Over the course of this week, we will be posting the shortlist selections for our 8 business book categories: General Business, Leadership, Management, Innovation/Creativity, Small Business/Entrepreneurship, Marketing/Sales, Personal Development, Finance. On Monday, December 17th, we'll announce the category winners, and, on Wednesday, December 19th, we'll celebrate the overall winner of the 2012 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards! Stay tuned.
The selections for the Finance & Economics category are:
- All the Money In the World: What the Happiest People Know about Getting and Spending by Laura Vanderkam, Portfolio
- Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself by Sheila Bair, Free Press
- Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust by John Coates, The Penguin Press
- Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller, Princeton University Press
- Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu & James A Robinson, Crown Business
It’s hard to remember the last year the Finance and Economics category didn’t revolve around stories of the malfeasance that led to the financial crisis and great recession of the past few years. Even the year before the crisis hit, we picked a book that warned of it—Richard Bookstaber’s A Demon of Our Own Design. This year, finally, it seems we’ve gotten past that. The best books of the year in finance and economics are all forward looking—about recovery and reorientation—whether the topic involves personal finance like Laura Vanderkam’s All the Money in the World or macroeconomic forces like Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson's Why Nations Fail. The best books are diverse, as well, with a book from a Wall Street trader turned Neuroscientist John Coates about the biology of market cycles (The Hour Between Dog and Wolf), and a book from one of the most highly regarded bureaucrats of recent history, the Bush-appointed chairman of the FDIC Sheila Bair, about how we can fully repair and rejuvenate our financial and regulatory systems (Bull by the Horns). And finally, a book from the Yale professor of economics and best-selling author of Irrational Exuberance, Robert Shiller, entitled Finance and the Good Society, may make you somnolent while considering the stiff-sounding title and uninspired book jacket, but I urge you to just go ahead and crack it open. You’ll be glad you did.