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Announcing the 2023 Inc. Non-Obvious Business Book Awards Longlist!

For the past several months our team at Non-Obvious has been quietly devouring all the books that have come in as submissions for our annual book awards program. It’s always a magical time to have so many books coming in every day and to see just how diverse the topics happen to be.

This year’s selections for the Longlist are our widest range of titles yet, from another hugely competitive year. We considered more than 1000 books published this past year (our award window runs from 11/01/22 to 10/31/23) and our 100 top books range from more than 60 different publishing imprints and authors from all over the world.

In our curated list below – you’ll read about everything from the future of disability to life lessons from a master carpenter. You will get advice on living from an obituary writer, take a deep dive into pockets, discover how parking shapes the world, see why we need to protect bookstores and tour the underappreciated world of Afrofuturism.

These are just a handful of the books on our Non-Obvious Longlist and they are all the books you didn’t know you need to read. The full list is below, along with a few useful links for you to discover more about our awards, methodology and even browse some of the wonderful past winners of our book awards program over the last eight years.

The 2023 Inc Non-Obvious Book Awards Longlist

  1. A City on Mars – Can we settle space, should we settle space, and have we really thought this through? | Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith
  2. Afrofuturism – A History of Black Futures | Kevin M. Strait, Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Kevin Young and Vernon Reid
  3. Against Technoableism – Rethinking Who Needs Improvement | Ashley Shew
  4. Awaken Your Genius – Escape Conformity, Ignite Creativity, and Become Extraordinary | Ozan Varol
  5. Back to the Futures – Crashing Dirt Bikes, Chasing Cows, and Unraveling the Mystery of Commodity Futures Markets | Scott H. Irwin and Doug Peterson
  6. Big Bets – How Large-Scale Change Really Happens | Dr. Rajiv J. Shah
  7. Black Founder – The Hidden Power of Being an Outsider | Stacy Spikes
  8. Breaking Free – The Lie of Equality and the Feminist Fight for Freedom | Marcie Bianco
  9. Build a Better Business Book – How to Plan, Write, and Promote a Book That Matters. A Comprehensive Guide for Authors | Josh Bernoff
  10. Building – A Carpenter’s Notes on Life & the Art of Good Work | Mark Ellison
  11. Centered – People and Ideas Diversifying Design | Kaleena Sales
  12. Clear Thinking – Turning Ordinary Moments into Extraordinary Results | Shane Parrish
  13. Code to Joy – Why Everyone Should Learn a Little Programming | Michael Littman
  14. Crossings – How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet | Ben Goldfarb
  15. Do/ Interesting/ – Notice. Collect. Share. | Russell Davies The Do Book Co.
  16. Doppelganger – A Trip into the Mirror World | Naomi Klein
  17. Emotional Labor – The Invisible Work Shaping Our Lives and How to Claim Our Power | Rose Hackman
  18. Encounterism – The Neglected Joys of Being in Person | Andy Field
  19. Everyday Dharma – 8 Essential Practices for Finding Success and Joy in Everything You Do | Suneel Gupta
  20. Excellent Advice for Living – Wisdom I Wish I’d Known Earlier | Kevin Kelly
  21. Extremely Online – The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power on the Internet | Taylor Lorenz
  22. Fool Me Once – Scams, Stories, and Secrets from the Trillion-Dollar Fraud Industry | Kelly Richmond Pope, CPA
  23. For the Culture  – The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be | Dr. Marcus Collins
  24. Generations – The Real Differences Between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and Silents―and What They Mean for America’s Future | Jean Twenge
  25. Happiness Is Overrated – Simple Lessons on Finding Meaning in Each Moment | Cuong Lu
  26. Hidden Genius – The secret ways of thinking that power the world’s most successful people | Polina Marinova Pompliano
  27. Hidden Potential – The Science of Achieving Greater Things | Adam Grant
  28. How Big Things Get Done – The Surprising Factors That Determine the Fate of Every Project, from Home Renovations to Space Exploration and Everything In Between | Prof. Bent Flyvbjerg & Dan Gardner
  29. How to Make Money – A New, Honest Guide to Starting and Building a Six-Figure, Successful Business | Nafisa Bakkar
  30. How to Protect Bookstores and Why – The Present and Future of Bookselling | Danny Caine
  31. How to Think Like a Woman – Four Women Philosophers Who Taught Me How to Love the Life of the Mind | Regan Penaluna
  32. How to Work with (Almost) Anyone – Five Questions for Building the Best Possible Relationships | Michael Bungay Stanier
  33. How Work Works – The Subtle Science of Getting Ahead Without Losing Yourself | Michelle Penelope King (PhD)
  34. I Hope You Fail – Ten Hater Statements Holding You Back from Getting Everything You Want | Pinky Cole
  35. Knowing What We Know – From the First Encyclopedia to Wikipedia | Simon Winchester
  36. Look – How to Pay Attention in a Distracted World | Christian Madsbjerg
  37. Magic Words – What to Say to Get Your Way | Jonah Berger
  38. MCU – The Reign of Marvel Studios | Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales and Gavin Edwards, Marvel Entertainment
  39. Misbelief – What Makes Rational People Believe Irrational Things | Dr. Dan Ariely
  40. Mixed Signals – How Incentives Really Work | Uri Gneezy
  41. More Numbers Every Day – How Data, Stats, and Figures Control Our Lives and How to Set Ourselves Free | Micael Dahlen and Helge Thorbjørnsen
  42. NFTs Are a Scam/ NFTs Are the Future – The Early Years: 2020-2023 | Bobby Hundreds
  43. Nobody’s Fool – Why We Get Taken In and What We Can Do About It | Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris
  44. On Being Unreasonable – Breaking the Rules and Making Things Better | Kirsty Sedgman
  45. Once Upon a Tome – The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller | Oliver Darkshire
  46. Ordinary Notes | Christina Sharpe
  47. Outrage Machine – How Tech Is Amplifying Discontent, Undermining Democracy, and Pushing Us Towards Chaos | Tobias R.
  48. Outsmart Your Brain – Why Learning is Hard and How You Can Make It Easy | Daniel T. Willingham Ph.D
  49. Paved Paradise – How Parking Explains the World | Henry Grabar
  50. Pockets – An Intimate History of How We Keep Things Close | Hannah Carlson
  51. Poverty, by America | Matthew Desmond
  52. Quiet Street – On American Privilege | Nick McDonell
  53. Radical Inclusion – Seven Steps to Help You Create a More Just Workplace, Home, and World | David Moinina Sengeh
  54. Reimagine Inclusion – Debunking 13 Myths To Transform Your Workplace | Mita Mallick
  55. Right Kind of Wrong – The Science of Failing Well | AMY C. Edmondson
  56. Saving Time – Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock | Jenny Odell
  57. Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future – The Case For an Ecological Food System and Against Manufactured Foods | Chris Smaje
  58. Selfless – The Social Creation of “You”| Brian Lowery
  59. Size – How It Explains the World | Vaclav Smil
  60. SLAY the Bully – How to Negotiate with a Narcissist and Win | Rebecca Zung
  61. Soul Boom – Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution | Rainn Wilson
  62. STFU – The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in a World That Won’t Stop Talking | Dan Lyons
  63. The Anxious Achiever – Turn Your Biggest Fears into Your Leadership Superpower | Morra Aarons-Mele
  64. The Canceling of the American Mind – Cancel Culture Undermines Trust and Threatens Us All―But There Is a Solution | Greg Lukianoff and Rikki Schlott
  65. The Case for Good Jobs  – How Great Companies Bring Dignity, Pay, and Meaning to Everyone’s Work | Zeynep Ton
  66. The Coming Wave – Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century’s Greatest Dilemma | Mustafa Suleyman and Michael Bhaskar
  67. The Defiant Optimist – Daring to Fight Global Inequality, Reinvent Finance, and Invest in Women | Durreen Shahnaz
  68. The Four Workarounds – Strategies from the World’s Scrappiest Organizations for Tackling Complex Problems | Paulo Savaget
  69. The Future is Disabled – Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs | Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
  70. The Future of the Responsible Company – What We’ve Learned from Patagonia’s First 50 Years | Vincent Stanley and Yvon Chouinard
  71. The Golden Screen – The Movies That Made Asian America | Jeff Yang
  72. The Identity Trap – A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time | Yascha Mounk
  73. The Long View – Why We Need to Transform How the World Sees Time | Richard Fisher
  74. The PARA Method – Simplify, Organize, and Master Your Digital Life | Tiago Forte
  75. The Perennials – The Megatrends Creating a Postgenerational Society | Mauro Guillén
  76. The Power of Empathy – A Thirty-Day Path to Personal Growth and Social Chang | Michael Tennant
  77. The Power of One – How I Found the Strength to Tell the Truth and Why I Blew the Whistle on Facebook | Frances Haugen
  78. The Power of Saying No – The New Science of How to Say No that Puts You in Charge of Your Life | Vanessa Patrick
  79. The Power of Wonder – The Extraordinary Emotion That Will Change the Way You Live, Learn, and Lead | Monica Parker
  80. The Problem of Twelve – When a Few Financial Institutions Control Everything| John Coates
  81. The Real Work – On the Mystery of Mastery | Adam Gopnik
  82. The Right Call – What Sports Teach Us About Work and Life | Sally Jenkins
  83. The Second in Command – Unleash the Power of Your COO | Cameron Herold
  84. The Song of Significance – A New Manifesto for Teams | Seth Godin
  85. The Status Revolution – The Improbable Story of How the LowBrow Became the Highbrow | Chuck Thompson
  86. The Teachers – A Year Inside America’s Most Vulnerable, Important Profession | Alexandra Robbins
  87. The Theory of Everything Else – A Voyage Into the World of the Weird | Dan Schreiber
  88. The Wisdom of the Bullfrog – Leadership Lessons Made Simple (But Not Easy) | William H. McRaven
  89. Turnaround Time – Uniting an Airline and Its Employees in the Friendly Skies | Oscar Munoz
  90. Unmasking AI – My Mission To Protect What Is Human In A World of Machines | Joy Buolamwini
  91. Upshift  – Turning Pressure into Performance and Crisis into Creativity | Ben Ramalingam
  92. Walking with Sam – A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain | Andrew McCarthy
  93. What Is ChatGPT Doing … and Why Does It Work? | Stephen Wolfram
  94. When Race Trumps Merit – How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives | Heather Mac Donald
  95. Win Every Argument – The Art of Debating, Persuading, and Public Speaking | Mehdi Hasan
  96. Working to Restore – Harnessing the Power of Regenerative Business to Heal the World | Esha Chhabra
  97. You Will Own Nothing – Your War with a New Financial World Order and How to Fight Back | Carol Roth
  98. Your Brain on Art – How the Arts Transform Us | Susan Magsamen & Ivy Ross
  99. Your Face Belongs to Us – A Secretive Startup’s Quest to End Privacy as We Know It | Kashmir Hill
  100. Yours Truly – An Obituary Writer’s Guide to Telling Your Story | James R. Hagerty
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#1 WSJ & USA Today Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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