RudeVC’s Summer reading list 2016

July 25, 2016

As long-time readers of this blog know, around this time every year I publish a short list of summer reading recommendations. The guiding selection criteria for books on this list are generally: i) some connection to startups, technology, VC, or Europe; and ii) not too heavy or intensely intellectual. I also try to limit the list to one business book, maximum.

Zero to OneFor the one business book quota this summer I’m recommending Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. The book is actually a compilation of lecture notes from Thiel’s course at Stanford, thus very conversational in tone. Regardless of your opinions about Thiel, Zero to One is an enjoyable read and will inspire some healthy contrarian thinking over the summer. The book also strikes me as quite timely given the controversy surrounding Thiel’s backing of the lawsuit against Gawker and his enigmatic participation in last week’s Republican National Convention.


A Brief History of Seven KillingsA Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James. Awarded the 2015 Man Booker Prize, A Brief History… tells the story of Jamaica in the 1970s and early 80s, when the guns flooded in, CIA agents took up residence, and the island experienced one of its most violently defining moments. If you appreciate reggae music, you’ll know about the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, which the book recounts in deep context. This culturally rich island nation’s phase of excessive conflict and strife during this period represents a broader lesson for many fire-burning regions around the globe today.


AncillaryTrilogyThe Ancillary Justice trilogy by Ann Leckie. A science fiction writer and friend of mine recommended I try this three-book series by a relatively fresh new author to the genre. I started reading book one during take-off of a 12-hour flight and found myself still fully engrossed in the story during landing. Wow! My friend was right when she told me, “Trust me, you’re going to be rooting for the lesbian AI killing machine with a conscience.”



For those interested, here’s a list of what noteworthy business leaders are reading these days.

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posted in Uncategorized by mark bivens

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