Every once in a while, I may refer to a book in one of my posts or comments.
Some background is in order here. I am a BIG fan of reading. Always have been, always will be. To me, the written word is the best way to consume information (hey, hence I write this blog!)
Over time (read: once we’ve had kids), I have started to read much less than I would like to. That being said, I still manage to work my way through about one book a month.
Some are great, in which case I will add them to the list below. Some others – not so much, which means I won’t even bother to finish them… life is too short!
If you come across a great book on (or in addition to) any of the topics below, I would welcome a suggestion. My reading list is getting pretty long, but I don’t give up hope!
PS: I use a Kindle – it’s cheaper, better, AND environmentally friendly. Talk about a win-win-win! I find the Paperwhite model to be the best value for money as far as Amazon’s reader devices go (and yes, I go for the cheaper version with ads).
Also, make sure to check out the disclaimer at the bottom.
Power: Why Some People Have It – And Others Don’t by Jeffrey Pfeffer
If I could only tell you to read one book, this would be it. This is also the book I will buy for my children and nephews once they are old enough to enter any kind of paid employment.
It doesn’t matter whether you are working for a corporate, self-employed, run a startup or unemployed – this book will teach you how to become more successful, make more money – and reduce your stress levels at the same time.
I’ve originally come across it when a few friends from Stanford raved about their favourite MBA class (Jeffrey is a professor at Stanford GSB, which in my mind easily tops Harvard in the MBA rankings).
You’ve got to give it to the author – he doesn’t pull any punches. I even did a dedicated post on this book here.
Personal Finance / Investing
The Man Who Solved The Stock Market by Gregory Zuckerman
In the world of personal finance, there’s an eternal argument between active and passive investors. Each group likes to think they’ve found the right approach and anyone who disagrees with them is basically a bozo.
Even though I am firmly in the passive investing camp, I think the truth is a bit more nuanced than the black and white approach above. If active investors didn’t exist, us passive investors would be out of luck.
Someone’s got to do the hard work of actually analyzing companies – and those who do a good job are sure entitled to a monetary benefit.
Unfortunately, the really successful active investors aren’t the people that spring to mind. Instead, the people who beat the market are a secretive group and avoid the limelight like the plague.
This book lifts a veil on a fascinating industry full of exotic characters. It takes a while to pick up the pace but highly recommended nonetheless.
Reset: How To Restart Your Life And Get F.U. Money by David Sawyer
I have seen this book recommended on multiple FIRE forums, blogs, and Facebook groups and I couldn’t agree more.
In what is probably the first FIRE book tailored to the UK community, David does a really good job laying out the basic principles (and then some) of reaching financial independence.
In contrast to many other books on the same topic, this one is well-written, engaging, and entertaining at the same time. It also delves into the more existential topics, such as the mid-life rut most people encounter in their 40s. Even if you aren’t in that age bracket just yet, it’s certainly worth a read to understand what may be coming down the pipe.
David also runs a weekly newsletter called Zude’s Weekly Top 4. It’s an eclectic collection of links you probably won’t come across elsewhere. I always know I’m in for a treat when it lands in my inbox.
Real Estate Investing
As I evaluate deals for a living, I was never really in the market for real estate books.
That being said, I did buy one book on the topic – and it happened to be a phenomenal one. I rarely say this, but the way Frank presents the concepts has led me to see multiple things from new, unexpected angles.
Unlike many of the other books written by “pros”, Frank is the real deal. He is a successful property investor, a proven entrepreneur, and a Columbia University professor to boot.
Not only the book is very easy to read, but it also does a great job capturing both financial and commercial aspects of investing in real estate.
If you are contemplating getting into real estate, this one is a must.
Not Fade Away: A Short Life Well Lived by Peter Barton and Lawrence Shames.
Life has a habit of throwing curveballs at you. Sometimes, those curveballs are impossible to catch – but we must try anyway.
This was the dilemma faced by Peter Barton, a highly successful businessman facing down a cancer diagnosis at the prime age of 46. A poignant, thought-provoking read that helps separate out what’s important and critical in life – and leave everything else aside.
Here’s a post inspired by the book, along with some quotes that struck me as particularly thought-provoking.
Bad Blood: Lies And Secrets In A Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
In December 2018, my wife, our daughter, and I spent Christmas with the in-laws. Instead of taking the opportunity to catch up on my sleep (courtesy of a very supportive set of grandparents!), I repeatedly found myself in the living room at 2 am, consuming yet another chapter of this modern-day, real-life detective story.
The book is about the rise and fall of Theranos and it’s founder, Elizabeth Holmes. I found it particularly fascinating as I spend a fair amount of time in the tech sector and have come across more than one esoteric founder. That being said, Holmes really took things to a new level.
The woman who was at one point called the “next Steve Jobs”. A star-studded cast of characters, including the likes of Kissinger and Clinton. A scam of the century. This one is a treat.
*Note: some of the links above may be affiliate links. This means that should you choose to buy the book, I may get a (small) commission – at no cost to you. The money will be used to offset some of the expenses associated with running this blog.
You can rest assured that I never recommend any products or services that I do not or am not prepared to use myself.