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The Times Reveals the Best Business Books of 2008

19th January 2009

The Times has put together a definitive list of the best business books of 2008. with so many different publications and individual editors publishing their own personal preferences, there is rarely consensus. Carol Lewis has tried to ease the pain by analysing 10 lists of recommended business books for 2008 in an attempt to compile a definitive list.

1. And the winner is ... The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, by Alice Schroeder. The authorised biography of the Sage of Omaha appeared in seven of the ten lists of 2008's best business books.

2. Two books tied for second place in the Times' ranking, both securing places in four out of ten of the lists studied.

When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change, by Mohamed El-Erian and A Sense of Urgency, by John P. Kotter.

3. Three books featured on three of the lists. 

The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash, by Charles R. Morris.

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, is a fun look at how we can subtly urge people to do what we wish.

Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, by Dan Roam.

4. Finally, there were eight books that tied with two mentions each.

The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga,

Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business, by Jeff Howe

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely

Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google, by Nicholas Carr

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

The Partnership, A History of Goldman Sachs, by Charles D. Ellis.

The lists we surveyed were: “The Best Books of 2008”, by The Economist; “Books of the Year”, by Management Today; “The Best Business Books of 2008”, by BusinessWeek; the Financial Times's “Best Business Books of 2008”; BusinessPundit.com's “The 10 Best Business Books of 2008”; “Best Business and Finance Books of 2008” (Amazon.co.uk); “Top 10 Books: Business & Investing” (Amazon.com); and “Best Business Books 2008” (Strategy+Business).

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