1. Black Edge by Sheelah Kolhatkar
Ambition: Investing by any means possible.
Bottom Line: Stevie Cohen became a billionaire and earned a reputation as one of Wall Street’s greatest geniuses before his SAC Capital collapsed in disgrace and infamy.
2. Carpe Diem by Roman Krznaric
Ambition: Tune out the noise.
Bottom Line: With more than ever distracting us, it’s an insightful guide to staying foc–er, what did you want?
3. The Captain Class by Sam Walker
Ambition: Lead like an all star.
Bottom Line: Walker, founding editor of the Wall Street Journal‘s sports section, identifies the secret management skills that led to magical sports moments, like Bill Russell’s “Coleman Play” in the 1957 NBA Finals.
4. American Kingpin by Nick Bilton
Ambition: Understand how new markets develop.
Bottom Line: In the dim world of the Dread Pirate Roberts, drug kingpin of the Dark Web, anything could be bought and sold–passports, counterfeit cash, drugs, poisons–and it added up to a $1.2 billion business.
5. How to Be Everything by Emilie Wapnick
Ambition: Figure out a course in life.
Bottom Line: Feel-good, encouraging advice on distilling a variety of passions and interests into success.
6. Nothing But a Circus: Misadventures Among the Powerful by Daniel Levin
Ambition: Become happier with having a little less.
Bottom Line: The combination of money and power is often toxic.
7. One Mission by Chris Fussell
Ambition: Lead like a warrior.
Bottom Line: Fussell, co-author of a New York Times bestseller and former aide to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, offers boardroom strategies with battlefield-proven results.
8. October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Miéville
Ambition: Create something revolutionary.
Bottom Line: 100 years ago, a group of disruptors changed a centuries-old institution forever.
9. Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood
Bottom Line: A lively account of death fraud, which allows people eager get away from it all and profit from it.
10. Runnin’ With the Devil by Noel E. Monk and Joe Layden
Ambition: Turn a scrappy startup into a big business.
Bottom Line: Van Halen’s former manger offers a backstage view to creating one of the biggest 80s brands.
11. The Emigrant Edge by Brian BuffiniAmbition: Make outsider status pay off.
Bottom Line: Buffini, who was born in Dublin and grew up in San Diego, identifies the seven traits that make immigrants so successful in America.
12. Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick
Ambition: Lead like a president.
Bottom Line: Nothing reveals true leaders like a crisis. Just ask George Washington–or his fellow general, Benedict Arnold.
13. Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky Ambition: Derail an established industry by any means possible.
Bottom Line: Even before Travis Kalanick’s recent decision to step back from Uber, two things have been immensely clear about his startup: it’s boldly ambitious–and on a perilous path.