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Legend’s Favorite Books of 2016

Our team is a sucker for a good story.

We’re constantly sharing recommendations across the team, from podcasts to books, and as 2016 draws to a close, we were reflecting about what landed at the top of the heap for the year. Take a peek at some of our favorites below, and here’s hoping that they give you the same inspiration that the Legend team enjoyed.

Read on!

Mike’s Pick

Shoe Dog

Phil Knight, Nike founder

This isn’t the book you think it is. Sure—it’s a history of Nike—but it’s not all private jets and courtside high fives. Phil talks candidly about the grinding, the struggles, innumerable missteps, and frankly unbelievable gambles they took early on. It’s a high-wire balancing act of family, cultures, and gambling on yourself, while finding your true self along the way.

Andrew’s Pick


Angela Duckworth

This one knocked my socks off. Angela Duckworth’s examples of “Grit Paragons” served as my constant source of inspiration, while we took the plunge to start our company. In short, Grit pushes you to identify what you really want to do with your life, and it focuses and demands that you do the hard work day after day to accomplish that vision. In other words: fall down seven times; get up eight.

Matt’s Pick

Geography of Genius

Eric Weiner

Eric Weiner lightly walks through centuries of “genius,” or in more approachable terms, “creativity,” in this fun read. It was striking that so many historic hubs of creativity aimed towards a higher good, whereas today’s glorification of “innovation” is too often an end in itself. Over miles and millennia, cross pollination and diversity of thought remain keys to unlocking the potential of any group, “geniuses” or otherwise. Perhaps the greatest contribution of current genius will be to replicate and scale creative cultures virtually.

Patrick’s Pick

The Wealth of Humans

Ryan Avent

Avent is one of my favorite writers at the Economist (see Free Exchange blog posts by R.A.), so I didn’t hesitate with the 1-Click® for his first book. Intellectual, yet accessible, The Wealth of Humans focuses on the digital transformation of the global economy and how it’s reshaping the role of workers, companies, and society at large. Go figure, the future is not all that rosy according to this dismal scientist, but that doesn’t make Avent’s insights any less important. Decision makers can’t afford not to read this book.

Bonus Books

Reads we loved that were from 2016(ish)

Tweet us and let us know your favorite reads this year. Here’s to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2017!