Scott AVG Blog August 27, 2019

AVG’s Post-Summer Reading List

Recommended Reads on Creativity, Personal Development, and Venture



AVG’s Post-Summer Reading List

There have been countless articles written on the  affinity of CEOs for reading, with some executives finishing a new book each week. Alumni Ventures Group CEO Michael Collins has set a 70-book benchmark for himself each of the past four years. (Productivity tip: Mike listens to many of his books at accelerated speed.)

Mike isn’t the only member of AVG with an appetite for reading. Our company culture encourages constant learning both in and outside of the office. Many employees regularly circulate article and book recommendations, ranging from the latest Pitchbook report to the newest entry on the NYT Bestseller List. 

Whether you’re interested in adapting this habit or extending your summer reading list, we’ve compiled a selection of personal favorites from Mike and the AVG team. The books in this list cover a variety of topics, including  effective sleep patterns, the state of human progress, and anecdotes of women in venture. 

Alpha Girls (Julian Guthrie)

Bay Area journalist and writer Julain Guthrie tells the stories of four female entrepreneurs who broke ground in the male-dominated culture of Silicon Valley.  

Atomic Habits (James Clear)

With a goal of helping readers be “1 percent better every day,” James Clear offers a comprehensive guide to establish and maintain productive habits. 

Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert)

Novelist Elizabeth Gilbert explores her own creative process and shares her insights on creativity and finding inspiration. 

Creativity, Inc. (Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace)

Ed Catmull, President and Co-Founder of Pixar Animation, encourages managers to leverage the movie studio’s process in their own organizations. 

Deep Work (Cal Newport)

Georgetown professor Cal Newport explains how to create a disciplined work ethic in a hyperconnected, distraction-heavy world. 

Enlightenment Now (Steven Pinker)

With 75 graphs and a focus on “following the data,” Harvard professor Steven Pinker argues that the human experience continues to improve across the globe. 

High Performance Habits (Brendon Burchard)

One of the most well-known performance coaches in the world shares six science-backed habits for achieving long-term success. 

Never Stop Learning (Bradley Staats)

An expert in behavioral science and operations, Bradley Staats explores the impact of lifelong learning and how to self-educate more effectively. 

Originals (Adam Grant)

Using a mix of research and anecdotes spanning several industries, Adam Grant outlines the best ways to foster new ideas. 

Quirky (Melissa Schilling)

From Benjamin Franklin to Elon Musk, NYU professor Melissa Schilling identifies the traits of history’s most celebrated innovators. 

Range (David Epstein) 

While many fields celebrate specialized talent, David Epstein argues that “generalists” with diverse interests and abilities can achieve greater success. 

Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)

Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman dives into the mind’s two complementary systems and how companies can balance both in their decision-making.  

Thinking in Bets (Annie Duke)

When it comes to effective decision-making, Annie Duke argues that prioritizing accurate assessment over a need for certainty will better position you for success. 

Why We Sleep (Matthew Walker)

Neuroscientist and UC Berkeley professor Matthew Walker combines decades of research into a comprehensive guide to practicing better sleep patterns. 

Women Who Venture (Renata George)

Entrepreneur-turned-investor Renata George shares the stories of 100 female investors who’ve influenced the trajectory of venture capital.

Image by Tom Hermans



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