Resources for Humans

HOT LIST: Bestselling Business Books on Amazon.com

Amazon.com updates its list of bestselling business books hourly. Here is a snapshot of what books were hot this morning — Monday, August 18.

1. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson. Following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, the author, a homeless mountaineer, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.

2. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. The author has spent more than five years learning the secrets of the New Rich, a fast-growing subculture who has abandoned the “deferred-life plan” and instead mastered the new currencies—time and mobility—to create luxury lifestyles in the here and now.

3. Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini. Every day we face the challenge of persuading others to do what we want. But what makes people say yes to our requests? Persuasion is not only an art, it is also a science, and researchers who study it have uncovered a series of hidden rules for moving people in your direction. Based on more than 60 years of research into the psychology of persuasion, this book reveals 50 simple but remarkably effective strategies that will make you much more persuasive at work and in your personal life, too.

4. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. The author of Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, Collins concludes that it is possible for a good company to become a great company, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11–including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo–and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success.

5. StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now, Discover Your Strengths by Tom Rath. Are you unsure where your true talents lie? Do you feel that you are both a person who gets things done and someone who offers penetrating analysis? Well, you can discover whether you are truly an “achiever” or an “analytical” by completing the online quiz. Then, the book will give you “ideas for action” and tips for how best you can work with others. More of a patiencetester than Strengthsfinder, the quiz/book is probably best for those who have lots of time on their hands.

6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. A groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, this book continues to be a business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold. Covey, an internationally respected leadership authority, realizes that true success encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness, so this book is a manual for performing better in both arenas. His anecdotes are as frequently from family situations as from business challenges. This isn’t a quick-tips-start-tomorrow kind of book. The concepts are sometimes intricate, and you’ll want to study this book, not skim it.

7. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. The book offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-do’s clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists–all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you’re working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organized, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines.

8. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein. The book’s argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn’t just some relic from the bad old days. It’s alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.

9. The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition by Graduate Management Admission Council.

10. Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Levitt argues that many apparent mysteries of everyday life don’t need to be so mysterious: they could be illuminated and made even more fascinating by asking the right questions and drawing connections. For example, Levitt traces the drop in violent crime rates to a drop in violent criminals and, digging further, to the Roe v. Wade decision that preempted the existence of some people who would be born to poverty and hardship. Elsewhere, by analyzing data gathered from inner-city Chicago drug-dealing gangs, Levitt outlines a corporate structure much like McDonald’s, where the top bosses make great money while scores of underlings make something below minimum wage. And in a section that may alarm or relieve worried parents, Levitt argues that parenting methods don’t really matter much and that a backyard swimming pool is much more dangerous than a gun.