Verse Summer Reading - Staff Picks - Verse

Verse Summer Reading – Staff Picks


Summer is in full swing and everywhere we go conversations shift towards summer plans. Since the beginning of July, members of our team have been taking some much-needed time off and going as far as Romania, Cuba, and China. Meanwhile, however, back in our HQs, we continue to be hard at work, holding down the fort between release and release, and drooling over the never-ending social media posts featuring turquoise beaches and peaceful meadows.

We are not complaining, though, because we’re making good use of the tools that make it feel like summer, no matter the time and place.

What are these tools, you ask?

They are the following books that make up our staff’s recommended summer reading list (and of course, Rick and Morty and Game of Thrones…)


The Keys, by DJ Khaled
Recommended by our COO, Alex Lopera

“It’s a book about DJ Khaled’s life philosophy which is all about taking risks and shutting out the haters. Can’t go wrong with that.”

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity from Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs, by Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips
Recommended by our Head of Design, Marta Rodriguez

“It’s a really interesting perspective on the innovation that takes place outside of the free market economy: hackers, pirates, you name it, they’re all in there. It’s about the disruption that’s not talked about because it’s not legal, but it’s still disruption and you can still learn a lot from it. You know that Netflix ad that talks about how the Medellin Cartel could have bought basically every soccer team and still had money left over to buy Neymar? Well, you don’t get there without some good ideas.”

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek
Recommended by our Operations Manager, Cristina de Paz

“I started reading it after I saw the TED Talk about the whole theory and then I couldn’t stop. It’s very eye opening to think about how something so basic like asking the right question from the beginning can make such a difference.”

The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
Recommended by our Android Lead, Marius Budin

“It’s my favorite book ever. It’s about the struggle for individualism within the establishment which is something I think about a lot.”

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
Recommended by one of our iOS developers, Ramón Argüello

“It’s an awesome dystopian thriller that takes place between virtual and actual reality. Read it before the movie comes out and ruins the experience for you.”

The Circle, by Dave Eggers
Recommended by our CMO, Juan Carlos Expósito

“This is the last book I read. I know it’s a bestseller, but it was a pretty good story about an ambitious woman’s dystopic experience with the highs and lows of the internet age. It got me thinking while it kept me reading.”

The Broken Earth Series, by N.K. Jemisin
Recommended by our Android Developer, Malena López-Batista

“The latest installment is about to come out. Even though it’s sci-fi, it deals with really pertinent issues like climate change and oppression, and she’s just a phenomenal writer, so smart.”

Mating, by Norman Rush
Recommended by our Content Manager, Gabi Suau

“It’s a novel set in Botswana about an anthropologist who goes to visit another anthropologist’s secret project which is, basically, an entirely matriarchal society. I’m rereading it in the wake of all the discussions that we’ve had in the office about James Damore’s gender manifesto. It felt like an interesting thing to do.”

The Futurological Congress, by Stanislaw Lem
Recommended by one of our Backend Engineers, Dani Torramilans

“It’s satirical science fiction written in the seventies. The bad guys put hallucinogenic drugs in the water and the main character drinks it. I’ll stop before I pour out the spoilers, but trust me it’s really good.”

Notes from the Underground, by Fyodor Dostoyevski
Recommended by our Head of QA, Alfonso Manzano

“I love Dostoyevski. This book is one of the first times existentialism breaks into literature. The structure of the story and the way it’s told is just so ahead of its time. I think everyone who’s not convinced of his genius should read it.”

And lucky number 11:
For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
Recommended by our Head of Compliance, Arantza Loza

“I know I’m a little late to the game, but I actually think that it’s just the right place and the right time for me to read it. Our work life is so fast paced and this story is just such a slow, well crafted account of an ex-pat fighting a foreign war. Im taking my time and really enjoying it.”

We hope our list inspires you to stay hungry, stay foolish, and stay… in travel mode.

Have any summer reading suggestions for us? Tell us about your favorite books in the comments section!

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