Here are the best selling business and investing books from Amazon.com:
- The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
- Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
- Getting Organized in the Google Era: How to Get Stuff out of Your Head, Find It When You Need It, and Get It Done Right by Douglas Merrill and James A. Martin
- The Devil’s Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers by Vicky Ward
- Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis
- StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now, Discover Your Strengths by Tom Rath
- Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
- Bank On Yourself: The Life-Changing Secret to Protecting Your Financial Future by Pamela Yellen
By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Famed investor Sam Zell, who made his fortune in commercial real estate, is part of the same billionaire genus as Rupert Murdoch and Bill Gates. Most people tend to view him as either a hero or a tyrant, with very little middle ground in between. This controversial figure has been in the headlines quite a bit over the past couple of years after he bought the Tribune Co. (which owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times) and sold the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field (which were owned by the Tribune Co.).
(Disclosure: My wife worked at the Zell-owned Equity Residential for about a year, and even met the guy once at an office Christmas party. He also has an office in the Tribune Tower, which I’m looking at through the window of NAR headquarters as I’m typing this. Sometimes we wave to each other from across the street. OK, I made that last part up.)
Anyway, there’s little doubt as to whether Ben Johnson, author of Money Talks, Bullsh*t Walks: Inside the Contrarian Mind of Billionaire Mogul Sam Zell, falls into the superstar or villain camp. His book about Zell’s rise to power and navigation of complex business deals frequently borders on hero worship (though, to be fair, this is toned down somewhat as Johnson recounts the Tribune deal).
Is Zell a wildly successful businessman because of his inimitable, analytical mind, or because of his doggedness and determination? That’s the kind of conundrum that Johnson seems to present to the reader throughout the book — rather than, for instance, how can someone who is such a fierce competitor hate actual competition so much? (Zell is quoted as saying, “The best thing to have in the world is a monopoly … I’m more than willing to leave all the rest of the highly competitive world to everyone else.” It would be like Tom Brady saying, “I love winning Super Bowls, but I hate playing football.”) Continue reading »