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LAUNCH: PMBA 2009 + Request for Help!

The 2009 edition of the Personal MBA reading list is live! Check out the updates to the manifesto,
as well as the recommended reading list.

Major Changes

• Each book now has its own summary page, making browsing significantly easier.
• The design of the list has been updated to improve readability and navigation.
• The “Business History” and “Business Reference” sections of the list have been eliminated
due to lack of use. As a result, this edition is a net reduction in recommended books, even with
the new additions this year.

New Books

This edition features 15 new books. They are…

• The Power of Less by Leo Babauta


• Brain Rules by John Medina
• The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz
• Driven by Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria
• Smart Choices by John S. Hammond et al
• Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows
• The Knack by Norm Brodsky & Bo Burlingham
• Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
• I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
• Total Leadership by Stewart Friedman
• Tribes by Seth Godin
• Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper
• Fail-Safe Investing by Harry Browne
• Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina
• Re-Create Your Life by Morty Lefkoe
• Changing for Good by James O. Prochaska et al

Future Updates

This list of recommendations has developed a great deal over the past four years. As a result,
we’re rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns when it comes to huge annual updates.
Future changes to the list will happen incrementally, with a maximum cap of 99 recommended
resources. (The list is currently at 94 recommended books.) I expect that a few books will be added
over time, and books will be removed if they go out of print. Otherwise, I expect this incarnation of the
list to be stable.

New Feature: Business Book Recommender

The PMBA Business Book Recommender is a beta feature designed to help identify the best book for
you, based on your current question or interest. My goal for this page is to help you find a great
business book in 30 seconds or less.

To develop this great new feature, I need your help! Instead of answering questions I think people
will ask, I want to focus on answering the questions you actually have. If you’d like to help me build
the PMBA Business Book Recommender, all you need to do is contact me with your question, and I’ll
add the response to the recommender.

Happy reading!

List: The Best Business Books


PMBA Recommended Reading List
MBA programs don't 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 b-
school and the $100,000 loan: you can get a world-class business education simply by reading these
books.

This page lists all PMBA-recommended books and resources for easy printing, bookmarking,
and reference. For more information about the Personal MBA and book selection criteria, read the
manifesto.

For your convenience, you can purchase these books on Amazon.com by clicking the "Add to Cart"
button - your purchase helps support the PMBA. If you would like to purchase multiple books, check
out the PMBA Batch Book Buyer tool.

Productivity & Effectiveness

• StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath


• The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
• Getting Things Done by David Allen
• The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch
• 10 Days to Faster Reading by Abby Marks-Beale
• Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst
• The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

The Human Mind

• Brain Rules by John Medina


• Driven by Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria
• Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions by Gary Klein
• Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
• Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales

Communication

• How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


• Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson et al
• On Writing Well by William Zinsser
• Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
• Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

Decision-Making

• Smart Choices by John S. Hammond et al


 The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz
 Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows
 Learning from the Future by Liam Fahey & Robert Randall
 Ethics for the Real World by Ronald Howard & Clinton Korver

Creativity & Innovation

 The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp


 Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun
 Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F. Drucker

Project Management

 Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun


 Results Without Authority by Tom Kendrick

Opportunity Identification

 The New Business Road Test by John Mullins


 How to Make Millions with Your Ideas by Dan Kennedy

Entrepreneurship

 Bankable Business Plans by Edward Rogoff


 The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
 Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson
 The Knack by Norm Brodsky & Bo Burlingham

Value-Creation & Design

 Getting Real by 37signals


 Product Design and Development by Karl Ulrich and Steven Eppinger
 The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman
 Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler

Marketing

 All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin


 Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
 Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got by Jay Abraham
 Citizen Marketers by Ben McConnell & Jackie Huba
 The Copywriter's Handbook by Robert Bly

Sales

 The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes


 SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham
 The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer

Negotiation

 Bargaining For Advantage by G. Richard Shell


 3-D Negotiation by David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius
 The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
 I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Value-Delivery

 Indispensable by Joe Calloway


 The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
 Lean Thinking by James Womack and Daniel Jones

Management

 The Unwritten Laws of Business by W.J. King


 First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
 12: The Elements of Great Managing by Rodd Wagner & James Harter
 Growing Great Employees by Erika Andersen
 Hiring Smart by Pierre Mornell
 The Essential Drucker by Peter F. Drucker

Leadership

 Total Leadership by Stewart Friedman


 Tribes by Seth Godin
 What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
 The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan by George Bradt et al
 The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig
 Judgment by Noel Tichy & Warren Bennis

Finance & Accounting

 Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper


 Essentials of Accounting (9th Edition) by Robert N. Anthony and Leslie K. Breitner
 The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Finance by Robert A. Cooke
 How to Read a Financial Report by John A. Tracy

Analysis

 Turning Numbers Into Knowledge by Jonathan Koomey


 Marketing Metrics by Paul W. Farris et al
 Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik
 Show Me The Numbers by Stephen Few

Statistics
 How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff
 Principles of Statistics by M.G. Bulmer

Corporate Skills

 The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker


 The Simplicity Survival Handbook by Bill Jensen
 Cut to the Chase by Stuart Levine

Corporate Strategy

 Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies by Nikos Mourkogiannis


 Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter
 Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
 Green to Gold by Daniel Esty & Andrew Winston
 Seeing What's Next by Clayton M. Christensen, Erik A. Roth, Scott D. Anthony

Consulting

 Getting Started in Consulting by Alan Weiss


 Secrets of Consulting by Gerald M. Weinberg

Personal Finance

 Your Money or Your Life by Joel Dominguez & Vicki Robin


 The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley & William Danko
 The Boglehead's Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore et al
 Fail-Safe Investing by Harry Browne
 Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt
 It's Not About The Money by Brent Kessel

Personal Development

 Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina


 Re-Create Your Life by Morty Lefkoe
 Changing for Good by James O. Prochaska et al
 Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale
 The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn