With the constant bans and travel advisories created by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 seems like a perfect year for discovering and reading new books.
That’s why Cointelegraph has compiled a list of non-crypto-related book recommendations from 10 of the greatest thought leaders in the blockchain space. Sheila Warren, Caitlin Long, Alex Mashinsky, Tim Draper and others stepped in to share their favorite or most interesting readings and demonstrate how their worldviews and perspectives have been shaped by literature.
Here are the top 10 books these influential people recommend reading:
“The Secrets of Spies” by Heather Vescent, Adrian Gilbert and Rob Colson
Recommended by Brian Behlendorf, CEO of Hyperledger
Brian Behlendorf, CEO of Hyperledger, told Cointelegraph that there was a book he recently read and enjoyed The secret of the spies. This novel tells espionage stories from ancient times to the present day and focuses on important historical events. Behlendorf commented:
“People are more likely to have to think the way a hacker thinks when designing things that make them resistant to failure, so it’s fun to read how spies and spycraft represent some of the first hostile environments that hackers later adopted and assumed.” which blockchain design really benefits from. “
“Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paolo Freire
Recommended by Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and DLT for the World Economic Forum
Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology for the World Economic Forumsaid Cointelegraph that is a book that shaped their thinking Pedagogy of the Oppressed by the Brazilian educator Paolo Freire. Warren said she learned about this novel in law school while working on a project with the now-defunct Institute for Art and Civic Dialogue:
“This novel has completely changed the way I think about power. Among other things, the book describes a framework for thinking about promoting dialogue that is anchored in collaboration, unity, organization and cultural synthesis. I have this one Book over and over again, and it was the first thing I thought about when I first read the Satoshi white paper. My other suggestion is Strunk & White, The Elements of Style, because it doesn’t hurt anyone to be a better writer ! “
“Ready Player Two” by Ernest Cline
Recommended by Tim Draper, venture capitalist and Bitcoin investor
Tim Draper, venture capitalist and Bitcoin investorsaid Cointelegraph that he loves reading science fiction and that Ernest Clines Ready player two is one of his favorite books. The New York Times bestseller was published this year and is the sequel to the worldwide bestseller Ready player one.
In contrast to the first book, Ready player two has a different storyline, but includes all of the previous characters. The novel focuses on a new technology called “ONI” that allows users to record their real life experiences. While this book is revolutionary, it shows the dangers of an addicting technology and alludes to what a future with artificial intelligence might look like.
“When Money Dies” by Adam Fergusson
Recommended by Caitlin Long, founder and CEO of Avanti Financial
Caitlin Long, founder and CEO of Avanti Financialsaid Cointelegraph that is her favorite book When money dies by British historian Adam Fergusson. This book, written in 1975, is a historical account of the 1923 hyperinflation in Weimar. Lange said that she will always remember this book because it taught her to recognize patterns that apply to any currency collapse:
“Economists tend to look at currency collapse in log charts, but log charts obscure the rallies on a currency’s path to breakdown – it never happens in a straight line, and log charts smooth out enormous underlying volatility. In Weimar Germany the amplitude of the market movements became fluctuating towards the end. First the currency moved during the day by 2%, then by 5%, then by 10%, then by 20% and finally by 50% – during the day – relative to the value of the stocks and in the Compared to more stable currencies, peppered with many head-fake rallies along the way. The “turning point” for a currency seems to be when society sees en masse why prices are really going up – namely, the denominator of a price (the currency) is taking in value. All prices are only ratios, expressed as the value of the good (numerator) in relation to the currency (denominator). “
Long mentioned that after reading this book, she wonders whether stock market rallies are evidence that companies create economic value, or simply the result of a real decline in the purchasing power of money.
“Truman” by David McCullough
Recommended by Alex Tapscott, Co-Founder of the Blockchain Research Institute
Alex Tapscott, co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute and author of Financial services revolutionsaid that to Cointelegraph Truman by David McCullough is his 2020 favorite book, although it was published years earlier in 1992. Truman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of former President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.
According to Tapscott Truman is forward-looking because today we are in a time of epochal change. However, Tapscott noted that unlike in Truman’s day, this change is being brought about by technological acceleration rather than the end of a devastating war:
“Nonetheless, the effects are similar: it revitalizes the economy, our traditional systems of government, old alliances and more. We were lucky in 1945 when an unproven vice president stepped on his best shoes and proved himself to be a capable leader. We are on the lookout today after strong leadership. Who will strengthen? “
Tapscott worked that out Truman is inspiring, joyful read that has been studied in depth: “President Truman came from a humble Midwestern background and had limited education, but rose to be President of the United States and led the free world during one of the most dangerous and important times Truman had never expected to be president and was pushed into the role as vice president after Roosevelt’s death. Everyone underestimated him. But he turned out to be a man of iron will, foresight, moral strength and political aptitude. “
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Recommended by Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation
Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundationsaid Cointelegraph that is one of her favorite books The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Dixon shared that the opulence and beauty that Fitzgerald conveys in this novel is counterbalanced with the ugliness of class dynamics and a complete lack of true love:
“The story feels desperate, even as it tries to capture fun and excitement. I’m drawn to it because I was drawn to Fitzgerald’s personal story, which is tragic at best. The cover of the book itself is haunting and the story is a that invites me back to read annually. I don’t end up feeling good about where it ends, but it reminds me of the importance of being true to yourself – a quality most of the main characters lack. “
Dixon continued to notice The Great Gatsby is a story of class struggle that shows a devotion to what a character does in order to grow and pose as part of a class they were not born into. “It is in many ways the failure of the American dream of ‘growing into prosperity’ and being accepted as ‘wealthy’,” she said.
“Providence” by Max Barry
Recommended by Paul Brody, global blockchain lead at serious
Paul Brody, Global Head of Blockchain serious, told Cointelegraph that the book he read in the last year that had the greatest impact was providence by Max Barry. Barry’s novel was published in March and is science fiction readings focused on the lives of four crew members aboard an AI-powered spaceship. The twist is that the characters discover that they are not the crew, but the cargo. Brody said:
“I’m a huge history buff, but most of it I get from articles and reviews that I think put things together really well. I read books for escape and for immersing yourself in alternative lives and worlds, and for those who do I like it all for fiction. I like fiction because I like to think about how the world will or can change. Fiction forces the writer to really think about how a normal person would experience the effects of technology. “
“Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla” by John J. O’Neill
Recommended by Alex Mashinsky, Founder and CEO of Celsius Network
Alex Mashinsky, Founder and CEO of Celsius Networksaid Cointelegraph that is his favorite book Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla by John J. O’Neill. This is a biography centered on the life of Nikola Tesla, an electrical engineering pioneer. Mashinsky commented:
“Tesla has created a network that is even bigger than the Internet – our global AC power grid. It is as much a lesson on what to do and how to create as it is a lesson on how not to do things.”
“Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving With Grace” by Gordon MacKenzie
Recommended by John Wolpert, Chair of the Technical Steering Committee for the Basic Protocol
John Wolpert, chairman of the technical steering committee for the basic protocolsaid Cointelegraph that is one of his favorite books Circling the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie.
This book reveals the professional development MacKenzie went through learning how to nurture creative genius. The book explains how innovative organizations can quickly become a “giant hairball” or a jumble of rules and systems that ultimately leads to mediocrity.
“This is a great story about how to keep creativity alive in business and how to align your intentions with the intentions of the organization and the community.”
“The Box” by Marc Levinson
Recommended by Alistair Rennie, General Manager of IBM Blockchain
Alistair Rennie, general manager of IBM Blockchainsaid Cointelegraph that is his favorite book The box by Marc Levinson. According to Rennie, this book tells the origins of container shipping.
“It’s an excellent story that gives great insight into how such systemic change is happening, including insights into standardization, patents and regulatory implications – which leads to huge economic gains. The box really connected to me when I ran TradeLens – a Blockchain-based system to change how data is shared and used across the maritime ecosystem. “