As we enter another month of lock-downs and COVID-19 scares, the sad truth is that the startup community has been severely impacted by this. Beyond the terrifying loss of life and health risks this poses to the region, certain industries are facing catastrophic changes and long-lasting negative repercussions.

But like always, we are confident that the industry will bounce back. That is why this region has one of the most exciting startup industries in the world.

But right now, most of us are on lock-down or at least working from home. So when you’re not on that conference call or checking emails, what do you do? One of the best ways to pass time during this Coronavirus or COVID-19 period is to read a book that helps you upskill. Yes, I said it.

Thankfully, books are easy to access without leaving home. From e-books and audiobooks there are numerous options out there for you to get amazing content delivered to your phone, kindle or laptop. So why not use it right now.

We’re reading a lot of books, but we put together some amazing books that you can read during this period to help you pass time and gain knowledge that you can use to bounce back even stronger.

Here are some of our top picks.

Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say and What You Don’t

This book gives readers lessons from L. David Marquet, a nuclear-submarine-commander-turned-consultant, that can be used simply, immediately and every day. As Leadership Is Language demonstrates, understanding distinctions between good and bad word choice and phrasing can improve the relationship between you and your team.

person picking white and red book on bookshelf

The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers

Authors Baruch Lev and Feng Gu came together to challenge the usefulness of financial reporting in making capital market decisions, explore why accounting is losing its importance and even offer up an alternate solution. Though released in 2016, this insightful indictment of financial reporting remains relevant given today’s environment where massive unicorn firms (WeWork…) can be made and lost in the blink of an eye.

Business Data Science: Combining Machine Learning and Economics to Optimize, Automate, and Accelerate Business Decisions

This book is perfect for business leaders who want to take a deep dive into data. Author Matt Taddy explains how to use machine learning to implement leading business data science. It offers an important reminder that much of the initial value in data science is not actually found in large datasets, but is in applying the data and simple machine learning tools into solving real business problems.

The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time

You may have heard of Square, if you don’t live under a rock. This book focuses on their famous “innovation stack“, which saved the company. As co-founder, Jim McKelvey spent the early days of their journey trying to avoid getting stomped on by Amazon. Other successful startups have used it too, and the author explains how it works.

What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence 

If you’re eager to find out how a rich person became even richer, this might be the book for you. We’re kidding, it is a great read. If you’re eager to learn about how other leaders have navigated the business world to get where they are today, this book is the right choice. Stephen Schwarzman outlines his path from student to CEO of Blackstone, one of the most successful investment firms in the world.

The Connector Manager: Why Some Leaders Build Exceptional Talent — and Others Don’t

Jaime Roca and Sari Wilde from Gartner share insights into the managers and the impact on talent. Through their book, they explain that there are four types and why a Gartner multiyear study of thousands of employees, managers and senior leaders from around the world found Connector managers — who boost performance by 26% — to be the star performers. Learn what they do differently and why their approach has an outsized positive impact on employee performance.

person reading book while drinking beverage

Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them

In Humanocracy,London Business School professor Hamel and McKinsey alum Zanini lay out the costs of dehumanizing workers in the interest of control and explain how to achieve the benefits of coordination and consistency while letting employees be themselves. This is one of the few books that focuses on managing individuals rather than large workforces.

Do you have any books to recommend or want to share what you’ve been reading, please drop us a message at or use our contact form.