Oprah recommends her favorite books, Bill Gates recommends his… and on a much smaller scale, we recommend ours.


By Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hanson

A collection of irreverent, no-nonsense ideas about how to run a business, from the legendary co-founders of Basecamp.

Raising the Bar: The Story of Clif Bar

By Gary Erickson and Lois Lorentzen

The inspiring and action-packed story of how Gary Erickson built Clif Bar and took “the white road” in life.

Ben and Jerry’s: The Inside Scoop

By Fred “Chico” Lager

A behind-the-scenes look at the two real guys from Vermont who took on the Dough Boy and changed the world of ice cream forever.

Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

By Ken Grossman

Talk about grit: Ken Grossman taught himself how to brew his own beer at home, then started driving around Chico and delivering it himself, then designed and built his own brewery from scratch.

The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up

By Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham

A terrific book loaded with personal stories and nuts-and-bolts advice from two of Inc. Magazine’s greatest writers.

Nuts!: Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success

By Kevin Freiberg and Jackie Freiberg

The story of a swashbuckling hero who challenged the big airlines and came out on top: Herb Kelleher and Southwest Airlines.

In Pursuit of the Common Good: Twenty-Five Years of Improving the World, One Bottle of Salad Dressing at a Time

By Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner

If you want to know why Paul Newman started a natural foods business that donates all its profits to charity, this book is for you. (And if you’ve never seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, you’re missing out.)

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

By Michael Gerber

A modern classic, filled with insights about why most businesses fail and why small business owners need to focus on building simple, repeatable systems.