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Top 10 Hottest None Fiction Books Of 2017

Top 10 Hottest Non-Fiction Books of 2017

It was a year full of crazy political antics, and the top titles reflect the focus of the world during 2017. Find out what was going through Hillary Clinton’s mind while debating with Trump, learn more about the impact of war and climate disasters, plus see a glimpse behind the curtain of people’s private battles. Here’s our pick of the best published books in 2017.

Best Non-fiction Books to Learn More About Life and People

#10 The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown

The Vanity Fair Diaries

With a bit of an autobiography flair, Tina shares stories about her experience as editor of a world famous glamour magazine. She recalls what it was like being a journalist in the glitzy 80’s, rubbing shoulders with all the who’s who in New York City. Her journey started with a conversation with Si Newhouse, the owner of Conde Nast, in 1983. She secured a job at Vanity Fair, kicking off her exciting career. Later she moved over to The New Yorker, steering the editorial direction of yet another influential publication.

Also listed in the Top 10 Biographies of 2017

#9 The Evangelicals by Frances Fitzgerald

The Evangelicals

Religious and political views have been intertwined for centuries. Currently the continued support for Roy Moore baffles many observers. If you are fascinated with the journey evangelicalism has taken over the years, including its collision with politics, this book will shed some light on the behind the scenes intricacies of the religious movement. Frances explores the relationship between the Christian right and Republican Party, which has been developing for a few decades now. The two have become so meshed, it is hard to tell where the one ends and the other starts.

#8 The Meaning of Michelle by Veronica Chambers

The Meaning of Michelle 2

The anthology was published a few days before the Obamas departed from the White House. Veronica, an author and journalist, edited the poignant essays. Even with the seemingly delay in publication, this book is still very relevant. Contributors include Ava DuVernay, Roxane Gay, Hamilton star Philippa Soo, New York’s First Lady Chirlane McCray and more. The famous first lady’s life is explored in detail. From her marriage, to the big cultural impact of being the first African-American First Lady.

#7 Blind Spot by Teju Cole

Blind Spot

Teju combines two of his passions in this beautifully designed book. His photography and writing entwine to create a delightful book of poetry. You will want to keep the gorgeous cloth-bound book close at hand for inspiration, long after you’ve finished reading it.

#6 Hunger by Roxane Gay

Hunger- A Memoir of (My) Body

How does it feel to live in an oversize body? What kind of issues do you have to deal with, personally and publicly? This brutally honest book tells the story of Roxane’s life, from a horrifying moment that would forever change her life, to the moments years later that forced her to deal with the trauma. As a 12-year-old girl she was gang raped, with the incident causing ripple effects that would haunt her for years to come. She shares her experiences with body image and weight issues. Currently she is one of the most famous feminists.

Also listed in the Top 10 Biographies of 2017

#5 The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

The Rules Do Not Apply

It all started with a personal essay, written in 2013. “Thanksgiving in Mongolia”, was published in The New Yorker and Ariel won the National Magazine Award for the popular essay. Years later she expanded the essay and created an engaging memoir. It confronts many truths that women deal with on a daily basis. The conundrum of control and choice is tackled. Women are demanding to be heard, acknowledged. But sometimes it still feels as if the universe does not care about the demands.

#4 Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

Homo Deus- A Brief History Of Tomorrow

Yuval, an Israeli historian, grapples with big issues in this thought-provoking book. He attempts to answer the question “What is next for humankind?” Diving into humanitarian and ethics philosophies, he explores this complex pondering. Yuval is recognized by forward-thinkers like Bill Gates, who regularly recommend his books to other openminded readers.

#3 Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon- The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. After reading this book, you will feel indignant about how it ends. As if an injustice had not been properly avenged. But this is no story – it’s American history. David retells the mysterious systemic killings of the Osage tribe of Oklahoma. They became wealthy from oil holdings in the Midwest. But this wealth put a target on their heads, slowly prominent members of the tribe were murdered one by one.

#2 We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

We Were Eight Years in Power- An American Tragedy

Ta-Nehisi created a collection of columns for The Atlantic, and in this book,  he explores the themes dealt with in these pieces in more detail. Eight pieces of writing during the Obama presidency, are re-examined from the viewpoint of living under the current Trump presidency. The fresh material added is both historical and personal.

#1 What Happened by Hillary Clinton

What Happened - Hillary Clinton

She was part of one of the most controversial, unpredictable presidential elections in history. And more than half of America (and the rest of the world) was wondering what went on in her head on the 9th of November 2016. The book is written in an open and honest way, answering the question that was on everyone’s lips that day. It’s reflective and truly a piece of modern history. She became the first woman nominated for president by a major party. The election was rife with sexism, rage, and plenty of unexpected twists. Find out what it was like to compete against an opponent who adamantly broke all the rules.

Top 10 Biographies and Autobiographies of 2017

Top 10 Autobiographies and Biographies of 2017

We all love a good story, and a true-life story makes for a much better read. We have gathered the best autobiographies and biographies of 2017 for you. Be inspired by the journeys of ordinary people, achieving the extraordinary.

#1 The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler

The Book of Forgotten Authors

The mysterious title immediately draws you in. Learn about 99 writers, mostly English-speaking, who were famous about 50 years ago but now no one remembers them. Their stories will draw you in and make you want to hunt down their books. Learn about Pierre Boulle, an engineer turned author, writing Planet of the Apes and Bridge Over the River Kwai. Or Pamela Branch, writing her second novel in 1951, The Lion in the Cellar. She included an intriguing character – a drunken bartender, who has a phantom marmoset perched on his shoulder. It’s the perfect gift for bibliophiles! If you’re bored with all the popular authors, read this book to discover some hidden gems from yesteryear.

#2 Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table by Stephen Westaby

Fragile Lives

This book will keep you on the edge of your seat, rooting for the patients on the table, hovering between life and death. Stephen recalls 35 years of working with hearts needing mending at Oxford’s John Radcliffe hospital. When there were no suitable donor organs available, he challenged death by transplanting special artificial hearts to give desperate patients a second chance. He’s famous for saying “bugger protocol” and doing whatever it took to keep his patients alive. He also renamed medical directors “the Stasi”. Stephen’s memoir will give you a new appreciation for the behind the scenes of the medical world.

#3 I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell

I AM, I AM, I AM

Having one brush with death is terrifying, having multiple ones throughout your life definitely changes your perspective on life. Maggie’s stories will sound almost made up, but this is her life story. Recounting her experiences will give you a bigger sense of the fragility of life. As a 45-year-old woman, in good health, she has an immense gratefulness for still being alive. Maggie battled encephalitis as an eight-year-old girl. Next, as teenager she had a close call with a creepy stranger on a hilltop, later discovering that he was in fact a murderer who preyed on another girl.  And as an adult she lived through the experience of a being stuck in an aeroplane plummeting to earth. Her stories will make you more aware of the fine balance between living oblivious of death around the corner and unexpectedly having your flame snuffed out.

#4 Ravilious and Co: The Pattern of Friendship by Andy Friend

Ravilious & Co.: The Pattern of Friendship

Eric Ravilious was a British artist, living from 1903 to 1942. His forward-thinking artworks of England’s southern landscapes bought a modernist sensibility to the art world. Eric mainly created woodcuts and watercolours. His group of arty friends included Peggy Angus, Enid Marx, Percy Horton, and Edward Bawden. He gathered great artistic minds around him at the Royal Academy in the 1920’s. Under the watchful eye of Paul Nash, this group of talented young artists were tutored to challenge the gap between art and design. They created functional art including beautiful book jackets, patterned papers and fabrics, as well as illustrations. The book includes images of their stunning creations.

#5 Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown

Ma'am Darling- 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret Book

Princess Margaret is described as “a nightclub burlesque of her sister” by Craig. The two sisters had very different approaches to life. The princess enjoyed smoking and challenging the polite society she was surrounded by. The book includes tales of the princess acting rude at a royal dinner party, snapping at servants, and making a cruel comment to a stranger without first finding out why the man was walking a bit strangely. Craig is a satirist and his style breaks away from the typical biographical form. He adds little counterfactual sections such as the princess marrying Jeremy Thorpe, a Liberal party leader. Or the moment the princess sulked because she had to deliver the Christmas broadcast. The series of little cameo moments will show you a different side of living as a royal.

#6 Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

Hunger- A Memoir of (My) Body

Reading an autobiography is a way of placing yourself in the shoes of someone else for a moment. It challenges you to think outside of your own world perspective, in turn examining your own life in the process as well. Roxane, a black American woman of Haitian descent, weighed 260kg at her heaviest. She describes what it feels like in such a body – constantly feeling breathlessness, uncomfortable, and dealing with chafing. She had to deal with people staring at her appalled and throwing jeering sneers in her direction. Why did she let herself become so excessively overweight? Roxane was gang-raped when she was 12 years old. Her reaction to the horrifying incident, was to make herself as unattractive as possible, almost creating an invisible and invulnerable shield against the male gaze. This brutally honest book talks about the Fat Acceptance Movement and describes other little incidents in the everyday life of an obese person, like waitresses assuming that she was longing for the clammy touch of strangers.

#7 The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich

The Unwomanly Face Of War

This book originally dates back to being published in Russia in the 1980’s. But the authorities did not appreciate the explicit details it shared. It has been restored to its original glory, as well as expanded, translated into English by Richard Pevear. The republication comes a century after the Russian Revolution. Svetlana specifically deals with “The Great Patriotic War”, lasting from 1939 to 1945. Read testimonies of Soviet women who rushed to the battlefield to serve in various roles – from nurses, to snipers. The women rolled up their sleeves to assist against the fascists invasion. Svetlana is a Nobel literature prize-winner and this brilliantly insightful book showcases her writing talent in its full glory.

#8 In an Odyssey: A Father, a Son and an Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn

An Odyssey - A Father, A Son, And An Epic

What happens when a classics professor and his elderly father participate in the same undergraduate class on Homer? Daniel, with his Bronx background, is highly opinionated on the so-called Greek heroes. According to him Telemachus was a sissy who constantly cried, while Odysseus was busy cheating on his wife. But the class sets the scene for another complicated story. It was the catalyst for Daniel to evaluate his own volatile relationship with his father. The two men undertake their own Mediterranean-themed journey, facing issues in their relationship.

#9 The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist by Marcus Rediker

The Fearless Benjamin Lay - The Quaker Dwarf

This book is a great micro-history of one small (literally, he was only about four-foot tall) man’s actions against the majority. Marcus explores how this feisty little man challenged those around him to reassess their world perspective. Benjamin Lay was a 18th-century British-born Quaker living in Philadelphia. He pointed out to his fellow sect members that they were being hypocrites, preaching about the principle of brotherly equality, but then keeping slaves. Marcus recalls how he made his point, loud and clear, going so far as to throw a pig bladder filled with blood at his fellow religionists. According to Marcus, this man was most likely the most radical human being of the 18th century, challenging the American society to rethink their values.

#10 The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 by Tina Brown

The Vanity Fair Diaries

It was the big-spending, no-taste Reagan years. And Tina offers you a glimpse at what it was really like on the inside of one of America’s most popular fashion magazines. As editor of Vanity Fair magazine, she had seen it all. The British journalist offers readers the inside scoop, recalling memorable moments and people she rubbed shoulders with in New York City. Quite a few of the people she talks about, have passed away. This gives her the opportunity to be brutally honest about who they were. A few she mentions, are still alive and well. Most likely a few feathers were ruffled with the publication of this book.

Top 10 Self Help Books Of 2017

Top 10 Self Help Books of 2017

If only life came with a manual… We are all stuck in it together, figuring things out as we go along. Luckily there are some people out there who are willing to grapple with some of the usiuig life questions we all have.

And 2017 produced a few very insightful books – from handling your finances and making career choices, to navigating relationships. We’ve collected the best ones for you to choose from.

#10 The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

The-Little-Book-Of-HyggeThe little Danish word has created a worldwide buzz. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), is a Scandinavia word meaning “togetherness and well-being, a sense of comfort”. The Danes have been at the top of the annual World Happiness Report since its inception in 2013. They are always in the top five and was nominated as the world’s happiest people three times.

So, what’s their secret? Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, delves into the various factors that create the high life satisfaction in Denmark. He’s been given the title of the world’s happiest man, so his writing reflects his personal life philosophy.

#9 Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness

Peak-PerformanceEver wondered if there’s a formula for success? Stulberg, a health and human performance writer, combined strengths with Magness, a performance scientist and Olympic coach. Together they have dissected success, approaching it from a scientific angle.

If you want to up your game, sidestep burnout and thrive in life – follow the new scientific success methods. The dynamic team explores principles that are universal and can be applied to various aspects of professional life. The book combines scientific research with real life stories from the lives of top performers from across the world.

#8 Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening by Manal al-Sharif

Daring-To-DriveWe all enjoy a great motivational story, and sometimes one person’s story has the power to transform the world. Manal al-Sharif decided in 2011 to go for a little drive, and to post her trip online. The twist in the tale? She lives in Saudi, where it’s against the law for a woman to drive.

By broadcasting her daring law-breaking stunt, she encouraged other women to follow in her footsteps and revolt against unnecessary suppression. In this memoir she gives outsiders a look into her life. She recalls how education and determination gave her the power to stand up for herself, and in effect all silenced Saudi women.

#7 Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss

Tools-Of-TitansTim Ferriss has nicknamed himself a “human guinea pig”. He has interviewed more than 200 experts from a variety of industries, gathering habits that lead to a successful life. On his podcast show he asks big questions about daily life such as “how do you start your day?” and “what’s your favourite inspirational book?”.

The creator of the other popular self-help book “The 4 Hour Workweek” is passionate about delving into the inner workings of success. This New York Times Bestseller will tell you the daily habit secrets of celebrities, military commanders, scientists, world class athletes, and other inspirational icons.

#6 Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

PrinciplesRay Dalio is described as the “Steve Jobs of Investing”, with a great rags to riches story. He started out as a middle class Long Islander and climbed the corporate ladder to now being on the Time’s “100 Most Influential Individual in The World” list.

He started his investment company in his apartment. Now it is one of the most successful businesses in his industry. In this book he explains the beliefs and rules that helped him to firstly survive and thereafter thrive in the business world.

#5 Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven

Make-Your-BedUnited States Admiral William H. McRaven delivered one of the most famous graduation speeches on May the 17th, 2014. It now has over 10 million views on YouTube. Addressing the students of the University of Texas-Austin, McRaven highlighted ten principles that changed his life during his Navy Seal training.

He believes that there are certain personal qualities that are crucial for success in life including compassion, honour, courage, and determination. In this book he elaborates on these principles by colouring them in with stories from his military career and personal life.

#4 The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The-Power-Of-MomentsMeaningful life experiences influence our well-being in a profound way. Many people believe that happiness is linked to material wealth and professional success. But there is now increasing scientific research proof that indicates memorable moments are more powerful.

There is a lot of merit in gathering life-affirming experiences. This book will show you how to create your own extraordinary moments, to consistently transform your daily life into a more happiness-filled experience.

#3 The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis

The-Undoing-ProjectIn the 1970’s Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, two Israeli psychologists, changed the way the world looked at human decision-making. Their ground-breaking studies exposed the problematic impact that cognitive biases have on our abilities to make wise choices.

The dynamic duo paved the way for behavioural economics, influenced the medicine world to rely more on evidence-based research, and challenged many industries to start depending more on big data and algorithms. Lewis investigates the unlikely friendship of these two men, and sheds light on the workings of the unreliable cognitive mechanisms affecting the decision-making process.

#2 A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival by Melissa Fleming

A-Hope-More-Powerful-Than-The-SeaHearing stories of people conquering circumstances that seem unconquerable, always warms the heart. But this remarkable tale will also motivate you to look deep into your own heart and assess your worldview.

Melissa Fleming is the chief spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She shares the amazing journey of Doaa Al Zamel, a Syrian refugee. Doaa was only 19 years old when she was stranded at sea for four days with two baby girls, 6 and 9 months old. The September 2014 Mediterranean shipwreck claimed almost 500 lives.

#1 Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Option-BSometimes life doesn’t work out the way we planned, throwing us an unexpected and unwanted curveball. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), experienced this when her husband passed away unexpectedly while exercising.

With the help of world famous psychologist, Adam Grant, Sheryl managed to overcome this tragedy. His evidence-based advice offered her a way to constructively deal with the aftermath of the unfortunate life circumstances she had to face. In this book you will hear more about her story and how she resurfaced on the other side, ready to face the world again. Learn how to rediscover joy, even when you think it’s not possible.

Top 10 Business Books 2018

Top 10 Must Read Business Books for 2018

The first term of 2018 is almost done and it’s time to reassess whether you are on track for the year. If you feel that you need to make a few tweaks to your business strategy, we’ve gathered a list of 10 books that can assist you.

It’s always refreshing to hear someone else’s perspective on the same things that you are going through. Read these for inspiration to end 2018 with a bang.

#1 Cryptocurrency: Advanced Strategies and Techniques to Learn and Understand the World of Cryptocurrency by James C. Anderson

Cryptocurrency-BookCryptocurrencies are becoming more popular by the minute and they are taking the business world by storm as well. Early investors who saw the potential of this new wave of technology can now boast about becoming self-made millionaires before the rest of the world sat up and took notice.

If you want to learn more about the technicalities surrounding cryptocurrencies, this book will take you beyond the basics. In-depth questions are tackled such as why it has any value. Explore the behind the scenes of this breakthrough technology and its impact on modern economy. Other aspects discussed in the book include the growth and effect on finance and the big question is tackled – is it sustainable in the long run?

Who should read this book: People bored with conventional investment strategies and those who want to explore a different way of making money that will also slowly change the world.

#2 When to Jump: If the Job You Have Isn’t the Life You Want by Mike Lewis

When-to-Jump-If-the-Job-You-Have-Isnt-the-Life-You-WantMike Lewis founded the When to Jump project. The book outlines the four basic steps of the “Jump Curve”. It draws from the experiences of a wide variety of individuals who took the plunge and followed their dreams.

If you feel that you are a crossroad with your career, this book will inspire you to take the plunge and pursue your true passion. The conundrum lies between sticking to financial security or living your dream. The stories of people who have successfully transitioned into their dream jobs will give you hope to do the same. Mike recently won the “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” Goldman Sachs accolade.

Who should read this book: People stuck at an office desk, busy reading this post, wondering “what am I doing with my life?”

#3 Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

Crushing-It-How-Great-Entrepreneurs-Build-Their-BusinessExplore the journey of influencers and entrepreneurs that steered away from the typical career path and created their own path, building successful businesses. Gary is a four-time New York Times bestselling author. He hopes that this book will inspire business women and men with dreams of pursuing their true passions.

The book offers a unique perspective on pursuing success, as well as principles that can be followed to reach a new career level. It contains stories of people who have followed the principles and achieved success. Gary also investigates social media platforms to show how technology can be harnessed to build a brand presence for any type of business.

Who should read this book: People who see themselves as go-getters, on the lookout for something new to get involved with, even if it’s not all about the financial gains.

#4 The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by Scott Galloway

The-Four-The-Hidden-DNA-Amazon-Apple-Facebook-GoogleWe all use them every day – to buy, share our thoughts, and answer all our questions. But have you considered the real power of these 21st century technology giants? The book questions our daily interaction with these formidable entities that have entwined themselves with our everyday lives, becoming almost unmissable.

Scott is a big name in the business world, in this book he deconstructs each giant, scrutinizing their strategies and business methods. After reading more about the inner workings of each company, you will be able to apply the principles to your own business venture.

Who should read this book: We all either love or hate these companies, but everyone is curious about how they became so successful. Learn their secrets now!

#5 Business for Bohemians: Live Well, Make Money by Tom Hodgkinson

Business-Bohemians-Live-Well-Make-MoneyThe renowned journalist combines all his know-how about tax returns, cash flow forecasts, and other business-related topics in this informative book. He offers practical advice to aspiring business people, adding applicable anecdotes to provide a unique viewpoint on creating more freedom in your career.

Whatever your business dream, after reading this book you will be equipped with the skills needed to take your talent and turn it into a viable business. Tom navigates the reader through various aspects of a successful business such as using Excel and social media effectively, negotiation with clients and suppliers, and much more.

Who should read this book: People who want to remain true to themselves and not fall into the trap of becoming entrenched in the corporate lifestyle.

#6 The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, by Brian Merchant

The One device Book iPhoneThe first iPhone was launched 29 June 2007, and since then billions of people around the world have jumped on the technology bandwagon that changed our communication forever. The success story behind one of the most profitable products ever invented, remains fascinating. How did one person succeed to create such a powerful tool, reinventing how we view human contact?

In this book the veteran technology journalist explores the huge cultural impact of the iPhone. He shares insight from exclusive interviews with a wide variety of people involved in the creation process – from inventors and engineers, to developers. Find out more about the creation process of the little device that made a huge impact on the world.

Who should read this book: People who love nitty-gritty tech details, finding out more about what makes things tick. And for those fascinated with Steve Jobs, wanting to learn the secret to his success.

#7 Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change, by Ellen Pao

Reset-Fight-for-Inclusion-Lasting-ChangeShe might not have won her case against the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, but it became an extremely high-profile case in America. In this book, Ellen recounts her experiences and struggles in Silicon Valley.

The book traces her journey through the hub of the technology sector. Facing various levels of discrimination, from gender to culture bias, this feisty woman still managed to make her mark in the business world. The book was shortlisted for the acclaimed FT/McKinsey award.

Who should read this book:  People supporting the #TimesUp campaign, agreeing that the time has come for a change of perspective on gender and other discriminations in the business world.

#8 Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, by Sheelah Kolhatkar

Black-Edge-Inside-Information-Dirty-Money-Quest-to-Bring-Down-the-Most-Wanted-Man-Wall-StreetIt seems that a new billionaire financier pops up almost every month, but how exactly did they make so much money? The Wall Street legend Steven Cohen had his hedge fund of $15billion investigated for insider trading. He was found guilty of using “black edge”, or illegal inside information. It was his secret to beating the market.

The fund was indicted, and he pleaded guilty to the charges of wire fraud and securities. He had to pay an estimated $2billion in criminal and civil fines. Although his company was torn apart, he was never personally charged. Despite this, the Hedge-Fund King was allowed to start trading again beginning 2018. This book investigates the grey areas of the world’s wealthiest communities and uncover exactly how the wealth was acquired.

Who should read this book: People who enjoyed The Wolf of Wall Street, wanting to learn more about the journey of a fraud to a successor.

#9 High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Burchard

High-Performance-HabitsHabits are part of our daily lives. We all have a few good ones and a few we would rather not admit to having. Brendon became fascinated with the role habits play in the lives of successful people. He has spent close to 20 years asking questions to determine how a person moves from ordinary to extraordinary.

He asked three questions to find habit patterns. Firstly, why do some people become successful quicker than others, and how do they maintain the success? Secondly, from the successful individuals, why are some still unhappy with their lives? Thirdly, what motives people to strive towards success, and what do they do to continually improve their lives? From all the feedback he gathered, he discovered six habits that will change your life.

Who should read this book: People who want to succeed and are not afraid to put in the hard work.

#10 The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Upstarts-How-Uber-Airbnb-Killer-Companies-New-Silicon-Valley-Changing-WorldWould you like to share a ride with a stranger? How about crashing on their couch for a night or two? These sound like foreign concepts, until you realise the first is a definition of Uber and the second Airbnb. Strangers are now united by a common cause.

Both companies challenge our concept of communicating with strangers, our perception of travel, and general social integration. The book investigates the people behind these revolutionary technology concepts. How did they come up with the business ideas? Learn more about how the companies were conceptualized and grew into world-wide success, and how they are challenging our world views.

Who should read this book: People who were first hesitant about the invasion of app technology, but now can’t imagine everyday life without it.

google-search-engine-optimization

Top 3 Ways Search Engine Optimization Can Help Your Business In 2018

Search engine optimization can help your business in so many ways. As you discover the many benefits of SEO, you will find that they branch out and continue to help grow your business in more ways than you can imagine. Let’s examine the many ways that you can count on search engine optimization as a site owner.

Increased Organic Traffic

In general, increased organic traffic is the main goal of SEO and of course the biggest benefit to your online business. To realize this benefit and achieve the overall goal, you are going to have to take an all-inclusive approach to search engine optimization. That doesn’t mean that you try every strategy in the book. What it does mean, however, is that you incoporate the best SEO strategies in relation to what’s trending, what’s best for your business and of course, what works.

Local Seo Tips

Local SEO

Do you own a small brick and mortar business? The reason why I ask is because search engines have taken a certain approach in today’s world that benefits small businesses immensely. Local SEO is the name of the game, and it helps you further index your site with the search engines. It makes sense in this day and age because more people are performing local searches. You can imagine that not only will this trend continue, but more and more changes will take place, changes that we aren’t yet even thinking about.

With local SEO being such a large trend, it deserves attention and points to small businesses benefiting even more from search engine optimization efforts moving forward. Location specific searches are increasingly common, e.g. SEO company Cape Town, and so local SEO is increasingly important and can pay huge dividends. This makes this benefit of SEO for business owners one of the primary focal points in 2018.

Conversion Rates

You can drive traffic to your site through advertising efforts, but you can’t beat search engine optimization. It is a form of marketing that will find clicks getting better conversion rates than any other form of advertising. Why? It’s because people are looking for you, not the other way around. That simple statement speaks volumes about why organic traffic through search engine optimization is important to your business.

While you might want to pay to have the work done on some levels, the conversion rates for organic traffic through SEO sure pay off. Not only that, but those results pay dividends for quite some time. Yes, you have to maintain your position with the search engines, but once you get there, you are there and can just continue to build your online business.

Trust & Credibility

Trust and credibility are two terms that speak volumes about your brand. Do people trust your brand? Do they see your business as credible? Better SEO for your site is going to mean that your company shows up prominently in search results for various niche specific keywords. When you show up in those results regarding what people are searching and are interested in, well, that gives your brand trust and credibility with the public.

Keep in mind that there is no instant gratification when it comes to SEO. You are going to have to build a long-term strategy, and you might also need a little help. Just remember to keep your eyes on the prize, and one day those numbers for organic traffic will surprise you. You do need to know what you are doing, so you are going to have to come up with a solid plan regarding SEO for your business. Again, if you need help, there are experts out there waiting to lend a helping hand.

You have just read an article that only taps into a small portion of what’s to come. You are going to continue to unpack benefit after benefit as you put a plan into motion for optimizing your site and its content. SEO also helps improve the user experience, and that is certainly something you need to be thinking about in 2018. As you start getting ready to tackle SEO on a larger scale, remember that you can’t do it all at once. Be diligent, but be patient, take your time and work on real solutions.

search-engine-optimization-business

Business Books

The Top 4 Best Business Books Of 2017

If you are someone that is in business, you are going to want to be sure to consistently read up on the different business books in the industry. This is particularly true if you are looking to become a better business person. There are so many different books out that can give you little gems of knowledge that you wouldn’t have gained otherwise. Below, we will be going over some of the benefits that you are going to get from reading the top 4 business books of 2017.

Benefits Of Reading The Top 4 Business Books Of 2017:

1. Learn From Mistakes.

One of the major advantages you are going to be able to get from reading the best books in 2017 is the ability to learn from mistakes. Being able to learn from other people’s mistakes when it relates to business is absolutely crucial. You want to be able to learn from others mistakes because when it comes to business, mistakes can be costly. Not having to bear the burden of having to deal with the mistakes on your own can help make you a much better business person without costing you much more than the actual cost of the book itself.

2. Learn New Concepts.

Another good thing that you are going to get from reading the top business books in 2017 would be the ability to learn new concepts that you normally wouldn’t be able to learn without the books to guide you. Reading new books that come out can teach you about new findings and concepts that can help you gain a better understanding on how the markets work and how things work in business today. Being able to keep up with new concepts is crucial when it comes to achieving success in business.

3. Learn New Strategies.

Another good thing about reading books about business in 2017 would be the ability to learn new strategies that are constantly coming out. This is especially true in the digital age. Knowing about the new strategies that are effective in today’s digital marketplace is key to being able to actually achieve results. Without learning new strategies, you are not going to be able to keep up with the dynamics involved in the marketplace. Being able to learn the new strategies that come out and how to implement them is key to having success.

Overall, there are a lot of different reasons you are going to want to keep up with the latest releases. While reading older business books can also give you tremendous insight, by focusing a lot on new releases, you will be able to learn new concepts and strategies which might be on the newer side of things and apply to new technologies or social medias. This is the best way to keep up with the changes going on in the marketplace and making yourself as prepared as possible to face them and adapt to them.

In order to get the latest books, you are going to want to figure out the best way to acquire them. There are plenty of different ways you can consume books and theoir repective content nowadays. Whether you listen to the books via an audio subscription or you look to read them, you should be able to have numerous ways to get the content that you want, the way that you want it. Audible is a great option for those that are looking to get books in audio format. That way, you can effectively absorb the content from books while doing things that wouldn’t normally allow you to read.

Our Top 4 Business Book of 2017 are:

‘The Four’ by Scott Galloway

The Four Book

‘The One Device’ by Brian Merchant

The One device Book iPhone

‘Pause’ by Rachael O’Meara

Pause Book

‘The Spider Network’ by David Enrich

The Spider Network Book

Learn more in our Top 10 Business Books of 2018 so far.

Microsoft Logo

Life Is Better With Microsoft

Technology has come a long way since it started. Remember how a few megabytes of storage was a wardrobe size computer to put all the data in the 1980’s and the computer was just in its infancy that you have to enter certain codes to use its basic functions. And during those times acquiring these gadgets are next to impossible. Other than they are very expensive, they are also inaccessible to the public. And how people have to buy physical tapes to listen to the newly released music. Internet was also a difficult subject to comprehend until in the 2000’s when it became bearable. Soon, there was Google that made searching something from the internet more convenient and then there were handheld devices that have several different apps from playing various games to finding your way to an unknown location. But how did it all started? How can technology move from entering codes and switching all the buttons on a machine to get a result to ordering pizza with just one push of a button?

microsoft

Altair BASIC

Microsoft is a company that dedicated itself to invention and innovation of manufactured goods and services related to computing. It is founded by best friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The two were computer geeks that were committed to their crafts. In January 1975, Paul Allen read an article about the Altair 8800. Remember, this was considered as a computer but unlike the computers today, Altair 8800 was basically a machine with a lot of switches and buttons. Bill Gates and Paul Allen contacted MITS to offer to them their services. They offered to create a program that would be easy for people to use using a keyboard. It was an interpreter for the program so that the keyboard would be the main controller for this computer. And MITS was not wrong to employ Gates and Allen as they were able to make the software called the Altair Basic. It was simpler and easy to understand and does not need a computer geek to really use it. MITS agreed to distribute and market the product. Thus, inspired the two friends to create their own software company. On April 4, 1975, Microsoft was born and on November 26, 1976, it was registered to the secretary of state of New Mexico.

The Start of the Great Career

In 1980’s, there was a race among companies that centers in technology. IBM or the “Great Blue“, as popularly known, was in the action and was hell-bent to put their names in the history of invention and innovation. IBM had a lot of competitors and the company was ready to put their invention to the market.  Having established its hold in the market, IBM came with a complete 16-bit operating system from Microsoft which is the Microsoft Disk Operating System 1.0 (MS-DOS 1.0) as the IBM PC operating system. MS-DOS is a single-user, single-tasking computer operating system that uses a command line interface. Microsoft, seemingly makes things easier than any other software that was available on the market. From then on, Microsoft became the software giant and dominated the market. From a 16 million dollar revenue in 1981 to over $97 million in 1984, the mark that they made was surely seen. This was also bolstered by the introduction of Microsoft Word in 1983 which was recognized as one of the first “what you see is what you get processors.” Microsoft continues to rise up their innovation as they released Windows version 1.01 in 1985 which prompted the use of the mouse more often than it should. And from then on, Microsoft continues to surpass every expectation.

Today, we see these inventions and use them more often. From Microsoft Word to the Xbox everything is an invention and innovation of Microsoft. Thanks to Microsoft, life becomes easier for all of us.

What Is IBM (International Business Machines)?

IBM, an acronym for International Business Machines, is one of the largest information technology companies in the world. They offer a range of software, hardware, and services in the IT world.

Nicknamed “Big Blue,” IBM started as a hardware company that dominated that sector for decades as the top producer of mainframe computers. The company shifted from hardware to focus on software and offering services. IBM transitioned in the 2010s to focus on other sectors like cognitive computing and cloud-based services.

The company’s biggest offering in the cognitive computing industry has been the IBM Watson cognitive system.

Although IBM is still a big player in the IT world, it has never regained the dominance it once had in its mainframe heyday. As of the third quarter of 2016, it had experienced 18 quarters of consecutive declines in revenue, just as it was shifting into new lines of business and new technologies. The revenue in 2015 was $81.7 billion, as opposed to the $106.9 billion it garnered in 2011.

Early on, IBM was known for the punched card, which was invented by Herman Hollerith, who was part of the CTR Company (Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company). CTR was a conglomeration of three companies that sold time recording devices, store scales, and tabulators. When CTR brought on Thomas J. Watson as the general manager, Watson built up the company into what eventually became known as International Business Machines.

IBM first introduced its System/360 mainframe computer in 1964, which would eventually become the industry standard for large business computers. In 1974 IBM debuted Multiple Virtual Storage (MVS), which has remained the backbone of IBM’s mainframe OS for over 40 years. The IBM z/OS—the company’s current iteration of z Systems mainframes—can trace its origins back to the MVS.

The System/360 and subsequent models were so popular that IBM enjoyed an incredible market advantage. But competitors entering the market, such as Amdahl Corporation and the corporations known as the “BUNCH” companies (Burroughs Corporation, UNIVAC, NCR Corporation, Control Data Corporation, and Honeywell), challenged IBM’s hold on the marketplace.

To further complicate matters, IBM faced the enormous challenge of the midrange systems known as minicomputers, which were cheaper and aimed at the smaller departments within larger companies.

In the early 1970s, punched card machines began to be replaced by interactive display terminals like the IBM 3270. When Apple II arrived on the scene in 1977, personal computers gained popularity, which only grew with the introduction of similar machines from Tandy Corporation and Commodore International.

IBM finally introduced the IBM Personal Computer in 1981 and quickly became the business standard. But IBM-compatible PCs soon followed from vendors like Compaq, and when IBM chose the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS) as the operating system for the IBM PC (with the PC clone vendors the following suit), Microsoft eventually dominated the PC software segment.

Late in the 1980s, IBM introduced the Unix workstations platform to its hardware catalog, and in the 1990s, the AIX, OS/2, OS/400, and MVS where the core platforms at IBM. The company also restructured its operations, but due to some of the large expenses in the restructuring, such as funding early retirements and shutting down some production lines, in 1992 the company showed a $5 billion loss.

Management consulting and IT outsourcing became an integral part of the IBM services and acquired PwC Consulting in 2002 for $3.5 billion. In 2011 IBM shifted once again to focus on cloud computing platforms and cognitive solutions and acquired infrastructure service provider SoftLayer Technologies Inc. in 2013.

In the fall of 2016 IBM’s Bluemix platform was introduced, incorporating SoftLayer’s cloud products and services into IBM’s growing portfolio of services, offering competition to Google, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services.

The IBM Watson supercomputer, the company’s flagship cognitive computer, combines analytical software with artificial intelligence, which allows customers to perform such functions as embedding their applications with cognitive computing components. IBM also offers products that have cognitive abilities built in, such as the IBM Watson Analytics for Social Media and the IBM Watson Internet of Things Platform.

Today, IBM is no longer in the microelectronics manufacturing business, since it sold that operation to GLOBALFOUNDRIES in 2015.

Instead, Big Blues’ research and development are focusing on the research into quantum computing, the blockchain, and cognitive technology. It also is investigating semiconductor research as well as chips that can support big data systems and cloud computing.

Overview Of Alibaba And Jack Ma

Jack Ma was born Ma Yun, a person that became a very powerful business magnet in China that became the founder of the Alibaba Group. This is a company that is representative of several successful Internet businesses that originated in China. Born in Hangzhou, China, he took college entrance exams which were very difficult for him to pass. Eventually received a BA in English in 1988 and subsequently earned another degree at the Cheung Kong business school in 2006. Although this may seem impressive, none of this actually led to the success that he obtained in his life. His primary focus was finding a way to make money on the Internet. Part of this was driven by the fact that he was denied work after applying to over 30 different locations, often being told multiple times that he simply wasn’t good enough. It was in 1994 that he first heard about the Internet, and from this brief introduction, he went on to create Alibaba.

Jack Ma’s Path To Online Success

His first interaction on the Internet in 1994 was to create a website about China, something that he could not find any information about with his initial searches. In 1995, he and his wife asked different people for a total of US $20,000 to create a business where he would create websites for different companies. The company was called the China Yellow Pages, and within three short years, he was able to generate nearly US $1 million. All of this was accomplished without writing a single line of code for the websites that were created, nor did he actually make a single sale. He then shifted gears, creating an information technology company, but by 1999, he decided to raise 500,000 yuan to go a different direction. He created Alibaba.

The Success Of Alibaba

He was able to take this company to high levels of profitability as a result of an additional $25 million in venture capital money from investors that saw the potential in this business. He was going to provide advertising, a platform where people could advertise products that they were selling on a global scale. He was initially offered a substantial amount of money from eBay to purchase the company, but decided to decline. Instead, he worked with cofounder Jerry Yang, a cofounder of Yahoo, with an investment from this company totaling $1 billion. Since that time, at least as of 2014, he was able to raise $25 million. He did so by taking the company public, creating an IPO, one that can be found on the New York Stock Exchange. This was at the time the largest initial public offering ever made in the US for a company. He now serves as the executive chairman of this company which is officially called Alibaba Group. It is also a company that has nine major subsidiaries, and the company itself has generated over 1 trillion yuan in transactions since 2012. After that, he became the owner of several other companies and in 2017 spoke with Pres. Donald Trump about helping to create a million jobs for the United States in just five years. This is an incredible success story, based on the belief of one man that he could use the Internet to generate substantial amounts of wealth by doing nothing more than providing a platform that people around the world could use to sell products.

In conclusion, Jack Ma became one of the most successful entrepreneurs in China, if not the entire world, despite having met incredible obstacles. After being told for years that he had no skills whatsoever, he defied all logic by becoming one of the most successful people in the world. It is this desire to prove people wrong that led him to become successful, realizing that he only needed to provide something that people all needed to use. By targeting commercial and industrial companies that were selling products, he allowed them to have a platform on a global scale by which to improve their businesses. There are always going to be success stories, but the ones that are the best are those that are the result of hard work and vision. Despite his humble beginnings, Jack Ma is now regarded as one of the most entrepreneurial individuals to have ever made his mark on the world by creating an Internet based business.

How Jeff Bezos Started Amazon

Amazon started as an online bookseller and has grown to become a behemoth of an online retailer, carrying virtually every product that is possible to ship to homes.

Reaching into every sector, founder Jeff Bezos has taken over the eBook industry, the home shopping industry has made inroads in the tablet industry, and has plans to move into many more, with fresh food delivered to homes and goods transported by delivery drones.

How did this Internet mega-company begin?

Jeff Bezos, a high school valedictorian and computer science and electrical engineering graduate of Princeton, originally wanted to start his own company. Instead, he joined a Wall Street startup company. In 1988 he again wanted to start his own company but took another position with a Wall Street company.

Six years later in 1994, Jeff Bezos was 30 years old and had a job working on Wall Street in New York City. His life-changing moment came when he read a statistic that web usage in early 1994 was growing exponentially at a rate of 2,300 percent per year. This jaw-dropping statistic told Bezos that the internet had incredible growth and income potential, and he decided to quit his job, move to Seattle, and start his own internet company.

He pondered what type of business might perform the best in light of that kind of industry growth. He made a list of 20 products that he thought were ideal for internet sale, and chose books, for their low cost and universal appeal.

Bezos turned to his parents for his initial funding. Despite his father not knowing what the internet was, both parents hopped on board with the plan and handed over $100,000 of their personal savings. This, even though Bezos warned them that there was a 70% chance they’d lose their investment. They would later invest another $145,000.

Bezos initially called his company Cadabra, but within 3 months he decided to change the name because over the phone it was too often mistaken for the word “cadaver.” The company was renamed Amazon.

Although Amazon ran ads that implied Amazon had huge warehouses full of books, in the beginning, it was just Bezos working in his garage, ordering books after customers ordered from him, then hand-packing the books himself and shipping them out to customers.

In 1995 amazon.com raised 8 million dollars in capital from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Amazon went public at $18 per share in 1997, for additional funding. The investment by the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers firm resulted in an astounding 55,000 percent return on investment.

By 1999 Time Magazine named Jeff Bezos as “Person of the Year” for pioneering the dramatic popularity of online shopping.

Over the years, the corporate giant has assimilated more than 44 companies, including Tony Hsieh’s Zappos in 2009 via a stock swap and the Washington Post in 2013.

Jeff Bezos credits his company’s stubbornness with its success. Despite taking three tries to get third-party sellers on Amazon to work, he never gave up. That determination has paid off well, as today Amazon is one of the best-known internet companies in the world.

How Did Google First Come To Be?

Today Google is one of the most known names in the world, however, it wasn’t always that way. In fact, not even 20 years ago Google wasn’t even a thought. However, most people don’t know how Google got started, how it can inspire them to reach for their own dreams, and how Google has managed to stay on top for so long. The real story is truly amazing and shows that sometimes a good idea is all that you need.

While attending University at Stanford University, two students had an idea to make a search engine that would connect the world. They started it as a research project, to see if they could improve upon existing search engines. They felt that if they could invent a better algorithm that they could produce better search results. However, the project was only supposed to be on a small scale, used to demonstrate their ideas.

Once they saw that they were right, they began to work on it more and more over time. They specifically created their algorithm to collect more information, even when they weren’t online, and to keep learning from itself. This meant that within a few months of its creation, Google was actually out pacing the other search engines that had been in business for years. It was delivering better results, finding results faster, and actually being able to sort results by relevance, rather than displaying them in the order that they were submitted.

Like many tech start-ups, once it moved from the servers of the school that it was developed within, it was hosted and work on in a garage. This brings it in line with companies like Microsoft and Apple, both of which enjoyed inventive periods in garages that did not belong to the founders.

After the engine had begun to perform well under stress, it was time to take it wide. However, to do this they needed investors, and they needed more bandwidth than they currently had. Thankfully, they found support among many of the elite within silicon valley, with companies seeing the possibilities that this search engine could offer to their companies. It took a little under a year to get enough funding and enough shareholders to truly open the Google that we know and love today.

They slowly started hiring employees, bringing them on board with their algorithm and benefiting from the ideas of many different people in relation to the search engine. This is also when they began to realize that Google could branch out and use the information that they had collected to create new and better solutions to other software that was already in use.

Over the next 10 years, the company began to offer e-mail services, messaging, information for advertisements that paid more than anyone else, and search results that could not be beaten. Their slow ascent to kings of the internet was not complete until the beginning of the 2000s, but their name was quickly becoming a household name.

Over time they shifted their focus to improving other technologies such as maps, communication, spreadsheets, and more. Their entire company has been focused around the idea of taking something that people already use and making it better. Creating solutions that keep the most relevant information in the hands of everyone who works in a given industry and opening up products to people who would otherwise not be able to access them.

Google started from a small idea, to improve upon something that already existed. They have kept true to their ideals, and this idea is one that can help others succeed as well.

8 Things You Did Not Know About Apple

If you are a fan of Apple products, you probably believe that you know everything there is to know about the company. Chances are, you know far less than you think. Here are eight random facts that most people do not know about the technology giant.

1. The screen that is on the iPad device is not made by Apple at all. This was actually created by Samsung. This means that they pay a company to help them create a product that they are in direct competition with.

2. You can find Apple Stores all over the world, but many of the ones in China are counterfeits. There have been about two dozen stores that were closed down for being frauds. While many employees are aware that the store is not genuine, there are some who actually believe they work for Apple Inc.

3. Smoking near your computer can void the warranty. If you bring in your unit to get repaired by someone at an Apple Store, there is a huge chance that service may be refused. The company also voids warranties when the unit is clearly showing smoke damage and/or residue.

4. Their first laptop was invented in 1989. This was much earlier than many people believe. Not only did it weigh in at more than 16 pounds, but you could not get your hands on one for less than $6,000. This is probably why no one ever heard of them.

Whether you believe it or not, there are people out there who love this system and they have tinkered around with it. Some users have actually found a way to have these devices access the Internet.

5. Everything you say to Siri gets sent to the company, so you should probably think before you speak. The information is analyzed and stored. They have not been clear about why this is stored, but there has been no evidence that this data has been used in a legal case or anything like that.

6. No one is sure about why the logo depicts an apple that has already been bitten. There are a couple of theories out there, but the founders have never offered any explanation for it. The initial logo was a rainbow, which was chosen to point out the fact that the Apple computers that were available early on would display an array of colors.

7. Steve Wozniak is still considered an employee of Apple. While he does not have to report every day like everyone else, he is considered an official employee. He receives more than $100,000 from the company every year. Basically, he gets a great salary without having to clock in and do any work.

8. The original computer offered by the company was priced at $666.66. This may sound a little devilish to some, but there was actually some logic behind this. Apparently, Jobs felt like this price was very easy to type. It was also considered a round number that could be remembered with ease.

These days you can buy some systems for far less than that. On the flip side, there are others that cost more; they offer a wide range of products.

Now that there are so many people out there who use Apple products, you are certainly not in the minority. The best way to make yourself stand apart from all of the people who are out there buying the same products would be for you to have some hidden knowledge. Having all of these facts available can help you do just that.