The editors at Amazon have picked their favorite business and investing books for 2010. Here are the top 10.
1. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis. The sequel to #1 best-selling Liar’s Poker examines the issue of who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages.
2. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Dan Heath and Chip Heath. The Heath brothers (coauthors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die) address motivating employees, family members, and ourselves in their analysis of why we too often fear change.
3. The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar. Iyengar examines difficult questions about how and why we make the choices we are faced with each day.
4. The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires (Borzoi Books) by Tim Wu. The Columbia University professor looks at whether the Internet — the entire flow of American information — could come to be ruled by one corporate leviathan in possession of “the master switch.”
5. Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson. Johnson pairs the insight of his bestselling Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter and the dazzling erudition of The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World and The Invention of Air: A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America to address an urgent and universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance?
6. Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram Rajan. Rajan argues that serious flaws in the economy are also to blame, and warns that a potentially more devastating crisis awaits us if they aren’t fixed.
7. No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos. The story of how Markopolos and his investigative team uncovered Bernie Madoff’s scam years before it made headlines, and how they desperately tried to warn the government, the industry, and the financial press.
8. The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely. The author of Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions exposes the surprising negative and positive effects irrationality can have on our lives.
9. When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man by Jerry Weintraub. The story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars.
10. Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West by Stephen Fried. The real-life story of Fred Harvey as well as the story of this country’s expansion into the Wild West of Bat Masterson and Billy the Kid, of the great days of the railroad, of a time when a deal could still be made with a handshake and the United States was still uniting.