If your New Year’s resolutions include building wealth, becoming more productive, or making the most of your career (or side hustle), there are hundreds of books willing to guide you, many of which debuted just last year.
Business Insider asked Chris Schluep, a senior Amazon Books editor, to compile a list of the best money books of 2016. Schluep’s picks are packed with advice from experts, ranging from a billionaire’s memoir to the story of the entertainment industry’s most powerful agency.
Whether you’re aiming to grow richer or develop better money habits, get a head start on your 2017 goals with 12 of best money and productivity books from the past year.
‘Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike’ by Phil Knight
Release date: April 26, 2016
Schluep says: Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father after business school and launched an empire. But there’s much more than just a business story in this surprisingly candid memoir.
Amazon says: In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.
‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’ by Angela Duckworth
Release date: May 3, 2016
Schluep says: We all want to have it. Angela Duckworth has been studying it for decades, and lays out how so much of success is a product of passion and perseverance.
Amazon says: In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed — be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people — that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”
‘Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived Joyful Life’ by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Release date: September 20, 2016
Schluep says: Teachers of one of the most popular courses at Stanford (the course has the same name as the book), Burnett and Evans illustrate how you can use the same thinking that has gone into some of your favorite products to design a better life for yourself.
Amazon says: In this book, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment and joy, constantly creative and productive, one that always holds the possibility of surprise.
‘Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World’ by Adam Grant
Release date: February 2, 2016
Schluep says: Ideas are fragile. Adam Grant examines how people can champion new ideas, fighting impediments like groupthink along the way.
Amazon says: With “Give and Take,” Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In “Originals“ he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
‘The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future’ by Kevin Kelly
Release date: June 7, 2016
Schluep says: A new world is emerging, driven by technology — but there are some core trends behind those changes. Kelly outlines them here, providing an optimistic road map for the future.
Amazon says: Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives — from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture — can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces.
Kelly both describes these deep trends — interacting, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning — and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other.
By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. Kelly’s bright, hopeful book will be indispensable to anyone who seeks guidance on where their business, industry, or life is heading — what to invent, where to work, in what to invest, how to better reach customers, and what to begin to put into place — as this new world emerges.
‘Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business’ by Charles Duhigg
Release date: March 8, 2016
Schluep says: How do some people and companies get so much done? New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg outlines the secrets in this book, showing us that it’s more important how you think than what you think.
Amazon says: At the core of “Smarter Faster Better” are eight key productivity concepts — from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making — that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics — as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters — this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently.
‘Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World’ by Cal Newport
Release date: January 5, 2016
Schluep says: When is the last time you looked at your phone? (Maybe you’re looking at it right now.) There are endless distractions in the modern era, and author Newport illuminates how doing deep work in the age of distractions has become a kind of superpower.
Amazon says: In “Deep Work,” author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
‘Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives’ by Tim Harford
Release date: October 4, 2016
Schluep says: It turns out there’s value in being messy. Tim Horford uses research from neuroscience, psychology, and social science that illustrates how disorder to lead to greater creativity and resilience.
Amazon says: “Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives” celebrates the benefits that messiness has in our lives: why it’s important, why we resist it, and why we should embrace it instead. Using research from neuroscience, psychology, social science, as well as captivating examples of real people doing extraordinary things, Tim Harford explains that the human qualities we value — creativity, responsiveness, resilience — are integral to the disorder, confusion, and disarray that produce them.
‘#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness’ by Gary Vaynerchuk
Release date: March 8, 2016
Schluep says: Want to get things done, have fun, and be enormously successful? Marketing and business guru Gary Vaynerchuck highlights some untraditional ways to excel in marketing and business.
Amazon says: The New York Times bestselling author draws from his popular show #AskGaryVee to offer surprising, often outrageous, and imminently useful and honest answers to everything you’ve ever wanted to know — and more — about navigating the new world.
‘Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley’ by Antonio García Martínez
Release date: June 28, 2016
Schluep says: Author Martínez was an early employee working on Facebook’s advertising team, and he pulls no punches in his portrayal of Facebook and the characters, like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, who he got to know so well.
Amazon says: “Liar’s Poker” meets “The Social Network” in an irreverent exposé of life inside the tech bubble, from industry provocateur Antonio García Martínez, a former Twitter advisor, Facebook product manager, and startup founder/CEO.
‘Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life’ by Susan David
Release date: September 6, 2016
Schluep says: Change is all around us and our paths are never straight. Through emotional agility, one of the big ideas of the year, we can adapt, align our actions with our values, and make small but powerful changes that lead to a lifetime of growth.
Amazon says: The path to personal and professional fulfillment is rarely straight. Ask anyone who has achieved his or her biggest goals or whose relationships thrive and you’ll hear stories of many unexpected detours along the way. What separates those who master these challenges and those who get derailed? The answer is agility — emotional agility.
‘Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency’ by James Andrew Miller
Release date: August 9, 2016
Schluep says: Not much happens in Hollywood without the Creative Arts Agency’s fingerprints on it. This oral history tells the story of the entertainment industry’s most powerful agency and of the men and women who built it and battled it.
Amazon says: The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend — behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking.