Photograph by Michael Chini for Fortune Magazine

Our scouting report on this season's most anticipated titles.

By Anne VanderMey
September 18, 2014

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

Peter Thiel—the co-founder of PayPal, first investor in Facebook, and famed contrarian—shares lessons from his 18 years as a venture capitalist, hedge fund manager, and builder of billion-dollar companies. You won’t agree with everything, but you’ll see the business world through new eyes. (see excerpt here)

 


The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

Walter Isaacson's "The Innovators."

by Walter Isaacson

The mega-bestselling biographer of Steve Jobs takes a long view of the Internet revolution. Starting with the first computer program (written by a woman in the 1840s), the book profiles the people and the teams that brought us into the modern technological era (see excerpt here).


Open Secret: The Global Banking Conspiracy That Swindled Investors Out of Billions

by Erin Arvedlund

Remember the Libor scandal? (Who could forget?) From one of the first journalists to voice skepticism about Bernie Madoff comes a new look at the crisis’s other mind-boggling injustice: the largest price-fixing scandal in modern history—and the relatively small group of people who created it.


The Shifts and the Shocks: What We’ve Learned—and Have Still to Learn—From the Financial Crisis

by Martin Wolf

Elite incompetence? Check. Macroeconomic trends destabilizing the global financial system? Check. Ticking time bombs? Also check. The influential Financial Times columnist’s new book (out on the sixth anniversary of the crisis) has it all, plus a look at why recovery could still be a long way off.


Crazy Is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags

by Linda Rottenberg

CEO of a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs primarily in emerging markets, Rottenberg pens an ode to the mad ones. Her organization, Endeavor, has coached 948 would-be business leaders (and says it has helped create 400,000 jobs). These are Rottenberg’s takeaways from 17 years of mentoring.


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

by Atul Gawande

The more we know about end-of-life care, the clearer it is that more medicine isn’t always better medicine. The New Yorker staff writer, practicing surgeon, and professor at Harvard Medical School tackles one of his profession’s (and perhaps humanity’s) most difficult questions.


Winners Dream: A Journey From Corner Store to Corner Office

by Bill McDermott with Joanne Gordon

This is not your typical exec: The CEO of the $22 billion German software giant SAP paid for college by buying (at age 16) and running a Long Island deli where he had worked part-time. His book of leadership stories and lessons has drawn fans from Jack Welch to Bono.


World Order

by Henry Kissinger

To invade or not to invade? The consummate realist statesman offers a look at the search for world order at a time when it seems as though there’s little order left. At the venerable age of 91, the former secretary of state presents both an examination of the past (including details from his own talks) as well as prognoses for the future.


All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid

by Matt Bai

The photo was too good not to run: the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for President in 1987 with a 29-year-old model in his lap. Bai, the former chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and current Yahoo News columnist, argues that the ensuing media frenzy set the standard for the ones to come.


Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business

by Gene Simmons

The only time it’s acceptable to take advice from someone in Kabuki makeup and a metal-plated codpiece is when he’s sold more than 20 million albums and has 10 platinum records. And let’s not get started on the thousands of Kiss licensing deals Simmons helped bring to the band.

This story is from the October 6, 2014 issue of Fortune.

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