2018 Reading List

Top Picks From Our Team: On Finance, Investing, Life, Personal Change + Business

1. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business

By: Charles Duhigg
Theme: Personal Change

The Power of Habit takes readers on a scientifically human journey, exploring the intricacies of habits; why they exist and how they are changed. Duhigg deeply believes that understanding how habits work and why we do what we do, unlocks potential we can’t otherwise harness.

2. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

By: Atul Gawande
Theme: Life, Aging + Transitions

Gawande, a practicing surgeon, explores the human experience of mortality and the human spirit. He addresses the power of modern medicine, as well as its limitations during our final days. Being Mortal offers a creative model for assisting the ones we love along with ways we can help create an enriching and dignified life for each other, during our final days.

3. Irrational Exuberance

By: Robert J. Shiller
Theme: Finance + Investing

Named after former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan’s “irrational exuberance” quote, Yale professor Robert Shiller examines the public’s historical fascination with the stock market. He examines specific factors that have driven stocks higher such as increase in news and media coverage that has contributed to “irrational exuberance” and a decline in “perceived long-term risk”. This is an incredibly well-done and well-researched book for anyone interested in diving deeper into stock market valuation and how specific global and emotion have directly impacted investor behavior.

4. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Theme: Business, Investing + Life

The Black Swan is a book about uncertainty and examines the extreme impact of rare and unpredictable events. Before the discovery of black swans, the world believed all swans were white. Of course, we now know this to be false. Taleb focuses on these outlier type events and human tendency to find an overly simplistic reason for what happened. One single observation can derail an entire theory or belief; now known as the black swan theory.

The main theme of Taleb’s book is about human blindness to such events and shock when they occur. By this logic, Taleb asserts that what we do not know is far more important than what we do know. At the same time, our own preparedness and rational approach to our own business and financial planning is the one thing that can help insulate us from the unexpected.

5. The Alchemist

By: Paulo Coelho
Theme: Life

This is a story of self-discovery, personal intuition and following your dreams. This tale of a young shepherd boy takes readers on a journey across different countries and continents, in search of seeking treasure and living out his personal legend.

One character reminds readers, “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.” This book is a reminder that no matter how old or young, we all deserve to be happy. And in that pursuit of happiness and personal dreams, you might discover more about yourself and the world than you could have ever imagined.

6. How We Die: Reflections of Life’s Final Chapter

By: Sherwin B. Nuland
Theme: Life, Aging + Transitions

How We Die addresses one of the most central themes and concerns to all of humankind – death. Nuland discusses the many possibilities and ways that we can take control of our final days in a manner that we want. While the topic of death is scary and often uncomfortable, the theme is one that connects each and every one of us. This bestseller also examines the state of our health care system and the many ways that it can be reformed to better meet our final needs and wishes.

7. A Man Called Ove: A Novel

By: Fredrik Backman
Theme: Personal Change + Life

This feel-good story of an older man named, Ove, takes readers on a charming and heartwarming journey of love, loss, unlikely friendship, self-discovery, and aging. Ove is stuck in his ways and has a very strict set of principles and routines that he follows. Readers get to know Ove through the eyes of various characters he interacts with and shows us the power and profound impact one life has on countless others.

8. Steve Jobs

By: Walter Isaacson
Theme: Business + Life

Steve Jobs is a biography of an entrepreneur whose vision and imagination transformed a generation. Isaacson explores how Jobs’ determination to connect creativity and technology was a roller coaster ride filled with an intense passion for perfection, unfiltered candor, and a unique business approach that was often met with skeptics. The Steve Jobs story is one that is rife with lessons of leadership, imagination, creativity, conflict and character. Isaacson chronicles the evolution of idea, and how such an idea transformed the world.

9. The World is Flat

By: Thomas L. Friedman
Theme: Business + Life

In The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman takes readers on an analytical journal of globalization, commerce, and trade, and encourages people to see things in a different way. Friedman suggests that the world is flattening due to the evolution and transformation of the internet, personal computer, rise of digital technology, and of course, global politics. The title of the book is meant to deliver a strong message about the importance of creating a level playing field for commerce and describing the next phase of globalization.

10. Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America

By: Thomas L. Friedman
Theme: Business + Life

Hot, Flat, and Crowded focuses on our global climate crisis and the need for a green revolution. In his book, Friedman believes and proposes a national strategy to save the planet from overheating as well as making America a more secure, productive and healthier place to live. Despite our global energy and climate struggle, Friedman points how far we still have to go. He implores us to take action now, and speaks to everyone concerned about the world and our future as a society.