100 books like Boulevard of Broken Dreams

By Josh Lerner,

Here are 100 books that Boulevard of Broken Dreams fans have personally recommended if you like Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Why am I passionate about this?

As a hospital clinical lab director, I have a mission to promote the value of my profession. Are we more important than our soldiers protecting our country? Politicians who make laws? Judges who help maintain law and order? I argue that the health of our families is near or at the top of our priorities. While we ask our doctors to achieve this goal, they ask us every day to help them. The lab is not about boiling tubes and colored flasks. The 8 books I have written and the 5 that I have selected illustrate, in an entertaining manner, who we really are and why we matter.  

Alan's book list on learning how clinical labs really work and why this is important to you and your family

Alan H.B. Wu Why did Alan love this book?

Mr. Carreyrou was the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story that eventually led to the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos. At its peak, this company was worth over $9 billion. Today, Holmes and her former COO have been convicted of fraud and are serving time.

I like this book because it serves as a curriculum for how NOT to operate a biotech company. It shows that while belief in your vision is essential for all successful entrepreneurs, there is no place for secrecy and arrogance in the business world.

Unfortunately, the “Theranos” effect has led to a decline in investment in new medical technology and has had a negative effect on the value of clinical laboratories.

By John Carreyrou,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Bad Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The shocking true story behind The Dropout, starring the Emmy award-winning Amanda Seyfried, Naveen Andrews and Stephen Fry.

'I couldn't put down this thriller . . . a book so compelling that I couldn't turn away' - Bill Gates

Winner of the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2018

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.

In 2014,…


Book cover of The Merchant of Venice

Cyril Demaria Author Of Introduction to Private Equity, Debt and Real Assets: From Venture Capital to LBO, Senior to Distressed Debt, Immaterial to Fixed Assets

From my list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes.

Why am I passionate about this?

The financing of private firms is fascinating and a bit mysterious. It remains misunderstood and regularly gives birth to hype and excesses. I started my career working for a venture capital fund at the top of the Internet financial bubble, in 2000. This experience has imprinted my career and derailed my ambitions. It also fueled my thirst for knowledge. I started from essentially a virgin theoretical and academic land. I developed a body of practical and academic knowledge. Writing and publishing my books seemed to be the next logical step. I enjoy reading books on the sector and recommending them.

Cyril's book list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes

Cyril Demaria Why did Cyril love this book?

It might seem odd, but there is no real better book than this one to illustrate the challenges of private equity. I use it as an example in my training sessions regularly.

The Merchant of Venice is not only one of the best plays on finance and ethics, but also the perfect illustration of the challenges of start-up investing before it became a profession. This play illustrates how venture financing differs in practice from bank financing. It also conveys the uncertainties associated with entrepreneurship, and how some capital providers are not able to take such a risk.

Shakespeare masters the art of contrasting the perspectives of an entrepreneur and a banker in a short and powerful format. It is a masterpiece and a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the philosophy of start-up investing. 

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Merchant of Venice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Merchant of Venice, the path to marriage is hazardous. To win Portia, Bassanio must pass a test prescribed by her father’s will, choosing correctly among three caskets or chests. If he fails, he may never marry at all.

Bassanio and Portia also face a magnificent villain, the moneylender Shylock. In creating Shylock, Shakespeare seems to have shared in a widespread prejudice against Jews. Shylock would have been regarded as a villain because he was a Jew. Yet he gives such powerful expression to his alienation due to the hatred around him that, in many productions, he emerges as…


Book cover of Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

Brad Schaeffer Author Of Life in the Pits: My Time as a Trader on the Rough-and-Tumble Exchange Floors

From my list on what makes commodities traders tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1989 with an LAS degree in communications and a knack for artwork, I had no idea what I wanted to do. That was until my brother pulled me from my low-paid art job in Chicago to work as a clerk on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I eventually became a trader on that same floor, as well as an oil and gas dealer in New York. Screaming and yelling in the trading pits while money moved back and forth with a shout and a hand signal I learned more about investing, trading, and human nature through osmosis than I ever could in an MBA course.

Brad's book list on what makes commodities traders tick

Brad Schaeffer Why did Brad love this book?

Though not a book about trading per se, this chronicle of the craziness surrounding the 1986 leveraged buyout of RJR-Nabisco is certainly worth a read.

It centers around the machinations of RJR-Nabisco’s breezy CEO, F. Ross Johnson, and how, apparently, being the head of one of America’s great companies wasn’t enough. The book really is as much a study of greed and ego as it is about what was, at the time, the most expensive LBO in history.

One gets the feeling the company in play, and its employees wondering what would be the impact on their lives once the negotiations way up in the New York corporate high rises were completed, were ancillary concerns to the players involved—Ross Johnson, American Express CEO and power publicist Jim and Linda Robinson, Shearson-Lehman head Peter Cohen, buyout specialist and anti-junk bond crusader Ted Forstmann, and the coldly menacing Henry Kravis and…

By Bryan Burrough, John Helyar,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Barbarians at the Gate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“One of the finest, most compelling accounts of what happened to corporate America and Wall Street in the 1980’s.”
—New York Times Book Review

A #1 New York Times bestseller and arguably the best business narrative ever written, Barbarians at the Gate is the classic account of the fall of RJR Nabisco. An enduring masterpiece of investigative journalism by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, it includes a new afterword by the authors that brings this remarkable story of greed and double-dealings up to date twenty years after the famed deal. The Los Angeles Times calls Barbarians at the Gate, “Superlative.”…


Book cover of The Key Man: The True Story of How the Global Elite Was Duped by a Capitalist Fairy Tale

Cyril Demaria Author Of Introduction to Private Equity, Debt and Real Assets: From Venture Capital to LBO, Senior to Distressed Debt, Immaterial to Fixed Assets

From my list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes.

Why am I passionate about this?

The financing of private firms is fascinating and a bit mysterious. It remains misunderstood and regularly gives birth to hype and excesses. I started my career working for a venture capital fund at the top of the Internet financial bubble, in 2000. This experience has imprinted my career and derailed my ambitions. It also fueled my thirst for knowledge. I started from essentially a virgin theoretical and academic land. I developed a body of practical and academic knowledge. Writing and publishing my books seemed to be the next logical step. I enjoy reading books on the sector and recommending them.

Cyril's book list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes

Cyril Demaria Why did Cyril love this book?

Private market fund managers are, along with hedge fund managers, the magnates of the 21st century.

Although many come from a privileged background, quite a few are self-made men such as the founder of what was once the largest private equity fund management firm in the Middle East: Abraaj Capital. The rags-to-riches story of Arif Naqvi, his drive from his childhood in Pakistan to high international society is simultaneously mesmerizing and frightening.

A headlong rush starts as his ambition outpaces his already high success. The fall is crushing, not only for him, but also for his partners, his employees, and everyone who trusted him. The book is a perfect combination of factual analyses and storytelling.

By Simon Clark, Will Louch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Key Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AS FEATURED IN BBC TWO'S BILLION DOLLAR DOWNFALL: THE DEALMAKER DOCUMENTARY

Two Wall Street reporters investigate the man entrusted with millions to make profits and end poverty but now stands accused of masterminding one of the biggest, most brazen frauds in history.

'Gripping' Guardian

***

Arif Naqvi was a man with an immeasurable dream: to end world suffering, poverty and disease. His vision? Capitalism used for good, progress and profit.

He persuaded politicians he could help stabilize the Middle East after 9/11 by providing jobs. He got Bill Gates to help him start a billion-dollar fund to improve health care…


Book cover of VC: An American History

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

I value this book as a comprehensive history of high-risk investing in America, from the Whaling Industry to Silicon Valley. 

Nicholas reveals the extraordinary skew and persistence in investment returns: a small number of investors are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the gains, and this holds true across widely varying institutional structures and technological domains.

And he explores the intimate relationship between the rise of the IT and Biotech industries and support from the U.S, Government. 

By Tom Nicholas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked VC as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A major exploration of venture financing, from its origins in the whaling industry to Silicon Valley, that shows how venture capital created an epicenter for the development of high-tech innovation.

VC tells the riveting story of how the industry arose from the United States' long-running orientation toward entrepreneurship. Venture capital has been driven from the start by the pull of outsized returns through a skewed distribution of payoffs-a faith in low-probability but substantial financial rewards that rarely materialize. Whether the gamble is a whaling voyage setting sail from New Bedford or the newest startup in Silicon Valley, VC is not…


Book cover of The Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

Kathleen Allen Author Of Entrepreneurship For Dummies

From my list on inspiring you to get off your butt and start a business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a real passion for entrepreneurship, so much so that I married an entrepreneur and produced two children who became entrepreneurs. During my 25 years as a professor in the Greif Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Southern California, one of the top programs in the U.S., I had the privilege of inspiring and mentoring hundreds of new entrepreneurs. I found my passion in technology businesses. I had the business skills needed to help scientists and engineers raise funding, bring their inventions to market, and build their companies. I managed to start and run four ventures of my own as well as write several books about entrepreneurship.

Kathleen's book list on inspiring you to get off your butt and start a business

Kathleen Allen Why did Kathleen love this book?

I absolutely love this book! It’s an easy read, reads like a novel, but it’s packed with very valuable lessons on entrepreneurship, venture capital, and leadership.

The story is told through a conversation between a venture capitalist (Komisar) and two young entrepreneurs who are planning to start a business for all the wrong reasons. It’s humorous, touching, and very entertaining. I laughed a lot.

In the end, you learn that a business needs much more than nuts and bolts. It needs heart and soul.

Equally as important as what you learn about startups, the story will teach you how to avoid the Deferred Life Plan, putting off what you want to do, and instead live your life with passion.

By Randy Komisar, Kent Lineback,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Monk and the Riddle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book describes how one Silicon Valley insider has blazed a path of professional - and personal - success playing the game by his own rules. Silicon Valley is filled with garage-to-riches stories and hot young entrepreneurs with big ideas. Yet even in this place where the exceptional is common, Randy Komisar is a breed apart. Currently a "Virtual CEO" who provides "leadership on demand" for several renowned companies, Komisar was recently described by the "Washington Post" as a "combined professional mentor, minister without portfolio, in-your-face investor, trouble-shooter and door opener." But even more interesting than what he does is…


Book cover of Stealth Of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy

Aili Mari Tripp Author Of Changing the Rules: The Politics of Liberalization and the Urban Informal Economy in Tanzania

From my list on the economy as if people mattered.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Tanzania, where I discovered the importance of learning first-hand from ordinary people about their lives by accompanying my mother, who was an anthropologist, when she carried out participant observation among coastal people. Much later in my own research, I could see how essential it was to interact with people face-to-face and learn about their aspirations, joys, fears, daily struggles, and creative ways of coping with the challenges of an economy in free fall. I learned to look beyond the “economic data” to more fully appreciate the humanity of the people involved. All of these books I selected are by people who learned about the real urban economy in this way.

Aili's book list on the economy as if people mattered

Aili Mari Tripp Why did Aili love this book?

Veteran journalist Neuwirth challenges conventional economic thinking when he explores the global dimensions of the informal economy, worth trillions, that operates all around us yet is hidden from view.

His eye-opening depictions from Brazil to Nigeria and China ring true to anyone familiar with this economy that has its own unwritten rules, provides economic opportunities to half the world’s population, offers consumers with affordable products, and recycles waste.

He takes seriously the aspirations of the participants in this economy who interface with the formal economy, yet do not necessarily aspire to work in it.

By Robert Neuwirth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stealth Of Nations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

• Thousands of Africans head to China each year to buy cell phones, auto parts, and other products that they will import to their home countries through a clandestine global back channel.
 
• Hundreds of Paraguayan merchants smuggle computers, electronics, and clothing across the border to Brazil.
 
• Scores of laid-off San Franciscans, working without any licenses, use Twitter to sell home-cooked foods.
 
• Dozens of major multinationals sell products through unregistered kiosks and street vendors around the world.
 
When we think of the informal economy, we tend to think of crime: prostitution, gun running, drug trafficking. Stealth of Nations…


Book cover of The Multi-Hyphen Life: Work Less, Create More, and Design a Life That Works for You

Joy Batra Author Of The Freelance Mindset: Unleashing Your Side Hustles for Better Work, Play, and Life

From my list on freelancers, side hustlers, and portfolio careerists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into freelancing when I unexpectedly got the opportunity to act in Bollywood after graduating from law school and business school. With six figure student loans, I needed to make money and still have time for auditions. Enter freelancing! A decade later, I’ve helped other people expand beyond their day jobs, change careers, or tap into a different skillset, and I’ve collected stories of over fifty freelancers who are doing the same. I hope these books inspire and support you as you venture off the beaten path to create a career that’s just right for you!

Joy's book list on freelancers, side hustlers, and portfolio careerists

Joy Batra Why did Joy love this book?

This book made me feel seen.

There’s something so surreal about going from having one very specific job title at a company to having multiple jobs when you start getting more serious about your side hustles. This book made me realize I’m not alone in having more than one career at the same time, while also teaching me why this is a smart decision and how to get better at it.

Plus, the book is funny and incredibly easy to read. Emma Gannon has no idea who I am, but I feel like she’s my new best friend after reading this. 

By Emma Gannon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Multi-Hyphen Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you've been itching to convert your craft into a career, your side-hustle into a start-up, or just want to think about work-life balance in a new way, then The Multi-Hyphen Life is for you.

In The Multi-Hyphen Life, award-winning British author-podcaster Emma Gannon explains that it doesn't matter if you're a part-time PA with a blog, or an accountant who runs an online store in the evenings—whatever your ratio, whatever your mixture, we can all channel our own entrepreneurial spirit to live more fulfilled and financially healthy lives.

Technology allows us to work wherever, whenever, and enables us to…


Book cover of It's About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage

Ruchika Tulshyan Author Of Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work

From my list on change your mind about success.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in an immigrant household where success was defined by how much money you made and your individual progress. But I’ve always been fascinated by social change as the measure of collective success. As a former business journalist, I was most inspired by leaders who were creating opportunities for overlooked communities. I now advise organization leaders on how to create more inclusive and diverse organizations by rethinking the measure of success purely from the profit perspective. That’s why I wrote Inclusion on Purpose. These books have helped me transform my definition of success. I hope you’re catalyzed to action by these books!

Ruchika's book list on change your mind about success

Ruchika Tulshyan Why did Ruchika love this book?

How great would the story of an inspiring, successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist be if it was about a Black, gay, formerly unhoused woman who is building the next hundred million dollar company?

That’s exactly who Arlan Hamilton is, and with gems like “I pattern match for grit” about her investing strategy, I couldn’t put this book down. It redefines the idea that successful entrepreneurs only come from elite Ivy League institutions or build legacies in their parents’ garages. 

By Arlan Hamilton, Rachel L. Nelson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked It's About Damn Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A hero’s tale of what’s possible when we unlock our potential, continue the search for knowledge, and draw on our lived experiences to guide us through the darkest moments.”—Stacey Abrams

From a Black, gay woman who broke into the boys’ club of Silicon Valley comes an empowering guide to finding your voice, working your way into any room you want to be in, and achieving your own dreams.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FORTUNE

In 2015, Arlan Hamilton was on food stamps and sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco airport, with nothing but…


Book cover of The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup

Simon Court Author Of Founder's Legacy: 50 Game-Changing Leadership Lessons for Building a Great Business

From my list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed.

Why am I passionate about this?

For the last 25 years, I have been a coach to business founders, leaders, and leadership teams. My work has taken me to every continent from my base in London. A lot of my work is done behind closed doors, but I have been instrumental in building two unicorns in the last decade. I’m a founder myself and have always been fascinated by what it takes to succeed as a founder. I have a powerful conviction that learning to lead is the heart of it. The books I love are either based on real-world research or deeply practical and based on hands-on experience. Practice trumps theory every time in my world!

Simon's book list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed

Simon Court Why did Simon love this book?

I like this book because it’s based on mining quantitative data on almost ten thousand founders, not only anecdotal experience.

There is a lot of debate about the importance of co-founders and not trying to ‘go it alone.’ According to Noam, 65 percent of startups fail because of co-founder conflict. I find that super interesting, and it emphasizes why, if you want success, you’ve got to pick your co-founder(s) wisely. The same is true of the management team as well of course. 

By Noam Wasserman,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Founder's Dilemmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Often downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face: should they go it alone, or bring in cofounders, hires, and investors to help build the business? More than just financial rewards are at stake. Friendships and relationships can suffer. Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin. The Founder's Dilemmas is the first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team. Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman…


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