by Sam Carpenter (review)


Turning Numbers Into Knowledge by Jonathan Koomey (review) Marketing Metrics by Paul W. Farris et al (review) The Economist Numbers Guide by Richard Stuteley (review)


Thinking Statistically by Uri Bram (review) How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff (review)

Corporate Skills

The Unwritten Laws of Business by W.J. King (review, audio) The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker (review, audio) The Simplicity Survival Handbook by Bill Jensen (review) Hire With Your Head by Lou Adler (review)

Corporate Strategy

Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies by Nikos Mourkogiannis (review) Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter (review, audio) Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Rene Mauborgne (review, audio) Seeing Whats Next by Clayton M. Christensen et al (review, audio)

Creativity & Innovation

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp (review) Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun (review) Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F. Drucker (review, audio)


The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman (review, audio) Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell et al (review)


Getting Started in Consulting by Alan Weiss (review) Secrets of Consulting by Gerald M. Weinberg (review)

Personal Finance

Your Money or Your Life by Joel Dominguez & Vicki Robin (review, audio) The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley & William Danko (review, audio) I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi (review, audio) Fail-Safe Investing by Harry Browne (review)

Personal Growth

Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale (review, audio) The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn (review, audio) A Guide to the Good Life by William Braxton Irvine (review)