The top 10 business books of 2019

With the year rapidly winding down, it’s a good time to check out the Vancouver Public Library’s roundup of 2019’s top business books. Find them for free at


Hockey Fight in Canada by David Shoalts


Do you remember when they replaced Ron MacLean with George Stroumboulopoulos on Hockey Night in Canada? Moments like this – along with analysis of how the world of sports broadcasting and culture have changed – make this a fascinating read for business and sports fans alike.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff

People often say that they value their personal information, but their actions just as often betray the truth that convenience trumps privacy. Shoshana Zuboff’s book examines how the protection of our personal information and freedom are at stake in the new world of corporate and governmental surveillance.

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

We are living in a data-driven world, and everyone should read this book to understand the biases that are built into much of the research underlying public policy and medical research.

Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It by Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik

The Challenger disaster. Pharmaceutical dosing errors. Deaths on Everest. These and other disasters, big and small, happen when large, complex systems and small human errors combine. Meltdown explains their causes, and suggests ways we can mitigate the factors that lead to them.

Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

Some beliefs in the business world are taken as gospel truth – for example, the idea that employees want constant feedback on their performance, or that strategic planning is necessary. This thought-provoking book tackles these and more with convincing and highly readable arguments.

24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week by Tiffany Shlain

Tiffany Shlain proposes taking a day off from digital devices each week. In an “always-on” culture, this practice helps you to reset and regain perspective.

Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art by Michael Shnayerson

If you’ve ever shaken your head in disbelief at the auction prices of modern art, this account of the wild world of art dealing will show you how a small group of shrewd dealers and artists created the phenomenon of the super-rich art collectors and stratospheric prices.

The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth by Amy C. Edmondson

Amy C. Edmonson explains why the best and most successful organizations create an environment in which staff feel safe to speak openly. With this engaging read, Edmonson provides a blueprint on how to nurture candour.

Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard

Koch Industries is the second-largest privately owned company in the U.S., and its CEO, Charles Koch, is often invoked for his political influence. Over the course of seven years, Christopher Leonard penned this meticulously researched and surprisingly entertaining book.

Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen by Rita McGrath

Recognizing and acting on technological and societal changes before they become commonplace is essential to businesses of all sizes. This book provides strategies and advice to help business owners predict and react to the fast-changing world. •