No takers so far so I'll comment on a few I have recently listened to:
Dale Carnegie - How to Win Friends & Influence People
I thought it would be common sense and always put off this book but even though much of it is it has a lot of interesting anecdotes to help crystalize information and its old-school language was interesting on its own.
Peter Thiel - Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
A bit biased towards startups that are monopolies vs startups that add incremental value but useful in making that very distinction and its ramifications well.
Jim Collins - Good to Great
Not very useful, it is about what traits correlate with greatness (as defined through the stock market) and is largely free of the insights that someone who actually runs companies would have (it is written by outside academics). The approach has some interesting academic insights but not a lot of takeaways for an experienced entrepreneur. After all, it admits to not knowing how you can get there and is only trying to find out what those companies have in common that is statistically distinct from the companies that were not deemed "great".
Grant Cardone - The 10x Rule
Absolute garbage and so far the only audiobook that I didn't finish. His great insight boils down to just "try 10 times harder!" that he delivers in spittle-punctuated bursts repetitively. I mistakenly thought this book would be about the technology concept of needing to be ten times better than an incumbent but it is just some blowhard making a shitty motivational speech that you need to work harder. For people who actually do work as hard as they can and have for decades it is a completely vapid book.
Eric Ries - The Lean Startup
A good book on "lean" principles, with useful examples. Biggest takeaway is that the currency of startups is validated learning and that repeating this feedback loop is the top priority for a startup. In this sense it's not as much about leanness, per se, but more about using test-driven business processes.
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
I didn't know what I was getting into with this one, and ultimately it was just entertaining enough to get through it. Just a bunch of humorous essays really, kinda like a gay Dave Barry strung together into a book.
Daniel Kahneman - Thinking, Fast and Slow
A deeply insightful read. Representing a lifetime of Kahneman's work this is dense with useful information on behavioral economics and behavioral psychology. Primarily it covers two mental "systems" that the name of the book derives from. One that is fast and intuitive and one that is slower and more logical. Knowing the deficiencies of each is useful and gives insight into biases in one's thinking that they produce.
Peter F Drucker - Managing Oneself
Drucker is always worth reading and this one is another is his management series of books that focuses on self-management and self-discipline.
Roger Fisher, William Ury - Getting to Yes
There are many books about negotiating and this is a good one whose main takeaways are the process of separating the person from the problem and focusing on interests instead of positions. Not one of the macho, hardass lines of negotiating books that focus on bluster and tricks this is one of the ones that focuses on the mentality that will help you both reach consensus with others as well as draw others to reach consensus with you.
David Allen - Getting Things Done
I've long used GTA principles in task tracking systems and while this had some useful information it was largely not new to me and he went into painstaking detail on a number of specific processes and methods to use that were not a good fit for me. However for someone not familiar with the general GTA philosophies there is useful information here.
Ryan Holiday - Growth Hacker Marketing
This book was garbage, it is incredibly superficial and does not contain any useful information to anyone who already knows what the term means.
David J. Bryce, Jeffrey H. Dyer, Nile W. Hatch - Competing Against Free (Harvard Business Review)
As expected this did not provide any magic bullets against competing against free, as there really aren't any. Was more of a validation of that knowledge as well as a crystallization of other "free" economy principles from other books.
Cormac McCarthy - The Sunset Limited
Was interesting enough, but I guess I prefer non-fiction in this medium. I prefer to immerse myself in fiction but non-fiction is easier to absorb while driving and doing other things.
Dan Harris - 10% Happier
Was ok. Doesn't contain much useful information on mindfulness itself, but it is a good autobiographical tale about someone's path to selecting mindfulness for themselves. In short it is a decently entertaining read to help convince you to practice mindfulness but doesn't contain any insight into doing so.
Mark Cuban - How to Win at the Sport of Business
Meh, not very useful and no informational takeaways but entertaining enough to finish.
Seth Freeman - The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal
Decent, not great. Relies too much on its silly acronyms ("I FORESAW IT!") and is repetitive but has useful information on a negotiating framework.
Spencer Johnson - Who Moved My Cheese?
Completely and utterly vapid. It is just a series of childlike anecdotes preaching flexibility to change with no substantiation of the advice given or useful insight into how to become more adaptable. It must be a best seller just because of management buying it for their workers to try to pave over some changes they are about to ram down their throats.
Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson - Rework
This comes from informed people but is a superficial treatment. Nevertheless the information it does contain, though not much, is useful to those who are not familiar with them. Just be sure you know going in that this is not a very deep attempt to educate.
Sam Harris - Waking Up
Again, not much useful information on implementing mindfulness into your toolbox but strong scientific validation of the concept from someone who nobody will accuse of being a spiritualist.
Chris Anderson - Free
Surprisingly insightful book on free as a strategy vs a gimmick and why it is here to stay.
Clayton M. Christensen - The Innovator's Dilemma
Yet another concept that I ended up learning long before ever getting to the book but there were still a lot of opportunities to crystalize information I already had and my big takeaway from this is to modify the resource allocation processes in order to combat the dilemma (i.e. make your skunkworks resource allocation independent).
Kerry Patterson - Crucial Conversations
As with any book on communication it can get to basic common sense but the overall framework it presents is useful and accessible.