Media Spotlight: Top books of the year

Managing stress at work

Stephen Evans-Howe

Do threats and a major hair-drying from your boss improve your performance or turn you into a jibbering wreck?

If it is the latter then Managing Stress at Work by Stephen Evans-Howe is the book for you although it is more of a practical guide than something to whiz through to pass the time.

As Evans-Howe points out early on, stress is not necessarily a bad thing. But for anyone for whom it is a problem, or someone concerned about its negative effect on staff, this book is definitely
a good place to start. 

On Strategy

Harvard Business Review 

“Is your company spending too much time on strategy development – with too little to show for it?” booms the marketing blurb on the back of On Strategy.

Well, if that sounds like your company, this book provides ample food for thought.

Comprising 10 essays by experts in the field of strategy, the sections range from a precise definition of strategy to how to turn a good strategy into an excellent performance and the secrets to impressive execution. 

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Robert Kiyosaki

Most of us fantasise about becoming fabulously rich but how would you make that dream a reality?

According to Robert Kiyosaki in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it is financial literacy that differentiates the poor and middle classes from the wealthy. He argues that the only way we can turn money into sustained wealth is by educating ourselves about finance, primarily from an accounting point of view by splitting everything we buy into assets and liabilities.

The Lean Startup

Eric Ries 

If you have spent most of your working life fully employed, at some point you have probably thought about setting up on your own.

With the mortgage market picking up again, perhaps you are thinking of doing so right now. If so, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is a must-read.

The entrepreneur and author of a blog called Startup Lessons argues that fear of failure puts many people off starting their own business and his book aims to reduce the chances of it all going wrong. 

Quiet

Susan Cain

Why do most societies set more store by people who are brash, confident and loud than those who lean towards introspection?

This question lies at the heart of Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, which examines why society tends to value extroverts over introverts. Characteristics of both personality types are analysed, including the underlying biology, and readers can take a test to determine their own tendencies.

Cain explores the rise of the extrovert ideal and examines the make-up of charismatic leaders.

I am the Secret Footballer

Anonymous

The Secret Footballer column has run in The Guardian for more than two years and, as the name suggests, is written by an unknown footballer. Huge debate surrounds his/her identity.

I Am The Secret Footballer combines an anonymous autobiography with an in-depth analysis of British football from a player’s perspective.

Over 10 chapters, the author covers everything from tactics and bad behaviour to fans, agents and money.