A Few Of My Favorites

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: Tom Fletcher, CFP®

A couple of years ago I put together a list of books for our newsletter readers that I had recently read and enjoyed.  The list included both fiction and non-fiction, and contained many different types of subject matter.  The only common thread was that all the books listed were interesting and difficult to put down once I began reading them.   With spring vacation season nearly upon us again, I thought it would be a good idea to replace the list with some new entries. 

Non Fiction

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage (Alfred Lansing) - A riveting story about Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Antarctica exploration.  His specially made extra strong wooden ship became surrounded by sea ice and eventually was crushed.   To survive, he and his crew were required to jury rig lifeboats to sail across raging Antarctic seas to find civilization.  

Black Flags, The Rise of ISIS (Joby Warrick) -  A fascinating chronicle of the George W Bush administration's Iraq missteps that provided credibility to al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that eventually spawned the Islamic State. 

Red Notice (Bill Browder) - The US author ran a hugely successful hedge fund in Russia when the Soviet Union was breaking apart, making millions for himself and his investors.   He eventually was run out of the country and his life was threatened after exposing massive government corruption.  You won't ever look at Russia the same after reading this book.

Hellhound on His Trail (Hampton Sides) - A fast paced account of the plot and assassination of Martin Luther King, and the two month search for his killer, James Earl Ray, who almost got away.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (Erik Larson) -  A detailed account of the sinking of the cruise ship Lusitania off of the Irish coast by a German submarine in WWI.  Nearly 1,200 passengers died.  There is quite a bit of information regarding the genesis of German U-boats and controversy about the British lack of protection for the doomed passenger ship. 


An Officer and a Spy (Robert Harris) - Historical fiction based on the Dreyfus affair in France that took place in the 1890's.  Alfred Dreyfus was falsely accused of being a spy for Germany and was exiled to an uninhabited island to serve out his sentence.  He eventually was exonerated through very unlikely circumstances. 

The Martian (Andy Weir) - Even if you've seen the movie, it's worth reading the book.  At times it is humorous, gripping, and is also well written.  Books are always better than the movies.

I Am Pilgrim (Terry Hayes) - A page turner about a crazed bio-terrorist seeking to destroy America and an unlikely detective racing to discover to find him before it is too late.


I hope you have a chance to read one of these and let me know what you think.  Conversely, if you have a favorite book, please don't hesitate to share it with us.  Likely it will show up on our next favorite list.