Business books usually fall into two category: how-to or biographical.
In how-to books, the author may or may not be an entrepreneur.
Biographical books most frequently are written by someone (and,
perhaps, their ghostwriter) who has built a successful business and
tells the story of the inception and growth of that undertaking.
Biographical books also may share advice, but often have the added
advantage of being inspirational. After all, hardly anyone writes this
kind of book to tell a story about how they got an idea for a business
and found themselves rolling in success the next day. Personal
narratives may not always involve overcoming enormous obstacles, but
they have the added advantage of being told from personal perspective
and offer the author/entrepreneur’s insights into those events that
shaped the business.
Winner Takes All by Christina Binkley is a well-written account of how
modern Las Vegas was shaped by three very different entrepreneurial
thinkers. Terrific storytelling because the story’s so good.
Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson shares lessons learned by
this adventurous entrepreneur. You don’t have to build a global empire
to apply what he’s learned to your business.
Small Giants by Bo Burlingham is an exploration of companies that
chose to be great instead of big.
The Perfect Store by Adam Cohen. Even though a lot has happened since
this book was published, it’s an amazing tale of the humble beginnings
Hershey by Michael D’Antonio is the fascinating story of Milton
Hershey of chocolate fame who was also an ahead-of-his-time social
In Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner is a
highly entertaining account of the surprising birth and growth of
Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See not only offers advice on the
nuts and bolts of writing, but also insights into the interior life of
A Sense of Place with Michael Shapiro is a collection of interviews
with people, including Bill Bryson and Rick Steves, who turned their
love of travel into a writing career.
Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland is a story I can read
again and again. Genuinely inspiring example of how a positive vision
impacts positively. Strickland chornicles his journey from inner city
teen without direction to founder of an enormously successful training
Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus is the wildly inspiring story of
the birth of micro-lending and the lives that were changed by helping
the poor create their own enterprises.