Tag Archives: #businessbookoftheyear

Invisible Women and Uncharted; reading in progress – What books are you reading?

Nov. 6 FFBSInvisible Women is the story of what happens when we forget to account for half of humanity. It is an exposè of how the gender data gap harms women when life proceeds, more or less as normal. In urban planning, politics, the workplace.
Caroline Criado Perez, Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

The future is uncharted because we aren’t there yet.
Margaret Heffernan, Uncharted: How to Navigate the Future

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Let me start with a reminder.  This is a very good time to be reading books.  We are inside more; at home more.  And there are so many good, and important, books to read.  What books do you have on your reading stack right now?

I’m in the midst of reading my two books for the November 6 First Friday Book Synopsis, our monthly gathering that focuses on two books each month.  (Currently on Zoom). These two books are quite different, and both worth our time.

For the books I present, I read every book in full; every page of every chapter.  And, I read these books slowly.  I highlight passages – literally hundreds of passages.  And I do my best to create synopsis handouts that are thorough, and capture the key elements of the books I present.

2019 Business Book of the Year

2019 Business Book of the Year

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez won the 2019 Business Book of the Year award from McKinsey and The Financial Times.  It is a deserving selection.

Though it is a good and comprehensive, thought-provoking book, it is mainly…correct.  Women are invisible in too many ways, in too many arenas:  in their daily life, in their work life, in the architecture and structures that they navigate.  So many of the decisions of the world have been made by men, and only men, while only thinking about men, for too long.  That is the finding of this very good book, and it explains why this was a worthy recipient of the Business Book of the Year award.

(Note:  this is the third such book I have presented.  An earlier Business Book of the Year was Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford; a significant book.  I presented my synopsis of this book at the February, 2016 First Friday Book Synopsis. And, I have also presented my synopsis of Capital by Thomas Pikkety, another recipient of this award, at another book gathering that I speak at: the Urban Engagement Book Club, sponsored by CitySquare).

Here’s the problem with books such as Invisible Women.  First, not enough people read the books, in spite of their popularity.  Second, even though the problem it highlights and addresses is so pervasive, people still cannot quite grasp the breadth of the problem with only an occasional book to remind them of it.  This book needs a very, very big megaphone.

Uncharted: How to Navigate the Future by Margaret Heffernan is my second book selection for November.  Ms. Heffernan is also the author of Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril, which I presented at the August, 2014 First Friday Book Synopsis. This book states, clearly, that there is so very much about the future that we do not know; cannot really ever know.  And in this Global Pandemic time, this is a good and needed reminder.

I love reading good books.  These are both good books to read.  I think my synopses will be useful.

What will you be reading this month?

——————–Rise of the Robots

Here are my earlier blog posts on a couple of the books that I mentioned:

But Where will the Demand Be? – My Lessons and Takeaways from Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford

Here are My Takeaways from Margaret Heffernan’s Willful Blindness – a Remarkable Book 

 

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez (the Business Book of the Year, 2019), and Uncharted by Margaret Heffernan – Coming for the November 6 First Friday Book Synopsis (On Zoom)

 

First Friday Book Synopsis November 6, 2020 — on ZoomNov. 6 FFBS
Time: 7:30 am (Central Time)
Two Books: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
and
Uncharted: How to Navigate the Future by Margaret Heffernan. 
Zoom link coming soon
Please invite one and all to participate in this session.

 

During Pandemic Season, we have continued to average well over 100 people gathering each month on Zoom for the First Friday Book Synopsis..

On November 6, I will present my synopses of two very good books.  One of them, Invisible Women, won the Business Book of the Year award in 2019, from McKinsey and The Financial Times.  Note:  this will be the third book I have presented that won this prestigious award.  I earlier presented Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford, the winner in 21015.  And, to another audience (not at the First Friday Book Synopsis), I presented Capital by Thomas Pinketty, the 2014 winner.

If you are like many, you do not have time to read all of the books you would like to read.  The First Friday Book Synopsis is designed for you.

Of course, it would be better if you read the books on your own. But, my synopses are comprehensive, surprisingly thorough, they will give you plenty of the key content.  You will learn, and be able to ponder the ideas in a useful way.  And, if you have read the book, my synopsis will help you remember more of what you read.

Here are the two books I have selected to present for the November 6 session:

  1. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez. Harry N. Abrams; First Printing Edition (March 12, 2019)
  2. Uncharted: How to Navigate the Futureby Margaret Heffernan. Avid Reader Press; Simon & Schuster (September 8, 2020)

 

Come join us.

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(Note: we had a little bit of a Zoom hacker event in October.  I will post the Zoom info on this blog soon. But I am working on shoring up the security).

What are you doing for the next 13 weeks? – You could learn the key content of these books…

Book Titles copy

I can also provide “live/Remote” sessions for your team

My suggestion – try a book synopsis a week during the duration
Click on the buy synopses tab at the top, or
Click here for our newest additions

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OK – it’s time to admit the truth about this present moment.  It is not going away by this afternoon.

We are stuck.  We may be stuck until there is a vaccine.  Maybe it will take more than one vaccine.

So, in the article The reason why your brain’s so foggy right now, according to a neurologist, we read this:

There’s also something to be said about starting something new in quarantine that you may not have gotten to otherwise. There’s a “fresh start energy” in the air right now. And as psychologist Laurie Santos, PhD, host of The Happiness Lab podcast and professor of Yale’s viral happiness course, recently said a Facebook live, “Wonderful research by Katie Milken and others shows that these new situations and these new moments of fresh starts allow us to form habits better.”

Now, you can be really ambitious:
Learn Japanese, or Spanish, or Arabic.
Take some math courses.
Learn to write computer code.
Learn to paint.

But here is a simple idea that could pay rich dividends. Something practical, and “easy.”

You can learn the key content of books that you have been intending to read.  
You can do this by listening to my synopses of some of the very best business books.

here is the cover sheet for the Lean In synopsis handout

here is the cover sheet for the Lean In synopsis handout

My synopses are just over 20 minutes.  You can listen to the audio, while following along with my comprehensive, multi-page handout.  Print out the handout, get your pen in hand, turn on the audio, and listen as you underline key thoughts and write notes to yourself in the margin.

Now:  why is Randy Mayeux qualified to present these synopses?  He has presented synopses of business books every month to a live audience in Dallas since April, 1998; 22+ years.  (The last two months have been live over Zoom).  One guy, reading and sharing.

Twenty minutes a week.  After ten weeks, you’ve learned the key content of ten books.

Is it better for you to fully read the books for yourself?  Of course.  But, you haven’t by now.  And this is more than enough to get your thoughts brewing. You will learn transferable principles, you will learn lessons to put to work, and you will become more literate.

This is the last page of the Steve Jobs handout, with my takeaways ("lessons") - click on image for full view

This is the last page of the Steve Jobs handout, with my takeaways (“lessons”) – click on image for full view

These are much more than book reviews.  These are quick, deeper dives into the key content of these books than you might imagine.

Here are thirteen titles to get you stated (Three months worth; one book a week for thirteen weeks).  This is just a recommendation.  I have many other titles to choose from.  But this list includes four books on the current New York Times list of best-selling business books, one book that was the Financial Times Business Book of the Year, two selections that were my own choices for the business book of the year, and one book that is the most important book I have ever read (Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning).

All of these are available in the buy synopses tab above — go to the search-by-title feature:Rise of the Robots

Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
Drive by Daniel Pink.
The Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford.
Digital Transformation by Thomas Siebel.*
Radical Candor by Kim Scott.
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.
Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Great by Choice by Jim Collins.
Range by David Epsein.
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown.

These thirteen would provide a pretty good thirteen week “crash course” on business books.  And, there are many, many more to choose from.

Each synopsis is $4.99.  Or, you can purchase a subscription, and get all synopses available

Give it a try.  If nothing else, it might help you be better prepared for when things return to some other kind of normal,


* Note the full title of Digital Transformation by Siebel — Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction. Pretty graphic descriptive; maybe especially pertinent to this moment.

(Note: in the first many years, Randy was joined by his colleague Karl Krayer; each of them presenting one book a month.  Due to health difficulties, Karl had to drop out of the collaboration a few years ago.  So, some of the synopses from earlier years available on the web site were presented by Karl).

Here is the May, 2020 list of best-selling business books from the New York Times – Atomic Habits by James Clear is again/still at #1

Once a month, on this blog, I post about the list of Best-Selling Business Books from the New York Times.  They update this list monthly.  And they include the top ten best-selling business books of the month.

Atomic HabitsThis list always includes some “older” books.  For example, this month, the #1 book, Atomic Habits, was published in 2018, the #4 book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, was published in 2011, and the #6 book, Outliers, was published in 2008.

This month’s list includes four books written by women authors.  This is a higher percentage than in most months.

And of the ten books, we have presented synopses of eight of the ten at our monthly First Firday Book Synopsis events in Dallas.  I presented five of the synopses; Atomic Habits; Dare to Lead; Outliers; Extreme Ownership; and Range; my former colleague, Karl Krayer, presented his synopses of Thinking, Fast and Slow and Grit; and a guest presenter, Ed Savage. presented Leadership.

Let me pause to make a personal observation.  This is the third month in a row for Atomic Habits to be at the top spot; and it was at #2 for both January and February.  This is quite a run.  But I think it makes sense.  We are feeling a little uncertain; like we’ve lost our center.  Maybe the need of this moment is to tackle our own manageable and controllable productivity.  Building good habits, removing bad habits, is at the heart of such concerns.  This may be survival-level focus in these difficult coronavirus days we face.

More observation:  there are others on the list that also make sense at this time.  Thinking, Fast and Slow is partially a book about learning how to think with our “slow” brains; to ponder longer-term implications.  And the Doris Kearns Goodwin book on Leadership is about presidential leadership; especially appropriate now.

Of the eight books we have presented, you would not go wrong reading any of them.  I am presenting my synopsis of Atomic Habits remotely to my second different business audience this week later today. I presented my synopsis of Extreme Ownership to a group of leaders in mid-size cities just recently.  And Range is the book I chose as the best business book of the year for 2019.  You might want to read my post: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein is my Business Book of the Year for 2019 – (Loonshots by Safi Bahcall is runner-up).

All eight are worth your time!  They are good, useful, challenging books.

Extreme OwnershipHere is the May, 2020 New York Times list of best-selling business books.  Click here to visit the New York Times site for links to reviews of some of these books.

#1 – Atomic Habits by James Clear
#2 – Dare to Lead by Brené Brwon
#3 – Joy at Work by Marie Kondo and Scott Sondenshein
#4 – Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
#5 – Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
#6 – Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
#7 – Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
#8 – Grit by Angela Duckworth
#9 – Leadership by Doris Kearns Goodwin
#10 – Range by David Epstein

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the book that we started with in 2019

We make our synopses available to purchase.  Click on the buy synopses tab at the top of this page, where you can search for synopses by title.  Click here for our newest additions.  Each synopsis comes with our comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout, plus the audio recording of the presentations.

Here is the The New York Times list of best-selling business books for February 2020:  Jocko Willink’s Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual is at #1

The New York Times has just published its list of best-selling business books for February, 2020.  The new book by retired Navy SEAL Jocko Williink is at the top spot.

Leadership Strategy & TacticsOf the ten books on this month’s list, after tomorrow, we will have presented nine of the ten at our monthly event in Dallas, the First Friday Book Synopsis.  It looks like I timed it well:  I am presenting Jocko’s new book at tomorrow’s session.

After tomorrow, of the ten, I will have presented synopses of eight of the ten, and my former colleague, Karl Krayer, presented the perennial best seller, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.  (The only book we have not presented from this month’s list is Robert Iger’s book, The Ride of a Lifetime).

Alas, of these ten, there is only one woman author on the list:   Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead.  I presented my synopsis of this book last January. (I have selected the new book by Mika Brzezenski, Career Comebacks, for the March First Friday Book Synopsis).

And Range by David Epstein is still on this month’s list.  This excellent book was my selection for the best business book of the year, 2019.  You might want to read my blog post:  Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein is my Business Book of the Year for 2019 – (Loonshots by Safi Bahcall is runner-up).

Here is the New York Times list of best-selling business books for February.  Click here to go to the NY Times site, for links to reviews of a few of the books.

#1 – Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual by Jocko Willink
#2 – Atomic Habits by James Clear
#3 – Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
#4 – The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger
#5 – Principles by Ray Dalio
#6 – Outliers by Malcolm Galdwell
#7 – The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
#8 – Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
#9 – Range by David Epstein
#10 – Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

——————Range

We well the synopses of the books we present at the First Firday Book Synopsis.  Each synopsis comes with the audio recording of our presentation, and the comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout for the book. Go to the “buy synopses” tab at the top of this page.  And, click here for our newest additions (from the last 10 months, or so).

 

Here is the January, 2020 New York Times list of Best-Selling Business Books – The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger at #1; Atomic Habits at #2

The New York Times has published its first list of best-selling business books of 2020.  The Atomic HabitsJanuary, 2020 list, as always, has the top ten best-selling business books of the month.

Of the ten books on this month’s list, I have presented synopses of seven of them at our monthly event in Dallas, the First Friday Book Synopsis.  And, my former colleague Karl Krayer presented a synopsis of one other.  That is eight out of the ten best-sellers that we have selected, and presented, at our event.  We don’t miss many…

I presented synopses of:  Atomic Habits, Dare to Lead, Principles, The Infinite Game, Outliers, Extreme Ownership, and RangeRange was my selection for the best business book of 2020.  Obviously, I think it was a very good book in a year of many good books published.  You might want to read my blog post: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein is my Business Book of the Year for 2019 – (Loonshots by Safi Bahcall is runner-up).

And Karl Krayer presented a synopsis of Thinking, Fast and Slow quite a few years ago.

RangeBy the way, there are some long-time best-sellers on this month’s list. (There frequently are).  For example, I presented my synopsis of the 2008 book Outliers at the January, 2009 session of the First Friday Book Synopsis.  Karl presented Thinking, Fast and Slow, published in 2011, at the April, 2012 session of our event.  And I presented Extreme Ownership at the December, 2015 session of our event, the year it was published.

One other observation:  there is a shortage of women authors in this month’s list.  Alas, that is the case many months.  On this month’s list, only one book was written by a woman: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Here is the New York Times list of the ten best-selling business books for January 2020.  Click over to their web site for more info about these books, and links to reviews of some of the books.

#1 – The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger
#2 – Atomic Habits by James Clear
#3 – Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
#4 – Principles by Ray Dalio
#5 – The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
#6 – Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
#7 – Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
#8 – The Man Who Solved the Market by Gregory Zuckerman
#9 – Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
#10 – Range by David Epstein


We record our synopses at our monthly events.  You can purchase our synopses, with the audio recording, and the pdf of our multi-page, comprehensive handouts, from the buy synopses tab at the top of this page.  Click here for our newest additions.