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 started brewing 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.

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 small businesses fail and why owners need to focus on building simple, repeatable systems.