(Late) Summer 2017 Reading Ideas

With a few weeks left in the summer, following is a list of eight books that I enjoyed reading over the past year. If you are looking for any book ideas I hope you find something here worth considering. Please let me know if you do. I hear from a few of you each time I put a list like this out and enjoy the conversation.

Business Books

Jesse Livermore – Boy Plunger: The Man Who Sold America Short in 1929 by Tom Rubython
Jesse Livermore is one of the greatest traders of all time. He had massive success and endured equally devastating failures in a Wall Street career that is well chronicled in this interesting book.

Shoedog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
This may be the most enjoyable business book I have ever read. It’s a candid, entertaining, and informative look at how one of our most iconic consumer brands came to be.

A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market by Edward O. Thorp
Ed Thorp taught the world how to beat the casinos at blackjack, changing the game forever. He then used that mathematical brilliance to become a quantitative investment pioneer, racking up an impressive investment track record and great stories and wisdom to share with readers.

Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982-2004 by Maggie Mahar
An insightful look at the long bull market that preceded our most recent crash. Investment professionals and individual investors alike will learn a lot about market history, what can cause markets to move and change, and how a long-term perspective is of the utmost importance.

Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar
Fans of the Showtime show Billions will recognize some of the storylines that were fictionalized in the show about taking down dirty hedge funds. Recommended for those wondering how some funds gain an edge and why it is so difficult to prosecute white collar criminals.

Other non-fiction

The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis
Brexit, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and certain European election results are explained in a fairly straightforward look at Populism. What is it? When did it start? What are the differences in the types of populist movements? This is an excellent book to help people understand some recent political shifts many were not expecting.


The Sympathizer: A Novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Pulitzer Prize winning novel looking at the Vietnam War and Vietnamese refugees in the United States from the perspective of a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain. This is an excellent book.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Another Pulitzer Prize winning novel that is a coming of age story about a Dominican-American overweight nerd struggling with life and his family’s curse.