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December 2, 2008

News & Opinion: Slogging Through Business Books

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 5:27 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Joe Wikert of O'Reilly Media says he is giving up on business books. He gives the standard complaint of recently reading a business book and determining about halfway through it that the book was terrible. He thinks the answer is online in blogs and articles.

We are sorry to hear about Joe's breaking point and we thought others of you might have that same thought from time to time. Joe's readers jumped in with some business book suggestions. You may not have that same luxury.

We just wanted to remind everyone of the some of the filters we have here at 800-CEO-READ to help you navigate the sea of business books:

  • Jack Covert Selects - We review three to five books each month with 400 to 500 words of flowery commentary (here is the RSS feed). This cuts down the number of books to look at from hundreds to a handful.
  • 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards - Once a year, we go back and check out what really stood out for the year. This is the thousand to one filter, as we deliver just 13 books from a variety of categories. We are on the cusp on announcing this year's winners, and you can find the winners of our 2007 inaugural awards here. Made To Stick was our Business Book of The Year in 2007.
  • ChangeThis - We are constantly publishing manifestos by business book authors. The essays run 1500-300 words and offer a unique perspective from their work. For example, this month, we released The Positive Business Manifesto from Jon Gordon, author of The No Complaining Rule and The Brand Bubble by John Gerzema, who just released a book by the same name.
  • Excerpts Blog - We regularly publish excerpt from recently published books. This is another good way to get handle on the book, before committing yourself to all 300 pages.
  • Podcasting/Audio Blog - We regularly interview authors in 20-30 minute audio segment. The goal is to get to the root of the idea and uncover a few unexpected angle along the way. You can subscribe to the podcast here and through iTunes.

And if you have no interest in keeping up with business books at these weekly and monthly frequencies, you can always pre-order a copy of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, We They Matter, and How They Can Help You. I guarantee nothing but great books and certainly books you have not read. The only trouble is you have to wait until February.


About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.