Here’s what I’ve been reading the past three months:
- Devil in the White City — The author meshes two stories together: the 1893 World’s Fair held in Chicago and the serial killer H. H. Holmes. Daniel Burnham brought together the country’s greatest architects to help design the fair and managed the construction, all while the country was falling into a depression. It’s a great story from start to finish. The fair brought us the Ferris Wheel, Shredded Wheat, Cracker Jack, the Pledge of Allegiance, Columbus Day, and more. The problem was in the second story. It was interesting, but it didn’t fit. It turned out to be a decent book. But it would have been better if the author left out the story around Holmes since it had no real connection with the fair.
- Psychology of Intelligence Analysis — The book started as a collection of articles written to help CIA analysts improve their thought process when dealing with uncertainty. It’s a well written, easy to read, handbook on the biases that impact decision making. It’s a perfect introduction for investors (notes). You can find a free PDF copy on the CIA website.
- The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity — The author provides an entertaining set of theories on our biggest failing — stupidity — and its cost on society. It’s really an essay and a particularly worthwhile read…especially this year. You can also find free copies floating around online.
- This is Water — David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech in book form on living a less selfish more aware life. It’s short. you can find free copies online. Go read it.
- Reminiscences of a Stock Operator — I thought this was worth reading again with the craziness in the markets this year. It’s my second time through. This time I picked up the annotated edition two weeks ago (only partway through). It adds some history and backstory to the original text.
- Income Tax Planning — Another textbook for a CFP self-study course on the exciting world of taxes. Biggest takeaway: the U.S. tax code is so ridiculously over-complicated that defies common sense. But I’m sure you already knew that.
A few book lists for other reading ideas:
- Traveling Back In Time: Historical Resources – a great collection of old investing books. I’ve read several on the list.
- 10 Books That Will Blow Your Mind
- Good Investors Make Decisions They Hope Will Cost Money – Behavioral Investment
- Common Causes of Very Bad Decisions – M. Housel
- Edward Chancellor: Prudent Investing is Impossible These Days – The Market
- Does Financial Leverage Make Stocks Riskier? – ETF Stream
- Sales and Distributions – Verdad
- Better, Cheaper, Faster: Why Companies that Reduce Friction Win (podcast) – Invest Like the Best
- The Dominance of Chaos: Why It’s Impossible to Forecast the Weather Too Far Into the Future – Mashable
- The Sports Industry’s Gen Z Problem – Morning Consult
- The Race to Redesign Sugar – The New Yorker
- This Overlooked Variable Is the Key to the Pandemic – The Atlantic