Brad Feld

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Great Books I Read In 2009

Dec 13, 2009
Category Books

I got an email from my friend Rob Shurtleff of Divergent Ventures this morning that said “So I looked at your bookshelf for ideas. It is a bit like walking into a library without an idea of what I want to read.  So here is the challenge, we are driving to Yellowstone for 4 days of hanging out at old faithful before xmas.  I would like to grab a few books on my iphone for the drive 12 hours each way.  How about putting up two lists:  The Ten Non Fiction books you really should read and The Ten Fiction books.”

I’ve read 72 books so far this year – I’ll probably be around 90 given my typical book a day rhythm when I’m up in Keystone.  So I’m only going to list the top five non-fiction and top five fiction (ok – approximately five) from this year since that’ll be less than 20% of what I’ve read.  Here you go – you can’t go wrong with any of them if you are a reader.


Zeitoun: New Orleans + Katrina + Muslim American + Heavy Bad Stuff

How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else: Successful Ad Exec finds himself in the dumps later in life.  Fixed by a job at Starbucks.

Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves: The Financial Crisis of 2008 unfolding in great detail.

Shopping for Porcupine: A Life in Arctic Alaska: Actually, in really remote Alaska.

Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital: The story of General Georges Doriet and the start of the venture capital industry.


The Scorpion’s Gate and Breakpoint: Brilliant contemporary spy vs. spy stories by Richard A Clarke.  Yes – I realize this is two books – read them in order.

The Player of Games: An Ian Banks classic.  Particularly interesting if you are addicted to Zynga games.

The Orpheus Deception and The Echelon Vendetta and The Venetian Judgment: David Stone is my favorite new mental floss writer.  Three books – read them in order.

Daemon: Easily the best cyberthriller I’ve ever read.

Supreme Courtship: Anything by Christopher Buckley always makes the list.  Especially poignant given my Supreme Court visit this year.