Summer reading list 2014

July 29, 2014

Reader feedback on past editions has prompted me to produce another summer reading list this year. The criteria for reaching this list are not strict, but the guiding principles for the selected books are: i) to have some connection to startups, technology, VC, or Europe; and ii) to not be too heavy or intensely intellectual.

anthills_savannahAnthills of the Savanna, by Chinua Achebe. Following the Nigerian writer’s most famously read Things Fall Apart, Anthills of the Savanna depicts the subtle yet insidious effects of colonialism in this fictional West African country. Probably my favorite of Achebe’s books, this novel struck me as timely nowadays as we struggle with the disruption created by the free flow of information.

Lalanterne_rougenterne Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France, by Max Leonard. I look forward to reading this one. Max Leonard tells the tales of the often-overlooked last rider to finish each Tour de France. His premise — that the losers of the Tour de France are not those who fail to finish in a yellow jersey, but rather, those who quit or never even try — somehow strikes me as a great parable for entrepreneurship.

Thhard_thingse Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, by Ben Horowitz. Despite being irrelevant for 99% of French entrepreneurs, this book will probably seem relevant to 99% of French entrepreneurs. Regardless, it’s entertaining, and Ben Horowitz is brilliant. With several classmates that joined LoudCloud during the tech bubble of 2000, the stories hit home for me.

Twind-up_bird_chroniclehe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murikami. Although last year’s bestseller 1Q84 garnered all the attention, I prefer The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle among Murikami’s works. In his customary style of magically disturbing prose, Murakami underscores the themes of responsibility and accountability which are quintessientiel qualities of proper venture capitalists.

 

As always, any suggestions for this list are most welcome.

{Once again: To maintain his credentials as a French VC, RudeVC will be taking some holiday over the coming weeks and thus write less frequently. Have an enjoyable summer !}

 

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posted in venture capital by mark bivens

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