12 Classic Novels About Business

Are you wondering what a business novel looks like? Well, I will walk you through the “12 classic novels about business” that I have researched. 

Business is not a popular genre in novels as opposed to mystery, horror/thriller, love/romance, and other prominent genres.

You see, a novel, in general terms, talks much of imagination while business, on the other hand, does not need imagination to be successful, rather it has to face reality.

Having known that the idea of business novels is not applauded as it should be in the business and finance industry, there are still notable business novels tagged – 12 classic novels about business – that most successful business people have read. In this article, I have shared 12 business novels you might not have known.

So, if you are finding a solution to a problem that has evolved in your business, one of these novels could be the answer you have been waiting for a long time.


Classic novels about business


12 Classic Novels About Business


If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

  • Author – Laura Numberoff

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a well-known and beloved children’s book and a notable business novel. Its emphasis is customer service.

The story in the novel is about a small mouse that has been given a cookie, then quickly asks for a glass of milk, a straw to drink the milk, a napkin to wipe himself down, and a bevvy of additional requests related to, and unrelated to, the original cookie request.

Well, the little boy in the story who grants the mouse its requests needs to exercise patience, understanding, and be kind.

From a business viewpoint, this talks about being able to satisfy your customers, no matter how many requests are on the desk and how long it will take.


The Stars Shine Down

  • Author – Sidney Sheldon

The Stars Shine Down is a popular business novel written by Sidney Sheldon. Its business story is about trust.

However, the trust term in this novel is not to completely trust everyone in business who is nice to you, as there are people who hide their agendas and want to get close to you, only to take advantage of you.

Aside from being vigilant in your regular life, being vigilant in your business is equally very essential too.


The Phoenix Project

  • Author – Gene Kim, George Spafford, and Kevin Behr

The story beneath this business novel, The Phoenix Project, is what most businesses have been applying in their businesses when challenges are there to be faced.

The business novel is written by more than one author – Gene Kim, George Spafford, and Kevin Behr.

The story is about a troubled automotive company that got back on track just before a monumental turnaround of an important project by their technology department.


The Tortoise And The Hare

  • Author – Aesop

In business, if success is needed, practices should be designed to put things in place to succeed. Also, it is very wrong to tag business growth as a sprint instead of a marathon.

You see the business novel – The Tortoise and the Hare – teaches that slow and steady wins the long-term race.

In business, instead of rushing things, normalize making the process a bit slower to put things into place for better growth.


The Giving Tree

  • Author – Shel Silverstein

One interesting business concept is establishing the boundaries necessary to replenish ourselves so that we can continue to serve our customers to get their satisfaction.

The Giving Tree is a story of a boy and a tree. The tree provided everything the boy needed, from a shelter, apples to sell, branches to warm his home, and ultimately the tree trunk to build a boat.

However, this might bring about a big failure in business if we fail to establish the boundaries necessary to replenish ourselves, as thought by Shel Silverstein.


Read also:


God Is An Englishman (Swann Family Saga)

  • Author – R.F. Delderfield

The most prominent business novel is the 6th business novel on our list – God is an Englishman (Swann Family Saga) by R.F. Delderfield (1912 – 1972). It is about a character, Adam Swann, who starts a carting business in 1860 during the growth of railroads in England.

The storyline brings about three main lessons –

  1. Treat your staff as you would like to be treated.
  2. Trust your gut, value your ideas, and also be careful with allowing others to influence you.
  3. Work at a place where you find time to think deeply about the challenges you are confronting.

Noble House

  • Author – James Clavell

The Noble House, a business novel, is a brilliant piece of business lessons by James Clavell.

As stated in the novel, “Neng che to lao – An able man has many burdens. As I am abler than most, I have to sweat more than most.”

Now, what this quote means is that 

  1. That ability works throughout a business with effort. 
  2. The belief you have in your abilities and efforts matters.
  3. You shouldn’t complain when you have more on your plate than others because there is a reason behind it.

The Count Of Monte Cristo

  • Author – Alexandre Dumas

The Count of monte cristo is a business novel that seems emotional. The story is about Edmond Dantes, who spent years sniffing the prison rods for a crime he did not commit. When a chance came to escape, he planned his getaway to give himself the best chance of success. Lastly, he fled and opulently lived a life. 

You see, keeping your head up even when it is not going our way is what Alexandre Dumas has taught in his business novel, The Count of Monte Cristo.

The Big Five For Life

  • Author – John P. Strelecky

Before dealing with other issues, yours is very important. The Big Five for Life brings us leadership skills and the benefits of working with businesses whose goals align with our purposes.

The book, however, is a good and mandatory recommendation for all leaders. Well, after reading this novel, I do not see any reason you will not thank the author, John P. Strelecky.

Bleak House

  • Author – Charles Dickens

Bleak House is a popular business novel by Charles Dickens about generations of a family trapped in and bedevilled by some endless legal proceedings, Jarndyce v Jarndyce. People are born into the case, relatives die, yet the case drags on. 

However, after more than a century, the case is closed because the estate paid so much in legal fees, and all the inheritance is gone.

You see, naturally in business, you must learn to avoid problems if you do not want to keep spending unnecessarily.


  • Author – Frank Herbert

Dune is a business novel by Frank Herbert that teaches us much about business partnerships. If you are still there and your business is yet to get partnered with another business, you might lose it in the end.

You need to partner in business to succeed. It is a very important strategy in business you should consider adapting to.


  • Author – Hermann Hesse

You might not see the importance of developing a moral code now, but you will surely need it in your business.

You see, in business, how to deal with adversity, stay present, appreciate success, treat others, rise above the temptation to cut corners, and remain true to your vision is very important.

However, this gets easier with a moral code, as explained by Hermann Hesse in Siddhartha.


Do you know other classic novels about business? Share with us using the comment section or email us at hqwords.hq@gmail.com.

Also, if you have read any of these classic novels about business listed above, share your thoughts we appreciate your feedback.



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