It's true that you'll find a lot of silly things in our massive discussion board community. You'll find bad puns, folks discussing Rupert's strategy on "Survivor All-Stars," and people arguing about politics. But there's a lot of great value to be uncovered in our boards, too.
Consider this post by Fool Community member DeliLama, in which he shares a list of books he recommends. The books touch on investing, business, history, psychology, and how we and our world operate. Permit me to provide just a few excerpts from the long list:
The Practice of Management
, by Peter Drucker (or better yet, The Essential Drucker). Peter Drucker is to management as Ben Graham is to investing. [Graham was the mentor of Berkshire Hathaway
(NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B)Chairman Warren Buffett.] This book is a classic from the 1950s that has never been outdone. When I read this book in the 1980s, I was amazed at how much better it was than all the management books of that time. This book is excellent for being able to differentiate good management from the bad.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
, by Al Ries and Jack Trout. I recommend this book for gaining more understanding of the various competitive factors of business. It's an outstanding explanation of why some businesses succeed while others fail.
Chainsaw: The Notorious Career of Al Dunlap in the Era of Profit-At-Any-Price
, by John Byrne. Despite the sensationalist title, this books offers an excellent view into the inner workings of a bad business and, most important, gives an excellent example of the interactions between senior management, the board of directors, and money managers.
Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
, by Roger Lowenstein. This is an outstanding book that shows in great detail how Buffett achieved such great success. I hadn't read this book for a long time because I was concerned that it would have too much personal fluff and not enough investment details. But it contains good information for someone who wants to get better at investing. [Also recommended is Damn Right: Behind the Scenes With Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger
, by Janet Lowe, which reviews the success of Buffett's partner.]
Sam Walton: Made in America
, by Sam Walton and John Huey. Two things make this book great. First, it shows what it takes to succeed in retail. The behavior style of [Wal-Mart
(NYSE:WMT)founder] Sam Walton shows up frequently in successful retailers. Second, because this book was written for the purpose of instructing future generations of Waltons in the business, it offers a lot of personal and no-nonsense insights into how Wal-Mart was built and what makes it successful.
There are many more great books recommended in the post. Check it out, and while you're at it, check out our entire discussion board community. We've got hundreds of boards devoted to hundreds of topics and companies. Take a free 30-day trial right now. You've got nothing to lose! Tell us what your favorite books are, on business topics or any other topics.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and has read several books.