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by Mark Fornasiero

If you’re scrambling for a last-minute Christmas gift for a book-lover we have some great ideas for you! These five titles are not typical business books, nor are they from the expected self-improvement genre, but if you want to stretch yourself (or the gift-receiver in your life) a little, you can’t go wrong with any of these:

1. Our Great Purpose: Adam Smith on Living a Better Life, by Patrick Ryan

There is so much more to Adam Smith than “the invisible hand” and the other economic theories we know him for. A succinct essay that highlights his first book, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments”, published in 1759, Our Great Purpose presents some timeless, powerful philosophies on how to live a good life. Moral philosophy never felt so easy to understand!

2. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, by Carlo Rovelli

This international bestseller takes the usually dense topic of physics and presents it in poetic and charming prose – only 80 pages in length! Even if you are not curious about physics, reality, and beginning of time, you will be captivated by Rovelli’s writing style. His love for the topic is obvious and comes through in every word and line.

3. Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up, by Jerry Colonna

This one is a business book – well, sort of. Jerry Colonna has founded, run, and sold several Silicon-Valley-type companies. But where he has really found his place is as a coach and mentor to many high-flying tech entrepreneurs and founders. This isn’t a “how-to” book but, rather, a “how to be” book. Leave your preconceptions at the door before you crack the spine on this one. 

4. Hungry: Eating, Road-tripping, and Risking it All with the Greatest Chef in the World, by Jeff Gordinier

You are guaranteed to love this book. (Maybe just gift it to yourself.) Gordinier follows Rene Redzepi, the founder of Noma, the top restaurant in the world, as he reimagines his flagship location and then launches pop-up eateries all over the world. This story is not only inspiring but shines a bright light on what it means to be creative, a risk-taker, and following the road less travelled. My #1 gifted book this year.

5. Shoe Dog: A Memoir from the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight

Okay, if you absolutely have to buy a business book, then you might as well buy the best one. The story of Nike – its founding, growth and how it totally redefined the business of sports – is one you won’t be able to put down. I put this book on my list last year, and I will probably put it on my list next year. The writing is superb and the story is almost unbelievable given all the twists, turns and near-death experiences the company faces. As a gift for any aspiring or active entrepreneur, you can’t go wrong with this choice.

Mark Fornasiero is the co-founder of ACE Coworking and an independent consultant specializing in growth-and-exit strategies for privately-held enterprises. Mark also provides professional consulting to entrepreneurs looking to launch and operate their own independent coworking spaces.