After the winter that wouldn’t end, we are finally starting to feel some warmth on our faces. Longer and warmer days are perfect for patios — and nothing goes together better than a patio, a cold beverage, and a great book.

I’m currently serving as the guest librarian for the Kitchener Public Library and I decided to head onto Twitter and the KW Startup Slack group to get some suggestions for what books people are cracking open this summer.

Shinydoc’s David Yoon has Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons on his reading list. Lyons spent 25 years working in the magazine industry, including stints at Forbes and Newsweek.

He finds himself unemployed as the publishing world changes in the digital age; so he takes an opportunity to join the inbound marketing startup, Hubspot. Lyons documents his experiences at Hubspot in Disrupted — from the zealousness of startup culture to outlandish perks, to Nerf Gun fights — all from the witty view of the guy behind Fake Steve Jobs.

The number-one book in my reading stack at the moment is Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. Google Ventures’ Jake Knapp breaks down the design sprint process. These sprints are the tools and processes to go from problem to prototype in five days. I first learned about design sprints from Benjamin Roberts, and I’ve had the opportunity to use them. We’re currently using the process to design an upcoming conference at Communitech.

Heather Galt, our VP of Talent Initiatives and mentor in Communitech Rev, recommends Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes. We all struggle to make time for things in our already hectic schedules. It’s easy to say no to an invite to a friend’s house, or a night out downtown. Rhimes decided to say yes to every invitation — challenging her normally introverted ways.

There are some great books written by local authors, too.

Kik’s Paul Alex Gray has a featured story on Toronto-based Wattpad. The Aliveagainers is a novella about a thief who finds himself leading a group of strangers through a city that’s falling apart. Horrors lurk around every corner, and one member of the group may be turning into something — and it’s not a cuddly bunny.

The young adult reader in your home (or even you) will enjoy Speechless by Jennifer Mook-Sang, the mother of Videostream’s Matt Gardner. Local author Tasneem Jamal’s Where The Air Is Sweet chronicles three generations of an Indian family in Uganda and their struggle to resettle after being expelled by dictator Idi Amin in 1972.

Also receiving votes: The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson; The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau; and Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, by Jenny Lawson.

Now, before you grab your laptop and buy online, don’t forget that you can shop local at Wordsworth Books in Waterloo or the KW Bookstore in Kitchener. There’s also the local branch of your library — and they make great places to read and meet people too.

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Now that spring has sprung in Waterloo Region, I see and hear that . . .Tacofest tickets go on sale this Thursday, May 5, at noon sharp. Tickets have sold out in less than a minute the last two years, so have your credit card ready . . .Tessa Jennison from The Short Films is playing at the Rhapsody Barrel Bar (179 King St. W., Kitchener) on Wednesday, May 4, starting at 7 p.m. . . . The FriendZone Collective has another show at Open Sesame (220 King St. W., Kitchener) this Sunday, May 8, featuring Zones, Bad Channels, and BEATRIX . . . Finally, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8, and Gilt (305 King St. W., Kitchener) has what looks like an amazing three-course brunch — make your reservation now!




About The Author

Alex Kinsella
Digital Community Manager

Alex Kinsella is Communitech's Digital Community Manager. Part of the tech scene in Waterloo Region since 2004, Alex has worked at GBG, BlackBerry, and Thalmic Labs.