August 2015 – Business Beach Reads

Beach reads

Time to catch up on some great business books!

Not everyone wishes to read business books on holiday. For some though, particularly business owners and prospective entrepreneurs, holidays provide vital time for reflection, refocussing and reading.
To celebrate Exeter Library’s new found status as a Business and Intellectual Property Centre we’ve hand picked a selection of stimulating reads from our library stocks that won’t weigh you down on your travels. Change is a common theme, most of these books make more than a passing reference to how the world has or is changing and what to do about it.
First up is Flash Boys by Michael Lewis. This book, non-fiction delivered in the style of a novel, opens a window into the secretive workings of our stock markets. It is enlightening, shocking and ultimately up-lifting. Perhaps a little heavy in hardback for the beach so seek out a free ebook sampler (available commercially) so you can ‘try before you borrow’.
Drive by Daniel Pink, available via Devon Library’s own ebook service, Overdrive,  promises to reveal ‘the surprising truth about what motivates us’. In an easy-read style it expertly examines motivation (providing Mastery, Autonomy, Purpose) and takes a closer look at the tapering applicability of the old school ‘carrot and stick’ approaches.

The Start-Up of You by accomplished entrepreneurs Hoffman and Casnocha seeks to help us ‘plan to adapt’ in the face of uncertainties and opportunities. They observe that ‘opportunities do not float in clouds’ during an excellent and detailed examination of the power of networks, including proposing that we ‘court serendipity’.

Philip Letts, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Blur Group, has just released a pocket sized quick-read that is ideal for the beach called Doing More with Less. It highlights technological advances and economic troubles combining to create both uncertainty and opportunity. The ‘power of zero’ (aka doing more with less) is explained through lots of ‘zero’ themed business tips, tactics and examples.

One of the most popular books in the Exeter Library business stock is Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In an easy read style, it tells the story of contrasting upbringings and compels you to reconsider your financial approach to life. It is unashamedly in the self-help genre but be warned it really could change your life by encouraging investment, a business start-up or by improving how parents talk to their children about money.

For those considering a Start-Up this autumn the Financial Times Business Start Up 2015 Guide by Sara Williams is a must read. Highlights include a useful ‘are you sure?’ style self-analysis questionnaire and some informative checklists. A favourite because it is comprehensive, updated annually and it tells it ‘how it is’.

As your time for reflection draws to a close you could do worse than make time for a quick read of the new 2015 edition of Getting Things Done by David Allen. His well-established ‘GTD’ personal organisation methodology is too prescriptive for some but many swear by it and there is plenty to learn from and agree with in this book.

Over the next couple of months we are going to select and review a couple of business books from the library stocks in more depth. In the meantime if you’ve read any of the above books and have any comments or connected stories to add then please do so below or via social media using #businessbeachreads (@ExeterLibrary on Twitter). All these titles, plus lots more can be viewed and reserved on the Devon Libraries catalogue.

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