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Best selling business/investment books November 2010

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Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon, Julie MacIntosh

For those following hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson’s moves, you’ll remember he took a long position in $BUD.  This book, written by an FT journalist, describes how InBev took over one of the most iconic American brands, Budweiser.

This book is a great story about a contested corporate take over, reads like a good mystery and is ultimately a somewhat sad tale about globalization engulfing a core product from a foregone era in America.

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, Osterwalder and Pigneur

This book is a lot of fun compiling the views of over 400 leading consultants and companies — the result is a handbook for visionaries.

It’s a handy book for startups trying to create viable business models as well as for entrenched companies looking for new markets and revenue streams for their products.  Really chock-full of ideas within a powerful framework that serves as building blocks for all biz models.

It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, Capt D. Michael Abrashoff

Oh yeah, what a great window into the brain/life/experience of the captain of the USS Benfold.  This is the story of a man who realized success would come from being a better leader, not manager, and shows how he struggled to communicate his message, build trust, and focus on results.

It’s really an autobiography of the growth of a leader and that’s fine with me.  I like the way Abrashoff rolls and it’s a useful case study for corporate and entrepreneurial types.

Debunkery: Learn It, Do It, and Profit from It-Seeing Through Wall Street’s Money-Killing Myths, Ken Fisher

Ken Fisher is a machine, one of the most successful Investment Advisors, managing over $30B.  He seems to pump out a book a year at this point and I have to say, they’re alright.

Debunkery is about unearthing truths, overturning common but widespread market untruths, myths and misperceptions about investing.

Just short of recommending loaded mutual funds, Fisher wants investors to be cognizant of the behavioral biases that they have that make them subpar investors.

The Art of Choosing, Sheena Iyengar

Prominent social psychologist Iyengar begins her unique book by telling the story of a man who survived for 76 days stranded alone in the middle of the ocean.  Like Life of Pi (but real).

Well researched, this book is strong in its cross-cultural analysis into the differences in decision making.  The book somewhat lacks enough take-away value at times but provides a broad overview into much of the author’s research and teachings.

There are a ton of real life examples used in the book and like Ariely or Thaler, the book does a good job describing the excitement of cutting-edge experimentation into behavioral economics and the mind.

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