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Must Read Books to Fuel Your Summer -- And Your Startup

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As a young entrepreneur, class is always in session.

Every day begets an opportunity to learn a new skill that could aid in the growth of your company or nourish a future endeavor. Despite the proliferation of online resources (ehem!), a book still remains one of the best ways to access an abundance of valuable information in one fell swoop. Moreover, many are just plain fun to read.

To find out which books should land on young entrepreneurs' summer reading lists, we asked seasoned startup founders and business professors who've successfully navigated the world of entrepreneurship, one page at a time.

Here are their best business-book recommendations:

Must Read Books to Fuel Your Summer " And Your Startup

Campbell McKellar

Founder and CEO, Loosecubes

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Learn to Program

by Chris Pine

Even if you're a non-technical co-founder like myself, it's critical to have a baseline understanding of how the technology works behind your service. The book walks you through creating an application on your own computer in a really easy way.

Start Something that Matters

by Blake Mycoskie

The author is the founder of TOMS shoes. I give this book to employees when they start, during Loosecubes' orientation. I say to the team, "Read this book, be inspired by the TOMS story, and know that you are learning skills now that are going to enable you to start something that matters in the future." He outlines, step by step, setting up a culture for a company.

Must Read Books to Fuel Your Summer " And Your Startup

Reshma Saujani

Founder, Girls Who Code and author of the forthcoming, Women Who Don't Wait in Line

New York, N.Y.

Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World

by Alyse Nelson

The female leaders in this book have truly helped to shape their communities, and the five leadership traits Nelson offers speak to both men and women.

War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle

by Steven Pressfield

This book taught me to embrace failure and revel in it! One my favorite mantras from the book,  "The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it," is something I live by.

Must Read Books to Fuel Your Summer " And Your Startup

Bruce Bachenheimer

Director of entrepreneurship, Pace University's Lubin School of Business

New York, NY

The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

by Guy Kawasaki

It's a really fun, easy read -- and a very broad book for entrepreneurs starting everything.

The Dream: How I Learned the Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship and Made Millions

by Gurbaksh Chahal

It's a great story of a young Indian immigrant who starts his first business at 16, sells it at 18 for $40 million, sells a second business it to Yahoo for $300 million and has already started his third business which is valued at over half a billion dollars.

Must Read Books to Fuel Your Summer " And Your Startup

Dennis Ceru

Professor of entrepreneurship, Babson College

Wellesley Hills, Mass.

Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big

by Bo Burlingham

Sometimes the challenge is keeping what you have and innovating, but not necessarily becoming so big that you're monolithic. It becomes very difficult to change direction when you're too big for the resources that you have.

The New Business Road Test: What entrepreneurs and executives should do before writing a business plan

by John Mullins

It demystifies a lot of what's talked about in early-stage market testing. Half of the book is devoted to what's called a customer driven feasibility study. It forces the entrepreneur to look at what the customer wants, and not what the entrepreneur thinks is the best model.

What book have you recently read that you think is great for entrepreneurs? Leave us a comment and let us know.


Written By

Lauren Cannon is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has written about startups and entrepreneurship for and Fast Company magazine in addition to contributing editorial content to Scoutmob. She is currently spearheading UpendED, a project focused on creating community and educational opportunities for people interested in launching mobile businesses and pop-up shops. She can always be found on Twitter.