I Asked The Team: What Book Inspires You?

We at AngelHack consider ourselves pretty close. We might all be working remotely, but through working hackathons together and team retreats (and Slacking each other all day, ‘err day), we’ve gotten to know pretty much all our coworkers on a personal basis. But I wanted to take it a step further, and ask what inspires my team mates. Specifically, “What book inspires you?”.

Brian Collins – CMO

“If I had only one book to give to my future kids, it would be this one  This book is a primer for my life.  It teaches you one important thing: the obstacles we face each and every day aren’t problems to get caught up on, they’re challenges to overcome. And the challenges of life are what make it so much fun.”





Rachel Katz – Director of Social Innovation

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a great tale of perseverance agains tough odds, and examines many themes I’m interested in including poverty, education and gender within a time frame and context totally different than my own. It’s a look back at what the American Dream represented in another era, which is interesting to juxtapose with the American Dream in modern times.

And #GIRLBOSS is an entertaining book about chasing your passion and achieving your dreams, even if you’re not quite sure how to get there. Sophia Amoruso is a great anti-hero, and her advice is actually useable and memorable, vs. some of the more esoteric and dry rags-to-riches biographies out there.



Matt Wright – Global Series Manager / Latin America Regional Manager

Jerry Weintraub taught me the true value of entrepreneurship, life and simply not getting too caught up on “what others have done”. He paved his own path. Ernest Hemingway taught me to live life to the fullest, explore the word, and to fight like hell for the things you love. Richard Branson taught me to be rebellious, to create sense of purpose, and to give zero shits about what people think about you. In all, be rare! 🙂 “




Nausheen Ali – VP of Marketing

The first time I read this book was with my son when he was five and although the book was published over 100 years ago the lessons hold true even now. Life has a way of sweeping us up in a cyclone of challenges that seem insurmountable, but if we’re lucky, along the way we gather friends that support us, mentors that guide us and eventually we realize that we always had the ability to get where we needed to go, it was just a matter of believing in our own capabilities. Oh yeah, and most of the folks that pose as Grand Wizards are usually just tired, old phonies! 🙂 “




Ian Chong – APAC Regional Manager

Highlights latent things that I already know but chose to ignore about life. Happiness comes in different form, under different context and are unique for everyone. It teaches me to be content with what I have but still balance with the looking for something better.”




Jacob Clarke – Content Coordinator

“This book inspires me to to think outside of the box. I put myself into the mindset of George Orwell who wrote this book using his creativity to imagine what the world would be like in 40 years. His forward thinking makes me think more long term.” 




Jessica Smith – VP of Strategic Partnerships

These books are the greatest adventure stories of all time. Filling your head with magic, imagination, wonder, fear, and a great sense of friendship with powerful determination to an un thought of task by the most unusual characters. I’m also a dreamer, always thinking and never stoping. These books are a great escape.”

Cassey Gatchalian – Executive Director, HACKcelerator

It’s always been a favorite book since childhood. It’s such a unique and vivid world and it does an amazing job of immersing you into it. It served to fuel my imagination and the urge to dream big at an early age.” 





Christina Lila – European Regional Manager

It’s not about being short! This book changed my views on so many things. It made me see business + econ are not independent compartments of society, but impact everything else much more deeply than I realized (down to our personal relationships). The author paints a beautiful picture of a totally new structure of society that is not really new at all. Economics “as if people mattered” where people are properly motivated, community is strong, work cultivates virtue, business is not obsessed with infinite growth (which is not in fact possible), everyone is a builder and business serves society instead of vice versa. (Also it makes $$ because people think & act like entrepreneurs.)

I guess it motivated me to want to support entrepreneurs in my career which was a big part of the journey towards AngelHack.



Rachel (2)

Kristen Scheven – Marketing Manager

“Lean In was the first book I read after graduating college. At that time I was feeling as many graduates do, dazed and confused. I wasn’t sure how to take that next big leap, and Lean In helped me realize what I wanted out of my career. I also love that this book applies to women from all different backgrounds.  

This other little-known novel taught me to take each adventure head-on. After all, “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”



Mitchell Carey – London Ambassador

I love how he is a great representation of someone going from rags to riches, the book illustrates this very well and in depth talking about the ups and downs of his career. Truly an inspirational story!





 Troy Petrunoff – Content Strategist

Lastly, there’s me. I choose Roger Ebert’s memoir for many reasons. I’m a huge fan of his movie reviews, and the fact that he made a name for himself past just being that guy that writes movie review for the Chicago Sun Times that also has a tv show. He went through a lot in life, especially at the end, loosing his entire jaw to cancer.

This quote says it all: “I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”



So you’ve read ours. Tell us yours.