Photograph by Jason Falchook for Bloomberg Businessweek

Eight Books to Inspire You to Get to Work

  1. The Jungle
    1

    The Jungle

    “I read it in the midst of the housing crash, and its depictions of callous greed seemed as relevant now as in 1914. I was witnessing corporate greed on Wall Street, and this book was the push I needed to leave and launch my company.”

    Elle Kaplan
    chief executive officer,
    Lexion Capital Management

    Photograph by Jason Falchook for Bloomberg Businessweek
  2. Born to Run
    2

    Born to Run

    “We all have a superathlete inside us, and this imparts the kind of inspiration that draws it out.”

    J.D. Roth
    executive producer, Eyeworks USA

    Photograph by Jason Falchook for Bloomberg Businessweek
  3. Age of Greed
    3

    Age of Greed

    “A staggering critique of financial deregulation, capitalism, and blind self-interest. It’s the perfect manual for what not to do—and exactly what we hope Kickstarter will help upend.”

    Yancey Strickler
    co-founder, Kickstarter

    Photograph by Jason Falchook for Bloomberg Businessweek
  4. The Accidental Creative
    4

    The Accidental Creative

    “I discovered Todd Henry’s podcast in 2006, and he later compiled his message into a book on channeling creativity into productive work. His ideas on managing energy help as I juggle business launches, nonprofit activities, and worldwide events.”

    Chris Guillebeau
    author, The $100 Startup

    Photograph by Jason Falchook for Bloomberg Businessweek
  5. Start With Why
    5

    Start With Why

    “The book reminded me that great brands have a reason they matter. This allows me to better communicate Denny’s brand: It’s not about being a restaurant; it’s about providing comforting moments around a welcoming meal.”

    Francis Allen
    chief marketing officer, Denny’s

    Photograph by Jason Falchook for Bloomberg Businessweek
  6. Getting Your Book Published for Dummies
    6

    Getting Your Book Published for Dummies

    “Any time someone asks how I became a best-selling author, I say I started out as a dummy. Sometimes all you really need is step-by-step instructions and the capacity to stay focused.”

    Nancy Redd
    talk show host

    Photograph by Jason Falchook for Bloomberg Businessweek
  7. The War of Art
    7

    The War of Art

    “In creative fields, where there is no end to the amount of work you can put into any project, this will help you recognize your inner ‘resistance,’ so you can move past it and create something wonderful.”

    John Swihart
    composer,
    How I Met Your Mother

    Photograph by Jason Falchook for Bloomberg Businessweek
  8. Small Giants
    8

    Small Giants

    “ It explores what it means for a business to pursue excellence and growth, and what happens when those two things are at odds with one another.”

    Clint Smith
    co-founder, Emma

    Photograph by Jason Falchook for Bloomberg Businessweek