The Last Lecture: The only book I read every year. Short and simple, it’s a moving reflection on life and achieving your dreams. This is the first book I mention when someone asks for a recommendation.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: I consider this the best startup book out there. I never thought I would describe a business book as a page turner, but Horowitz does a remarkable job blending great storytelling with practical advice.
Shoe Dog: The amazing story of how Nike came to be – I consider it one of the best entrepreneur stories of this century. The swoosh means so much more to me after reading about all the hard work and immense struggles that went into building the company.
The Nordic Theory of Everything: I’ve always been fascinated by the Nordic countries because I consider them having some of the most modern and successful societies in the world. I find their approach to the fundamentals (healthcare, education, etc) exemplary and consider this book a great introduction into how they do things.
For the Record: A must-read for car enthusiasts. It tells the story of a decade long pursuit to break the record of the Cannonball run, a race across the US from NY to LA, where the best drivers average over 100 mph. Surprisingly, it was also an exploration of faith and finding oneself.
Born to Run: An exciting read on how running is a core part of being human, interwoven with a thrilling story behind one of the greatest races ever ran.
Outliers: I credit this book to be the tipping point (pun intended for any Gladwell fans) that led me to love reading. I’m continually in awe of Gladwell’s remarkable storytelling and persuasiveness, and this book is a fitting demonstration of his genius. A fascinating read for those curious about the science of success.
The Art of Racing in the Rain: Combine a dog, Seattle, Ferraris, and Senna into a story and you will easily have me hooked. The story is one of the few that I’ve felt deep connections to as a dog-lover, car enthusiast, and Seattelite.
Start With Why: A powerful book on understanding purpose – this has substantially influenced how I lead and my approach to everything I do.
Where Good Ideas Come From: An engaging book that studies the process of innovation. This book plays a strong role in my entrepreneurial mindset.
The Design of Everyday Things: The book that introduced me to the world of design. Most importantly, it made me aware of all of the design around me and truly appreciate the effort put into creating the world we live in.
Predictably Irrational: A captivating and surprising read on how the human mind is consistently irrational. Introduced me to behavioral economics, which I have been addicted to ever since.
Freakonomics/Superfreakonomics/Think Like a Freak: Aside from the awesome title, I was drawn to these books because of my fascination for the application of economics to everyday life. I love the seeming randomness of Levitt’s nimble mind; you never know what to expect in the next chapter.