By Silvia Ascarelli, MarketWatch
We know, you don’t have much time to read (or so you claim). So what’s the one book from this year that you really need to read?
MarketWatch scoured a number of lists proclaiming the “best” or “most notable” new books of 2018, plus recommendations from high-profile individuals. We stuck to nonfiction and favored those with a business or investment bent.
Here’s what we found:
It’s hard to ignore the most praised book of the year, though it has no obvious connection to money: “Educated” by Tara Westover is a memoir of growing up home-schooled with a survivalist Mormon family in Idaho and leaving it as she pursued an education outside the family. Bill Gates and former President Barack Obama loved it. The New York Times called it one of the 10 best books of 2018 , and the Washington Post included it in its list of 50 notable nonfiction books of the year . Among the others who highly recommend it: librarians and Goodreads readers, who voted it the top memoir/autobiography of 2018. It is the lone nonfiction work among the 10 books in Digg’s compilation of the “best” lists .
Who doesn’t like it? Her family .
Another popular recommendation is “ Bad Blood ,” by the Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou. (Both the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch are owned by Dow Jones, a division of News Corp.) The story of the rise and collapse of Theranos makes both the New York Times and Washington Post lists of notable books of the year. Time magazine puts it at the top of its nonfiction list , and the Financial Times and McKinsey & Co. gave it their business book of the year awards . Among the individuals who praised it are Gates, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman and Kathryn Haun, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, as told to Bloomberg .
Adam Tooze’s “ Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World ” made the New York Times list of notable books and is one of the Economist’s five top economics books of the year . Isabelle Mateos y Lago, chief multiasset strategist at BlackRock, says it “frankly debunks, in my view, a number of narratives about the crisis that have become conventional wisdom. [Tooze] also raises many difficult questions, such as what could stem the wave of world-wide populism that the [global financial crisis] helped release.”
Here are some other books with a business angle that made the lists:
• Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.53% fans may want to read “ Small Fry ,” a memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Steve Jobs’s first daughter. It made the New York Times list of notable books, and Vlad Tenev, co-founder and co-CEO of Robinhood, singled it out to Bloomberg, noting that stories of sacrifices in entrepreneurs’ personal lives are rarely told.
• “ Principles ” by Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, published late last year, was singled out by Uber CEO Dara Khrosrowshahi and Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay, according to Bloomberg. Dalio discussed principles for money and life with MarketWatch.
Now the manager of the world’s biggest hedge fund is weighing in again; “Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises” was published in November. Read about it on MarketWatch.
• The Economist and Foreign Affairs both praised Ashoka Mody’s “ EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts .” Mody has argued on MarketWatch that Italy never should have joined the eurozone and that the ECB’s bond-buying program was a flop.
• “ Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State ” by Paul Tucker, a former No. 2 at the Bank of England, is one of Foreign Affairs’ top three economic books. Tucker told MarketWatch that central banks are too powerful for their own good.
• Insight into the for-profit prison system comes in “ American Prison ,” by Shane Bauer and another member of the New York Times’ list of 10 best books of the year. Bauer spent four months working as a corrections officer at Corrections Corp. of America (now CoreCivic /zigman2/quotes/200590180/composite CXW +2.91% ). An article in Mother Jones led to the book. It made Obama’s lengthy list of 2018 favorites .
• Cass Sunstein, who co-wrote the best seller “Nudge” on behavioral economics with Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler, includes Annie Duke’s “ Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts ” in his list of the year’s six best books . Duke, a champion poker player, wrote for MarketWatch about how a ‘premortem’ can make you a better investor.
• “ The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups ” by Daniel Coyle comes in No. 2 on Amazon’s best business and leadership books and also gets a nod, again per Bloomberg, from Sofi CEO Anthony Noto and Max Levin, the co-founder of PayPal and now the co-founder and co-CEO of Affirm. (“Bad Blood” topped Amazon’s list.)