The Winter holidays are approaching, which is a perfect time to relax and keep warm with a good book. It’s also a great time to reflect and set some goals for the new year. Whether you want to be generally more productive, want to kick a bad habit or you simply need some inspiration, here is some recommended reading by some successful entrepreneurs and celebrities that might wet your appetite over the festive season.

Finding My Virginity by Sir Richard Branson

Fifty years ago, Sir Richard Branson started his first business. In his new autobiography, Finding My Virginity, the Virgin Founder shares his personal, intimate thoughts on five decades as the world’s ultimate entrepreneur.

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferris

From the author: “For the last two years, I’ve interviewed nearly two hundred world-class performers for my podcast,The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview, and the show is on the cusp of passing 100 million downloads.

“This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met.”

Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change by Ellen Pao


In 2015, Ellen K. Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm, calling out workplace discrimination and retaliation against women and other underrepresented groups. Her suit rocked the tech world—and exposed its toxic culture and its homogeneity. Her message overcame negative PR attacks that took aim at her professional conduct and her personal life, and she won widespread public support—Time hailed her as “the face of change.” Though Pao lost her suit, she revolutionized the conversation at tech offices, in the media, and around the world. In Reset, she tells her full story for the first time.

Disrupted by Dan Lyons

Dan Lyons was Technology Editor at Newsweek Magazine for years, a magazine writer at the top of his profession. One Friday morning he received a phone call: his job no longer existed. Fifty years old and with a wife and two young kids, Dan was unemployed and facing financial oblivion. Then an idea hit. Dan had long reported on Silicon Valley and the tech explosion. Why not join it? HubSpot, a Boston start-up, was flush with $100 million in venture capital. They offered Dan a pile of stock options for the nebulous role of “marketing fellow.” What could possibly go wrong?

What follows is a hilarious and excoriating account of Dan’s time at the start-up and a revealing window onto the dysfunctional culture that prevails in a world flush with cash and devoid of experience. Filled with stories of meaningless jargon, teddy bears at meetings, push-up competitions and all-night parties, this uproarious tale is also a trenchant analysis of the dysfunctional start-up world, a de facto conspiracy between those who start companies and those who fund them. It is a world where bad ideas are rewarded with hefty investments, where companies blow money lavishing perks on their post-collegiate workforces, and where everybody is trying to hang on just long enough to cash out with a fortune.

Pivot by Jenny Blake

Jenny Blake, author of Life After College and former career development program manager at Google, reveals how to methodically make your next career move by doubling down on what is already working.

Careers are not linear, predictable ladders any longer; they are fluid trajectories. No matter our age, life stage, bank account balance, or seniority, we are all being asked to navigate career changes much more frequently than in years past. The average employee tenure in America is just four to five years, and even those roles change dramatically within that time. Our economy now demands that we create businesses and careers based on creativity, growth, and impact. In this dynamic world of work, the only move that matters is your next one.

The Startup Way: How Entrepreneurial Management Transforms Culture and Drives Growth

The Startup Way reveals how organisations of all sizes can harness startup techniques to drive growth.

With his million-copy bestseller The Lean Startup, Eric Ries launched a global movement. Concepts like minimal viable product, A/B testing and ‘pivoting’ changed the language of business. Now he turns his attention to companies of all sizes – and shows how the startup ethos can breathe new life into even the largest and most bureaucratic organisation.

The Inspiration Code: How The Best Leaders Energize People Every Day, by Kristi Hedges

Great leaders inspire action with their words. They spark enthusiasm and commitment. With a single conversation, they can change the direction of someone’s life.

Everyone wants to be the kind of leader who energizes and mobilizes others—yet too few are. Why is it so challenging to crack the code?

Executive coach Kristi Hedges spent years studying exactly what inspiring leaders do differently. Informed by quantitative research and thousands of responses from leaders at all levels, she reveals that inspiring communication isn’t about grand gestures. Instead, those who motivate us most do a few things routinely, consistently, and intentionally.