A business book landed on my desk recently. But it's not just any business book. It's a business book about business books. More specifically, it's a business book about only the very best business books. It's The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.
According to the book jacket, more than 11,000 business titles are published every year, just in the U.S. The accompanying media kit goes on to say that those books comprise a stack nine stories high and contain 880 million words--only half of which are "outside the box."Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten culled the list of tens of thousands down to a manageable 100. On the list are the usual suspects: Jay Conrad Levinson's Guerrilla Marketing, Tom Kelly and Jonathan Littman's The Art of Innovation, Michael E. Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited, Sam Walton's autobiography, Sam Walton: Made in America--My Story, Peter F. Drucker's The Essential Drucker, and many more.
The authors commissioned a readers' poll, too, seeking to find out what readers see as the top 10 biz books ever:
- The Goal, Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey
- Good to Great, Jim Collins
- The Effective Executive, Peter F. Drucker
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
- The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
- Purple Cow, Seth Godin
- Freakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
- The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman
- Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Good books, all. Full of advice about running companies, managing employees, growing fortunes, selling more, working smarter and getting better in general. I felt something was missing, though. Something along the lines of The Best Business Books Never Written. Here would be my top seven in that category:
- Those Heady Dot Com
Years, Year, Days, by The Pets.com Sock Puppet
- The, Oh, I Don't Know, 2 or 3 Habits of Mildly Effective People, by The guy who did that thing once
- Create Viral Videos at Home for Fun and Profit, by Paris Hilton
- My Life at the Tip (of the Pyramid), by Bernie Madoff
- My Wallet is the World's 17th Largest Economy, by Warren Buffett
- Why's Everyone So Pissed?, an ongoing digital book by Bernie Ebbers (WorldCom), Jeffrey Skilling (Enron), Richard Scrushy (HealthSouth), Dennis Koslowski (Tyco), Wall Street, and many more to come
Mike Werling, the managing editor of Sea Magazine, has written for Entrepreneur.com, Senior Market Advisor, Boomer Market Advisor and Broadmoor magazines.