The 15 New Books to Read in 2015

Start the New Year with fresh ideas to improve your work and yourself.

There are few better ways to start a new year than picking up some fresh perspectives to put into action. Here’s a sneak preview of 15 exciting books on business and behavior that will hit the shelves in the first half of the year. I’ve had the pleasure of reading eight of them so far. If the other seven are half as good, we’re in for a treat.

1. How to Fly a Horse by Kevin Ashton (January 20)

The innovator who coined the “internet of things” solves many of the mysteries of invention. He argues persuasively that creativity is more often the result of ordinary steps than extraordinary leaps.

2. Getting to Yes With Yourself by William Ury (January 20)

In life, the most difficult negotiations are the ones we have with ourselves. One of the masterminds behind the classic Getting to Yes sheds light on how we can reach more satisfying and successful agreements with the person in the mirror.

3. Bold by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler (February 3)

The bestselling authors of Abundance team up again to explore the technology, psychology, and social capital behind exponential entrepreneurship: creating wealth and improving the world. It’s based on insights from Diamandis’s experience building the XPRIZE, Singularity University, and more than a dozen tech companies—and the likes of Bezos, Branson, Musk, and Page.

4. Yes, And by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton (February 3)

The geniuses at Second City comedy show how they’ve used the principles of improvisation to help Fortune 500 companies boost innovation and collaboration, professional athletes cope with stress, and compliance trainers inflict less boredom. They offer a rich set of practical exercises for the office… and the dinner table.

5. The XYZ Factor edited by Nancy Lublin and Alyssa Ruderman (February 3) exists to “help young people make the world suck less,” and it exudes creativity and generosity. Each chapter is written by a staff member, covering different ways to invigorate Millennials and spread their energy across and beyond an organization.

6. Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra (February 10)

Against the current of advice to be authentic and transparent, a great scholar examines the dangers of being true to yourself. Instead of thinking first and then acting, this important book illuminates how leaders can gain “outsight” by learning through experiences and experiments.

7. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin (March 17)

The beloved author of The Happiness Project reveals the hidden truths about how to change our habits—from resisting junk food and hitting the gym to ending procrastination and saving money. One worthwhile habit is to read a chapter every night.

8. Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock (April 7)

Google’s head of HR takes us behind the curtain to challenge our fundamental assumptions about how to interview, hire, recruit, motivate, evaluate, reward, develop, promote, and retain people. It’s a captivating, data-driven book on achieving sustainable productivity, remarkable innovation, and a genuine sense of community—and an inspiring, actionable vision for transforming the future of work.

9. Surprise by Tania Luna and LeeAnn Renninger (April 7)

I’ve always loved the element of surprise, but it wasn’t until reading this charming book by a pair of leading surprise experts that I fully understood why—and how to bring more of it into my life and the world.

10. No One Understands You and What to Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson (April 14)

This is a codebook for deciphering one of the grand riddles of life: why don’t others see us as we see ourselves? A renowned psychologist charts the path to making a better impression on others while maintaining a sense of integrity.

11. The Eureka Factor by John Kounios and Mark Beeman (April 14)

Two neuroscientists take us on a vigorous voyage inside the mind to understand those electrifying but elusive moments of discovery—and how we can have them more often.

12. The Road to Character by David Brooks (April 21)

Attention, Tiger Moms and Lombardi Dads: the thoughtful, provocative New York Times columnist tackles how we can develop our moral senses.

13. Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith (May 19)

A sought-after executive coach confronts the challenges of behavior change. Following up on the success of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Mojo, he looks at what causes resistance and where we can intervene.

14. The Misfit Economy by Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips (June 16)

Can we learn something about innovation and entrepreneurship from pirates and gangsters? Two futurists, trained in economic history and political economics, go underground and off the books to see what we’ve missed in focusing on the usual suspects of Silicon Valley.

15. Clay Water Brick by Jessica Jackley (June 23)

The virtuoso entrepreneur and investor who co-founded Kiva, everyone’s favorite micro-lending platform, shares uplifting stories and compelling lessons from social entrepreneurs who do the most with the least.