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20 Book Recommendations for Your Business Book Club

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Published January 30, 2023 Reading Time: 8 minutes

Successful professionals find ways to remain relevant to their audiences. They participate in timely discussions, develop relationships with peers and mentors, stay abreast of industry news and research, and read. 

business book club can be a great way for your staff to catch up on the latest best-selling books while advancing their personal and professional development.

As Joseph Addison said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the brain.” It can be challenging to find great book club ideas that align with your company culture and support leadership development, but that’s why we’re here.

At Classy, several of our departments participate in quarterly book clubs to:

  • Learn more about a prospective strategy
  • Gain a fresh perspective and point of view
  • Reenergize the team
  • Gain and share valuable takeaways
  • Stay up to date on industry best practices

Browse the following list of 20 book club ideas as a team and vote on a favorite to get started. 

Personal DevelopmentEntrepreneurship, and Business Book Club Ideas

1. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

In a Nutshell: To uncover your team members‘ and business leaders’ strengths, have everyone take this popular assessment and discover which of the 34 possible themes best aligns with their assessment results. Each description includes action items and tips for working with people who fall into the different themes. These tricks can help you cater to your team members’ unique working styles and play to their strengths. 

Favorite Quote: “When we’re able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, extraordinary room for growth exists. So a revision to the ‘You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be’ maxim might be more accurate: You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.”

Read This if You: Want to gain insight on your natural talents, learn how to foster them, and master ways to communicate them to others.

2. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

In a Nutshell: Author and professor Cal Newport offers actionable advice for producing our ultimate best in a world of constant distractions.

Favorite Quote: “The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.”

Read This if You: Think you spend too much time checking out social media, listening to podcasts, or watching television and constantly feel interrupted in your work.

3. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy

In a Nutshell: Famous for her TED Talk¹ on “power poses,” Amy Cuddy shares the science behind how your physical posture influences your mind and how to use it to combat fear.

Favorite Quote: “When our body language is confident and open, other people respond in kind, unconsciously reinforcing not only their perception of us but also our perception of ourselves.”

Read This if You: Want to learn how small adjustments in your everyday life can help you develop the most confident version of yourself.

4. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

In a Nutshell: In this book, Donald Miller breaks down the key components of a successful story and outlines exactly how to apply the concepts to your brand, website, and more.

Favorite Quote: “Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives. Tell them.”

Read This if You: Want to understand how to communicate with your community better and incite action.

5. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

In a Nutshell: This book explores how self-doubt often stalls creative endeavors. Get insight on how to tackle this obstacle and achieve your goals.

Favorite Quote: “Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

Read This if You: Have ever felt like something holds you back from your calling and creative goals to start a small business, become a best-selling author, or whatever else you want for yourself—and you’re ready to overcome it.

6. Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good by Ann Mei Chang

In a Nutshell: Brought to you by an author with experience as a Silicon Valley executive and a chief innovation officer at the United States Agency for International Development, this book applies bold ideas to the social impact space and offers insights to help the industry achieve greater good.

Favorite Quote: “Social innovation involves iterative testing and improvement, refining business models, influencing partners and policy, fine-tuning logistics, and many other practicalities. Not as sexy as a big idea, but ultimately more important.”

Read This if You: Want actionable strategies to help your organization make a significant impact.

7. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown

In a Nutshell: In her most actionable book, Brené Brown shares insightful research conducted with leaders, changemakers, and culture shifters to demonstrate effective leadership tactics.

Favorite Quote: “I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.”

Read This if You: Are looking for a playbook to help you become a daring leader who regularly demonstrates bravery.

8. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz

In a Nutshell: Three design partners at Google Ventures bring you a five-day process to take your idea from initial concept to testable prototype.

Favorite Quote: “We’ve found that the magic happens when we use big whiteboards to solve problems. As humans, our short-term memory is not all that good, but our spatial memory is awesome. A sprint room plastered with notes, diagrams, printouts, and more takes advantage of that spatial memory. The room itself becomes a sort of shared brain for the team.”

Read This if You: Want a practical tool for testing ideas and creating successful solutions.

9. Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda

In a Nutshell: Before international star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, became famous for Hamilton, he developed quite the Twitter following for his notes of affirmation and encouragement at the start and end of each day. This collection shares those original greetings with illustrations and makes a perfect pick-me-up.

Favorite Quote: “Gmorning. Allow for the possibility that the best of you is still inside you, waiting to emerge. Prepare the way, bit by bit.”

Read This if You: Need help defining your intentions and are looking for a boost of positivity.

10. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

In a Nutshell: Researcher and professor Angela Duckworth shares her thoughts about what makes people successful—not extreme intelligence, but the combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

Favorite Quote: “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”

Read This if You: Want to learn about the psychology of success and insights into achieving even your highest goal.

11. Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders by L. David Marquet

In a Nutshell: Navy Captain L. David Marquet explains how the traditional leader-follower model failed in his command. He illustrates how empowering individuals at every level to be a leader is best for the organization’s health.

Favorite Quote: “The leader-leader model not only achieves great improvements in effectiveness and morale but also makes the organization stronger. Most critically, these improvements are enduring, decoupled from the leader’s personality and presence. Leader-leader structures are significantly more resilient, and they do not rely on the designated leader always being right. Further, leader-leader structures spawn additional leaders throughout the organization naturally. It can’t be stopped.”

Read This if You: Seek to build a more engaged team that takes responsibility for their actions and has the knowledge to make their own decisions.

12. The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

In a Nutshell: Taking inspiration from the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism, this book discusses how to let go of the things we can’t control. In doing so, we can change how we view obstacles in our path and learn to be empowered by them.

Favorite Quote: “All great victories, be they in politics, business, art, or seduction, involved resolving vexing problems with a potent cocktail of creativity, focus, and daring. When you have a goal, obstacles are actually teaching you how to get where you want to go—carving you a path. ‘The things which hurt,’ Benjamin Franklin wrote, ‘instruct.’”

Read This if You: Struggle to move forward in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems.

13. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

In a Nutshell: Michael Lewis explores how the general manager of the Oakland Athletics developed a strategy to win in the Major Leagues with one of the smallest budgets across all Major League Baseball teams. The short answer? Statistical data.

Favorite Quote: “There was but one question he left unasked, and it vibrated between his lines: If gross miscalculations of a person’s value could occur on a baseball field, before a live audience of thirty thousand, and a television audience of millions more, what did that say about the measurement of performance in other lines of work? If professional baseball players could be over- or undervalued, who couldn’t?”

Read This if You: Want to learn more about how making data-driven decisions can fuel the success of your organization.

14. The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World by John Elkington, Pamela Hartigan

In a Nutshell: This book looks at a new breed of entrepreneurs—disruptive, “unreasonable” people who challenge traditional practices to solve global problems.

Favorite Quote: “Being unreasonable is not just a state of mind. It is also a process by which older, outdated forms of reasoning are jettisoned and new ones conceived and evolved.”

Read This if You: Want to feel inspired by and learn from the individuals shaping the world and its markets.

15. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

In a Nutshell: This long-time favorite presents a principle-centered approach to solving personal and professional problems. It reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and dignity. These principles give us the sense of security we need to adapt to change and take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. 

Favorite Quote: “We began to realize that if we wanted to change the situation, we first had to change ourselves. And to change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.” 

Read This if You: Want to open your eyes and mind to different perspectives on approaching the challenges we all experience. 

16. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

In a Nutshell: Learn practical strategies that will teach you to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to success. 

Favorite Quote: “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”

Read This if You: Want to overcome a lack of motivation, change your environment to encourage success, and make time for better habits.

17. The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team With Positive Energy by Jon Gordon

In a Nutshell: Discover 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward-thinking mindset that leads to success. This powerful roadmap can help readers overcome adversity to bring out the best in themselves. 

Favorite Quote: “Every crisis offers an opportunity to grow stronger and wiser: To reach deep within and discover a better you that will create a better outcome.”

Read This if You: Want to go on an enlightening ride that reveals the tips you need to approach life and work with optimism, enthusiasm, and purpose. 

18. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycleby Emily Nagoski PhD, Amelia Nagoski DMA

In a Nutshell: This book explains why women experience burnout differently than men and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a happier life. 

Favorite Quote: “We thrive when we have a positive goal to move toward, not just a negative state we’re trying to move away from.”

Read This if You: Feel burned out, overwhelmed, or exhausted by the responsibilities in your life and need a roadmap to take back control.

19. The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage into Self-Mastery by Brianna Wiest

In a Nutshell: This book discusses the importance of stepping out of your way and into your full potential by overcoming self-sabotaging behaviors. Learn what it takes to do the deep internal work to understand your brain and body better.

Favorite Quote: “Self-sabotage is what happens when we refuse to consciously meet our innermost needs, often because we do not believe we are capable of handling them.”

Read This if You: Feel motivated to overcome the obstacles you’ve set in front of yourself and develop a deeper sense of self-awareness.

20. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes

In a Nutshell: This book teaches a more skillful way to deal with people, including techniques to nail your first impression, master small talk, and more.

Favorite Quote: “Great posture, a heads-up look, a confident smile, and a direct gaze. The ideal image for somebody who’s a Somebody.”

Read This if You: Are looking for ways to strengthen your interpersonal relationships, make lasting impressions, and walk into any room with more confidence.

Add These Must-Read Books to Your Next Reading List

To prioritize continued learning at your organization, select a book, decide how often you’ll meet, draw up discussion guides, and get ready to engage in conversations that strengthen the collective know-how of your team.

Article Sources

  1. “Joseph Addison Quotes,”, Brainy Media Inc, last modified 2023,
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