Get All Access for $5/mo

Must Read Books to Fuel Your Summer -- And Your Startup Even if you can't get away this summer, consider these top tomes to help make the most of your downtime.

By Lauren Cannon

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

'We Pulled Off An SEO Heist': Entrepreneur Stole 3.6 Million Pageviews From Competitors — And Your Business Could Be Next.

This has huge implications for businesses that rely on Google's organic traffic for revenue.

Business News

Wells Fargo Reportedly Fired More Than a Dozen Employees for Faking Keyboard Activity

The bank told Bloomberg that it "does not tolerate unethical behavior."


The Key to Real Innovation Is Cross-Pollination — Here Are 10 Ways to Implement It in Your Business

Transform your business with this unique approach to sparking innovation.

Starting a Business

Spend Less Time Worrying About Your Company's Runway — And More Time Rethinking Your Strategy. Here's How.

Perceived short runways leave founders in angst. It does not have to be this way; the best way to extend the runway is the right strategy.

Business Solutions

Why Every Solopreneur Needs to Embrace AI-Powered Teams

With the right approach, solopreneurs can harness AI to drive efficiency, productivity and business growth.