By: Tom Fletcher, CFP® (Director of Investment Strategy)
At the end of a long day there’s nothing more relaxing than getting lost in the cover of an absorbing book. In my case it’s a digital cover, as I stopped reading traditional hard copy books years ago for the sake of convenience.
As I mentioned in my New Year’s “Moving On” resolution article at the beginning of the year, my goal was to read 18 books this year. At my current pace this year, that might be difficult to attain. However inserting the occasional really good book into the lineup hurts my sleep but helps my reading speed significantly.
Despite all the resources available to a reader these days, I always find it hard to locate that occasional good book. If I’m reading 17 a year, I’m lucky if I can find two or three to recommend to others. And obviously reading something “good” is personal preference. What appeals to me may be utter rubbish to you (and vice versa). Though I always like to hear your suggestions! Anyhow, I’ve made a list of some of my recent favorites just in case you happen to be hunting for a few new names. Most of the books listed receive at least 4.5 stars on Amazon, so at least others tend to agree. Interestingly after I put together this list, I realized all the books had colons in the titles. I’m not sure why, but I guess that’s the latest craze. Lastly, If you’ve read one of the books mentioned, I’d love to hear your feedback.
Here’s my list (in no particular order):
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. Written by a Wall Street Journal reporter, this book chronicles the production and marketing of a fraudulent blood testing machine manufactured by Silicon Valley startup Theranos and their quirky CEO Elizabeth Holmes. I was concerned the book would be too technical, but that was definitely not the case; a real page turner.
The Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller. An uplifting true story of how a family fled war torn Afghanistan, surviving significant obstacles along the way. Sadly, I imagine there are many similar accounts with worse outcomes.
Not Afraid of the Fall: 114 Days Through 38 Cities in 15 Countries by Kyle James. Written from the perspective of a travel diary with the title really saying it all. A whirlwind tour of Western and Eastern Europe as well as a short stint in Asia. Light reading and entertaining. A great book for someone who enjoys travel but doesn’t have the time or means to do so.
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain. The late Anthony Bourdain’s (may he Rest In Peace) famous account of breaking into the restaurant industry. I enjoyed his TV series, so this was definitely icing on the cake (pardon the pun). Not only was he a good chef and TV host, but also a great writer as well. Plenty of laugh out loud moments throughout the book.
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France by Tyler Hamilton. A surprisingly well written book that highlights the systematic “doping” that took place in the cycling world during the period of Lance Armstrong’s dominance. And you don’t need to be a cycling fan to enjoy this one either.