Whether you’re looking to catch up on titles you missed while you were hunkered down waiting out the pandemic or searching for books to fill your beach bag this summer, Amazon editors’ annual picks of the best business books released from January to June can help. (They have similar lists for other categories, like fiction, sci-fi and history too.)
The list is heavy on A-list writers, including Nobel laureates and authors of previous blockbuster hits, and offers everything from international criminal intrigue to sweeping academic histories to practical how-to guides. Happy summer reading!
1. Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots by James Suzman
Star Wharton professor and best-selling author Adam Grant called this history of work from the deep past to the present day by a leading anthropologist, “a tour de force.”
2. Change Your World by John C. Maxwell and Rob Hoskins
A guidebook to enacting social change. “Whatever the desire of your heart―better schools, better neighborhoods, more positive workplaces, more connected families, or more engaged communities―Change Your World will guide you through the entire process to take action and start making an impact today,” explains Amazon.
3. Run to Win by Stephanie Schriock
The list of famous names praising this book of practical advice female leaders by the president of EMILY’s List is basically a who’s who of groundbreaking women, from Stacey Abrams to Kamala Harris to Hillary Clinton.
4. Land by Simon Winchester
The latest title from Winchester, an acclaimed British historian, “examines in depth how we acquire land, how we steward it, how and why we fight over it, and finally, how we can, and on occasion do, come to share it,” Amazon says.
5. Work Won’t Love You Back by Sarah Jaffe
A book-length exploration of why the old advice, “do what you love,” is actually a terrible idea, Work Won’t Love You Back offers an alternate approach to finding a fair and fulfilling career. It’s particularly timely given how many of us are rethinking our careers post- pandemic.
6. Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta
“Keep your brain young, healthy, and sharp with this science-driven guide to protecting your mind from decline,” is Amazon’s description of this book by neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.
7. Chatter by Ethan Kross
8. The Price You Pay for College by Rob Lieber
“The hugely popular New York Times ‘Your Money’ columnist and author of the bestselling The Opposite of Spoiled offers a deeply reported and emotionally honest approach to the biggest financial decision families will ever make: what to pay for college,” says Amazon of this book.
9. Come Fly the World by Julia Cooke
The riveting story of the glamorous but complicated lives of PanAm stewardesses during the 1960s and ’70s. Basically, real-life Mad Men on an airplane.
10. Dirty Gold by Jay Weaver
Amazon calls this page turner “a jaw-dropping true story of illegal gold mining that exposes its devastating ecological impact on developing nations in Latin America.”
11. Huddle by Brooke Baldwin
In this book “CNN news anchor Brooke Baldwin explores the phenomenon of ‘huddling,’ when women lean on one another… to provide each other support, empowerment, inspiration, and the strength to solve problems or enact meaningful change,” according to Amazon.
12. What We Owe Each Other by Minouche Shafik
In What We Owe Each Other Shafik, the director of the London School of Economics and former World Bank vice president, uses the pandemic as a jumping-off point to argue we must rethink our responsibilities to each other.
13. Think Again by Adam Grant
Grant is back with a new book about the importance of open mindedness, curiosity, embracing doubt, and the willingness to change your mind.
14. Noise by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass Sunstein
Written by a powerhouse team, including a Nobel laureate and a Harvard law professor, Noise delves into why people make bad judgments and how to make better ones. The New York Times called it “a tour de force of scholarship and clear writing.”
15. Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe
“A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin,” says Amazon of Empire of Pain.
16. How to Change by Katy Milkman
Want to change your habits or your life? Then pick up this science based how-to guide to lasting behavior change from Wharton professor Katy Milkman.
17. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster is the Microsoft founder turned philanthropist’s blueprint for beating the climate crisis, including steps individuals and businesses can take right now to be part of the solution.
18. Liftoff by Eric Berger
This book sounds pretty much self-recommending for entrepreneurs. “The dramatic inside story of the historic flights that launched SpaceX–and Elon Musk–from a shaky startup into the world’s leading-edge rocket company,” says Amazon.
19. The Whiteness of Wealth by Dorothy A. Brown
A tax lawyer explains how U.S. tax policy works to worsen the racial wealth gap. “Important reading for those who want to understand how inequality is built into the bedrock of American society,” according to How to Be an Antiracist author Ibram X. Kendi.
20. A World Without Email by Cal Newport
The computer science professor is back with another book about how to tame your tech and do your best work in a world of endless digital distractions.