Good books

Jeff Warren Orr
2 min readApr 29, 2018


A running list of books I’ve loved. In no particular order…

Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe — Laurence Bergreen

A story of determination against all odds. For those in startups, there’s an interesting parallel between Magellan’s journey and starting/building a company — big idea with big reward / raising $ / building a team / moving through failure / scurvy.

Shoe Dog — Phil Knight

The story of Nike. Makes a compelling argument for taking at least one big risk in your life.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia — Mohsin Hamid

Not your typical self-help book. It’s a quick read that will leave you feeling like you’ve lived another life.

Sapiens — Yuval Noah Harari

A brief history of mankind. The way Harari talks about our past will change the way you think about our future.

Extreme Ownership — Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

True leadership is complete accountability for everything that happens at every level of your organization. This applies to SEAL teams, 5-person startups, and Fortune 500 corporation.

American Kingpin — Nick Bilton

The unreal real story of Ross Ulbricht. Covers early bitcoin, hitmen, supply and demand. It follows the path of most tech startups — starting/scaling an internet company, funding, media relations, hiring…main difference being that Ross is building an online drug empire.

The Everything Store — Brad Stone

The story of Amazon starting in Jeff Bezos’ garage. I love books that show the lives of successful people before they made it. This is one of the best of that variety.

Wherever You Go, There You Are — Jon Kabat-Zinn

The best/most comprehensive book I’ve read on mindfulness and meditation. I found it best to read one chapter per day…reading cover-to-cover doesn’t allow enough time to think about ideas.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things — Ben Horowitz

Recommend this one to anyone in a challenging leadership position. Required reading for first-time founders.

Angel — Jason Calacanis

I’m not an angel investor but Angel gave me great perspective on what early-stage investors are thinking about. Helpful for fundraising.