Summer Vacation Book List

Brandon Snow's picture

As we get into the last few weeks of August, things will slow down (hopefully!) and people will be taking time out of the office. With this in mind, I wanted to share some of the most interesting and impactful books our team has read over the last year.



Am I Being Too Subtle? Straight Talk from a Business Rebel
By Sam Zell 
Interesting and entertaining read from a real estate mogul. 

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
By Cal Newport
With so many distractions in the connected world, this book lays out the importance of focused, deep work and offers tips on how to achieve it.

Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street
By Sheelah Kolhatkar
A great account of how multiple government agencies tried to bring down SAC, a firm built on attaining and trading on inside information. To this day I am shocked Martha Stuart went to jail for insider trading (well, actually for perjury), but Steven A. Cohen was never put behind bars. 

Thinking, Fast and Slow
By Daniel Kahneman
The father of behaviour finance provides a very accessible book discussing the two systems that drive the way we think.  Knowing how these systems work is the basis for understanding decision making and judgment.

Quality Investing: Owning the Best Companies for the Long Term
By Lawrence A. Cunningham, Patrick Hargreaves, and Torkell T. Eide
From London-based AKO Capital Management, this book highlights why focusing on quality over value can lead to significant long-term compound returns and how to identify a quality business.

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
By Brad Stone
Topical book covering Jeff Bezos' ambitions and what makes the Amazon culture so unique. 

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
By Neil deGrasse Tyson
More simplified than a brief history of time but gets more into latest findings including dark matter and dark energy (published 2017). 

How to Drink Like a Billionaire: Mastering Wine with Joie de Vivre
By Mark Oldman 
Sounds pretentious, but it is quite the opposite. More about finding good wine for good value. It has a ton of mini chapters and provides a really good overview of how to approach wine and is quite humorous.

A Few Lessons from Sherlock Holmes
By Peter Bevelin 
Very short book that takes excerpts from the Sherlock Holmes books by Arthur Conan Doyle as well as some writings from those who knew Doyle, including Joseph Bell, the inspiration for Holmes. The excerpts highlight Holmes’ process of deduction. A lot to do with the scientific process. 

By Yuval Noah Harari
Harari provides an account of human history from our early ancestors to today with a unique, scientific lens. It's an indulgent read that touches on many topics, but it gives a framework to think about the evolution of humans and how things could change in the future.

The White Tiger
By Aravind Adiga
Enjoyable fictional story about a young village boy that becomes a successful entrepreneur (in an unorthodox way), which touches on a number of important topics like religion, corruption, etc. in India.

The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
By Darren Hardy
Most people overestimate the change they can make in a month and underestimate the change they can make in a year or more. Small positive changes like stocks can benefit from compounding over time. A good read applicable across many areas of one’s life.

The Score Takes Care of Itself
By Bill Walsh
Many life lessons can be gleaned from sports, and it is interesting to see the time and energy spent on the process and its ultimate impact on winning. By focusing on the process you have a better chance at achieving the desired outcome.

Wooden on Leadership
By John Wooden
Generally considered the greatest NCAA coach of all time with 10 titles at UCLA, Wooden explains the virtues of near-obsessive preparation and getting the little things right.  He explains how doing your best in every moment will lead to positive outcomes.

The Alchemist
By Paulo Coelho
A short read on the power in finding your life’s passion and positive thought.

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