Category: Ideas

The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of 2022 | The Non-Obvious Book Awards Longlist



It’s mid-November and this time of year means one thing for our team over here at Non-Obvious Company … it’s Book Awards time! This year we considered a record number of titles for our awards (more than 1000 books from publishers of all sizes) and narrowed the list to our selections for the top 100 non-fiction books of the year which made the Non-Obvious Book Awards Longlist. Our choices are a diverse set of titles that talk about everything from zoning cities to speaking with whales.

The honorees feature the very best ideas and writing of the year. On December 1st at 11am we will announce our 10 Shortlist selections and top 5 books of the year in a livestream broadcast of my Non-Obvious Book Review Show.

For now, congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to all the authors and publishers who submitted books – the choices for which ones to include were harder than ever this year!

How Are Books Chosen?

We consider every aspect of a book, from its writing and quality of the ideas to the originality of the work. We are, of course, looking for “Non-Obvious” ideas above all. What this means to us is a concept or way of thinking that we haven’t seen before. Something uniquely interesting and useful. An idea that makes us think. Read more about how our awards work and our selection process >>

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing reviews of the selected (Read more...)

Magazines Create Empathy That Can Change the World. Here’s How To Save Them.



“The print magazine is an antidote to information overload, a form of media that contains a finite amount of content, releasing readers from the laborious task of deciding what to consume in the limited spaces of time in a day.”

Magazines are my favorite media. I read an ode to the power of the printed word in magazines this week and it reminded me of all the things I love about them. The process of curating this email is a constant battle to avoid overload, and I find that magazines always help. Unlike a lot of online content, the stories and images in magazines are usually professionally produced by real talented editors and creators. The long take they regularly offer is unique and their ability to select and publish stories that are timely without feeling outdated is a constant inspiration for me to try and do the same.

Sadly, many magazines are ceasing operations or moving to an online format only. The good news is, magazine subscriptions remain a steal compared to the cost of other things. So if you’re like some of the people interviewed in the article and have forgotten about the appeal of magazines, maybe now is a good time to restart some of those subscriptions you once had – or find some new ones.

Why We Still Need Conferences and Convention Centers



Convention centers can be beautiful energizing places. They can also be sad lonely reminders of why business travel sometimes sucks. I have spent many hours inside convention centers as a speaker before they became one of the first big casualties of the pandemic. A Businessweek feature this week focused on the collective efforts of architects, city officials and event planners to imagine a richer future for these forgotten convention spaces. The events industry right now is filled with hope, which is fueling multi-million dollar investments. The irony is that hope is also the one thing that these events themselves can bring us.

Gathering the smartest minds in a profession together face to face for future-shifting conversations inspires hope. It is undeniably important. Every time I am invited to an event, I experience this hope. It’s what makes the travel delays, time away from family and long hours worth it. And like the magic of a wonderfully planned and executed convention, hope is one of those things that is really hard to recreate over Zoom. 

Understanding the Woman-Led Backlash Against the “Lean In” Movement



Nearly ten years ago former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg became the “face of 2010s-era corporate feminism” when she published her book Lean In, which advocated for women to be more assertive and empowered at work. Since then, the book has been simultaneously celebrated as a much-needed manifesto for working women … and a one-dimensional tech industry perspective that failed to acknowledge the many systemic barriers at work that women often face.

Now that Sandberg is stepping down from her role and close to a decade has passed, the moment is inspiring a backlash as some people question whether her insights have moved women in business forward or ultimately held them back. If you are a professional woman working in business right now, what do you think? Do you identify with this idea of “leaning in” as the right way to build your career, or do you feel that this expectation that it is your responsibility to assert yourself underestimates the cultural and institutional barriers that stand in your way? I’d love to know.