13 Books My Friends Think I Should Read (and Maybe You Should Too)

by Patrick Woods on


We had a lot of fun in 2014 at archer>malmo ventures. We created the Brand Strategy Canvas and conducted workshops for some of the best startups and accelerators in the world. We started working with some great friends. We were also named a top 10 agency for startup by Agency Post.

On the other hand, I’ve had this feeling lately that I’m on, or arriving at, a plateau. archer>malmo ventures is in its third year, things are going well, and I can’t help but sense that things are getting a little too comfortable. Never a good sign.

I’m a reader, so I always look to the written word for guidance and inspiration. I’m also lucky to have a lot of really smart and creative friends to turn to for input and advice in times like this. So I reached out on Twitter to get their thoughts on what to read next.

Here’s how I got the conversation going:

And thankfully, within an hour or so, I had more than a dozen recommendations from friends and strangers alike. It’s a great mix of fiction and nonfiction, with challenging reads on topics ranging from creativity to productivity to philosophy.

Without further adieu, here’s the list (in chronological order):


The Culting of Brands: Turn Your Customers into True Believers




The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life
What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions


Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd

###Kyle The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO’s Strategies for Defeating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships

Josh Simmons

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back

Justin Weiss

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business


Dealing With Disrespect


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


Letters to a Young Poet

What did I pick?

Lots of great options here, but I’ve decided to start with The Power of Habit. I’ve only heard great things. and also that it’s a quick read, which is nice. I’m roughly 40% into it so far, and I’ve been blown away by the usable info it presents. I’ve found myself applying its principles already.

As you can tell, I’ve got quite the to-read list for 2015. But I’m always looking for more. Did I miss anything? Tweet me @patrickjwoods to let me know.

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