Book recommendations from 2013

For the past 3 years, I’ve shared my favorite books I read during the year. I do this in the hopes that folks send me their book recommendations in return. So please let me know what you enjoyed reading last year.

By the way, I tried to link all these to Amazon’s new Smile.Amazon website which donates a tiny fraction of any purchase to charity.  I didn’t put affiliate links in here, but WordPress decided to pop up big “Buy from Amazon” buttons under each book.  Sorry it’s a bit ugly.

My favorite books of 2013:
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg
All men should read this book.
Side story: I was inspired enough by this book that I decided to attended the TED Women conference last month. I actually ran into Sheryl Sandberg in the lobby as she was getting ready to speak there. She says to me “I’m surprised to see you here. But since you are one of the very few men who came here today, we are going to grant you a pass when the inevitable revolution comes.” So I got that going for me, which is nice.
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
by Jonathan Haidt
So illuminating! This book helped me become much more understanding of other people’s political views. A great read. I’d also highly recommend that last book he wrote called “The Happiness Hypothesis.”
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
by Tyler Hamilton , Daniel Coyle
Great read on doping in the Tour de France.
Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
My son and I read this together. He loved the fact that the characters live inside a video game. I loved the 80s culture reference. My top sci-fi book of the year.
The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success
William N. Thorndike
This is the best researched business book I have read in a while. The lessons here around rational capital deployment strategies are so obvious, yet so totally foreign to Silicon Valley thinking. It was very eye opening.
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
by Brad Stone
Jeff Bezos is amazing.
by Lelia Wanick Salgado (Author) , Sebastiao Salgado (Photographer)
This a collection of photographs of landscapes, animals, and people that have yet to be impacted by industrial progress. It’s absolutely beautiful and thought provoking.




Highly Recommended Books:
Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
by Nick Bilton
As if I needed any more reasons not to accept VC investment at wikiHow, this book provided one more. As it reads almost like a thriller, for a business book, this was very hard to put down. Rare Find: Spotting Exceptional Talent Before Everyone Else
by George Anders
When I read a resume, I always skip to the bottom first to read what additional interests the person lists. Now after reading this illuminating book, I realized that this is actually a good way to hire.
Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman
by Yvon Chouinard
Yvon Chouinard, Yosemite climbing pioneer and the founder of Patagonia is one of my heroes. His business practices are as inspiring as his first ascents were.
Rags to Roses: The Rise of Stanford Football
by Joseph Beyda , George Chen , Sam Fisher
Every Stanford football fan should read this book. Even non-Stanford fans would enjoy learning how school known for nerds and bad football teams managed to become the only school who has gone to a BCS bowl in each of the last 4 years.
Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business
by John Mackey , Rajendra Sisodia , Bill George
I’m interested in people who are trying to reshape the nature of business. John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods, and his call for conscious capitalism is inspiring.
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t
by Nate Silver
Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age
by Steven Johnson
The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football
by Jeff Benedict , Armen Keteyian
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
by Richard P. Feynman
A nerd classic.




Recommended Books
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Brilliant core idea that could have been communicated with 80% less words. Read the first few chapters at a minimum.
Worm: The First Digital World War
by Mark Bowden
How a collaborative group of volunteers possibly saved the world from a computer worm. The story about how these volunteers collaborated to do something great reminds me of the wiki way.
Great to Excellent; It’s the Execution!: Overcoming the Natural Barriers to Profitable Company Growth Paperback
by Jim Alampi
Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence
by Daniel Goleman
How Did You End Up Here?: The Surprising Ways Our Questions Connect Us
Davy Rothbart
Who: The A Method for Hiring
by Geoff Smart , Randy Street
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries
Before They Pass Away
by Jimmy Nelson (Photographer)
Another collection of photographs. I’d recommend Sebastiao Salgado’s Genesis if you were to choose only one huge, expensive book like this.
Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less
by Cameron Herold
I would highly recommend any entrepreneur watch Cameron Herold, the former COO of 1-800-Got-Junk speak if you ever can. He’s mesmerizing.
Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look Paperback
by Pat Kirwan, David Seigerman
Reading this book helped me see things on the football field that the TV announcers were missing.
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins
Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything
by Daniel Goldberg, Linus Larsson



Enjoyed some moments of these books
Power Moves: A Guide to Livin’ the American Dream, USA Style
Karl Welzein
I love following the lovable loser @DadBoner so much on Twitter that I bought his book. I never thought this would have been possible, but apparently it’s possible to say a lot more with 140 characters than it is in a novel. The joke just didn’t work in long form.
Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing
by Po Bronson , Ashley Merryman
I loved the same author’s book on parenting. Read that instead.
Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting
by Robert McKee
Conscious Business
by Fred Kofman

Please share your book recommendations with me.

Leave a your book recommendation in the comment box below or send me an email or tweet me at @JackH.

PS Here are the book recommendations from 2010, and 2011 and 2012.