My second quarter reading is short on books but long on pages. It was dominated by another textbook with a couple of lengthy books thrown in.
Here’s what I’ve been reading the past three months:
- Once in Golconda — John Brooks tells the story of the Wall Street characters during the late 1920s bubble, the crash, and the regulatory changes that followed. Much of the attention focuses on Richard Whitney’s rise to president of the NYSE, his famous bid for U.S. Steel to halt the decline on Black Thursday, the fight against reform after the crash, and his eventual ruin. It’s a great read.
- The Great Depression: Can It Happen Again? — It’s 50 pages of testimony in October 1979 before the Joint Economic Committee asking the question often repeated since 1929. Can IT happen again? Galbraith, Greenspan, and Heller weigh in. It’s a great little intro to the history of the era. The best part is you can read it in an afternoon and it’s free.
- John H. Patterson: Pioneer in Industrial Welfare — This is the biography of John H. Patterson, a man ahead of his time. He took a poorly run company with a little known product, changed its name to the National Cash Register Company in 1884, and built it into one of the U.S.’s first global corporations. Along the way, he created many business practices that are considered standard today but were scoffed at back then. The guy was relentless in finding ways to improve the company. I enjoyed it. You can find a free scanned copy here.
- Devil in the White City — I needed something different. Erik Larson combines two stories in Chicago’s history. You get the main story of the architectural marvel and the wonders of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition with the side story of the dark twisted life of H. H. Holmes. I’m only partway through, but so far it doesn’t disappoint.
- Psychology of Intelligence Analysis — The book was originally written as separate articles for CIA analysts but it applies to anyone. It looks at the human mind’s poor ability to assess complex information, our cognitive biases, and critical thinking skills to improve it. I’ve only just started it. You can find a free PDF copy on the CIA website.
- Fundamentals of Insurance Planning — Another textbook finished for the CFP self-study course. This one covers all things insurance. I persevered and plowed through it.
And other book lists for reading ideas:
- The Funniest Books of All Time
- Behavioral Scientist’s Summer Book List 2020
- Lithub’s Ultimate Summer 2020 Reading List
- The Anatomy of Stocks That Go Up – DubraStocks
- The Danger of Learning From Your Mistakes – ValIdea
- What’s the Best Diversifier for Stocks? – C. Benz
- Explaining the 2020 Stock Market – A Wealth of Common Sense
- Not Crazy Can Still Be Nuts – Irrelevant Investor
- The UK’s Worst Stock Market Crash: 1972-1974 – Monevator
- Cliff’s Perspective: AQR’s Clifford Asness on Fundamental Value (video) – Acquirers Podcast
- The Damage We’re Not Attending To – Nautilus
- Unlucky Charms: The Rise and Fall of Billion-Dollar Jewelry Empire Alex and Ani – Marker
- The Designer Of The NES Dishes The Dirt On Nintendo’s Early Days – Kotaku
- Idea Farm’s Top Podcasts of 2020 (so far) – Spotify, also see 2019, 2018, 2017