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  • Reading Books In 2014 50 comments
    Jan 15, 2014 11:06 AM

    As anyone who follows my posts on StockTalks may have noticed, I am reallocating much of my time from posting articles and white papers to reading books this year. If anyone is interested, here are some of my favorite books. Here is a longer listing of the books on my shelves.

    My favorite bookstore for books still in print is Tattered Cover in Denver.

    At the top of rare bookstores is Bauman Rare Books.

    They sold me my favorite early editions of Wealth of Nations, Security Analysis, Fountainhead, and others.

    My favorite library that is open to the public is probably Trinity -

    There are quite a few great American libraries in private homes too. Among the greatest is Harlan Crow's in Highland Park -

    What are you reading this year? What do you like to read?

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  • Wilson Wang
    , contributor
    Comments (884) | Send Message
     
    I've been reading a lot of poker books.

     

    I'm currently reading, "How to fail at almost everything and win big."

     

    Great book, funny author.
    15 Jan 2014, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • jaginger
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    what's on your poker list, Wilson? have you read Slansky's Theory of Poker?
    15 Jan 2014, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • Wilson Wang
    , contributor
    Comments (884) | Send Message
     
    I'm actually reading that right now!
    15 Jan 2014, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • jaginger
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    Great, let me know how you like it.
    15 Jan 2014, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • TimeOnTarget
    , contributor
    Comments (2963) | Send Message
     
    Chris --

     

    I love to read and I am always looking for new, good stuff. So, I was delighted to find your "good read" list and printed it out.

     

    I am glad I printed it to PDF: It was 1500 pages long. That was your list of books. I'm not sure I've ever read 1,500 pages total.

     

    Actually, since I inadvertently printed it landscape, there were only three books per page, so only 4,500 total. Whew. At first I was afraid I wasn't going to make it through all of them.

     

    But, I do have a bone to pick with you. I happened to see on your list of "good reads" one certain book I am familiar with:

     

    "A Treatise on Probability" by John Maynard Keynes

     

    That was on your list of "Good" books???? Is that some kind of a sick joke????

     

    If someone asks you what is a good movie to go see, do you recommend they see "Grease" at a theater that does sing-a-longs?

     

    I had to read A Treatise on Probability and write a really long paper on it as the biggest part of my grade for a course. It still makes me shudder to think of it.
    15 Jan 2014, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (5275) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I am heavily invested in timberland, so encourage the printing of lengthy items from the internet. My friends at HP (HPQ) further recommend the solid black background to all such printing jobs.

     

    I admire Lord Keynes as an investor, if less as an economist, and even less in terms of how his economic ideas have been abused by politician. But I've also read Marx, Mao, and Alinsky (know your enemy and all that).
    15 Jan 2014, 11:50 AM Reply Like
  • TimeOnTarget
    , contributor
    Comments (2963) | Send Message
     
    I admire him as a cure for insomnia!
    15 Jan 2014, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    Chris,

     

    You need to rate more books on GoodReads so followers can sort by your favourites!

     

    More work for you, less for me!

     

    Thanks again for your work.
    15 Jan 2014, 11:50 AM Reply Like
  • memshu
    , contributor
    Comments (587) | Send Message
     
    although i read most of my work related stuff on screens, i dont really enjoy it. my favorite reading position is horizontal, favorite material is paper, and favorite conclusion is falling asleep with the book firmly planted on my face to cut out daylight and induce sleep.

     

    long live BOOKS, damn it
    15 Jan 2014, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • toddro
    , contributor
    Comments (203) | Send Message
     
    Currently on "Margin of Safety" by Seth Klarman
    15 Jan 2014, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (5275) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » So good. One of my favorites. More on MoS here: http://seekingalpha.co...
    15 Jan 2014, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • jaginger
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    Can I "borrow" it when you're done?!
    15 Jan 2014, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • toddro
    , contributor
    Comments (203) | Send Message
     
    Haha! I will need a significant "deposit"...
    15 Jan 2014, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • memshu
    , contributor
    Comments (587) | Send Message
     
    seth clarman made... 30% 2009-2010
    NUFF SAID
    15 Jan 2014, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • drew111
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    Jaginger, there is a clean pdf version floating around the web, I'll try to find the link for you.
    15 Jan 2014, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • jaginger
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    That would be beautiful. Thanks, drew.
    15 Jan 2014, 04:50 PM Reply Like
  • drew111
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    Actually if you can message me with your email address, I can send you a pdf copy. All the links I had have been taken down. A yahoo addy would be best since they use dropbox. Its a 30+ mb file. I've already have it uploaded to my draft area! lol
    15 Jan 2014, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • jaginger
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    just sent you a message drew
    15 Jan 2014, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • jaginger
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    My current list:
    Thinking, Fast and Slow
    The Complete Collection of E. M. Bounds on Prayer
    Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders
    The Outsiders

     

    Just finished:
    NutureShock
    The Success Equation
    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
    Fortune's Formula
    15 Jan 2014, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • jacobtr
    , contributor
    Comments (404) | Send Message
     
    I've read some of E.M. Bounds on Prayer. Great stuff.
    28 Jan 2014, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • Toby Shute
    , contributor
    Comments (136) | Send Message
     
    I'm reading Wm. Poundstone's Priceless. Unlike Fortune's Formula, it's less of a narrative and more a series of vignettes, but it is awesome. There's a lot of Kahneman/Tversky, so might be duplicative effort for those who have read Thinking, Fast and Slow already.
    15 Jan 2014, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • arbtrader
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    Awesome, Amazon just delivered my used copy of Priceless. Mixed reviews on there, but glad to hear you enjoyed it. Fortunes Formula was brilliant.
    15 Jan 2014, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • grendelbane
    , contributor
    Comments (270) | Send Message
     
    I am in the mood for some high adventure.

     

    Surely there is a collection of Harold Lamb stories I haven't read yet.
    15 Jan 2014, 05:51 PM Reply Like
  • jacobtr
    , contributor
    Comments (404) | Send Message
     
    I recently discovered I can listen to audiobooks on my phone at double speed. Not great for technical stuff, but works well for biographies and novels. In the last three months I've done:

     

    Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story (it's about Enron)
    The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
    I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford
    Titan (John D Rockefeller)
    Atlas Shrugged

     

    I liked all of them. Enjoyed Atlas Shrugged the best, then the Enron story, and then probably Vanderbilt. It's been great to get through a few thousand pages in three months, mostly while working out.

     

    My favorite book of last year was Unbroken. Amazing story. Also, I recommend God's Samarai for a Japanese perspective of WWII and another incredible story.
    15 Jan 2014, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (5275) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Great idea and great reading recommendations too. Louis Zamperini came to speak at my church a while back and he was unbelievably moving and inspiring. It was fascinating to see the personal qualities (not all virtues) that made him such a powerful survivor.
    15 Jan 2014, 06:18 PM Reply Like
  • toddro
    , contributor
    Comments (203) | Send Message
     
    It's not quite as epic as "Unbroken", but "Lost in Shangri-La" by Mitchell Zuckoff is another WWII story of survival that is very interesting and well worth the read.
    15 Jan 2014, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • drew111
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    I've got a large folder of (PDF) investment related books on my laptop. I won't get into that list since a good part was acquired due to recommendations found here on SA. Some non-investment books that I have thoroughly enjoyed include:

     

    "Gates of Fire" Steven Pressfield

     

    "Book of Five Rings" Musashi (can't remember the specific translation, but it was biographical as well)

     

    Rogue Warrior(1 and 2) Richard Marcinko - personal side note - Ham, one of the SEALs mentioned in both books, is a friend of a friend of mine. One dangerous man...lol His real name is Chris, Out of fear and respect I will withold his last name.
    15 Jan 2014, 07:40 PM Reply Like
  • TimeOnTarget
    , contributor
    Comments (2963) | Send Message
     
    Seeing Jaginger's list, which included stuff like "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion," brought to mind a few books that help you better understand both yourself and others, some easy and quick, some not so much so.

     

    i) Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than I.Q. -- Daniel Goleman
    (I missed this book when it came out-- evidently it was a big deal at the time. I probably was at the bars drunk during all that. But I happened to pick it up at the bookstore and started reading a couple of pages. I found it quite interesting and after standing there and reading the first 150 pages, I went ahead and bought it. A quick, easy read, but one I found very worthwhile. I'm now trying to get my 16 year old boy to read it. I can't get him to read squat, so the fact that I selected it as some of the very few pages I will ever be able to get him to read (at least for a few more years) speaks to how valuable I thought the concepts were.)

     

    ii) The Drama of the Gifted Child -- Alice Miller
    (I bought this book shortly after I got married. My wife had a 7 year old boy from her previous marriage; I suddenly needed to understand how to be a good parent. It was with child psychology books when I purchased it, so that is what I thought it was about. Turned out to be quite a bit more than that. Short, not complex, but quite thought provoking.)

     

    iii) The Denial of Death -- Ernest Becker --
    ("Winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1974 . . . Becker tackles the problem of the vital lie -- man's refusal to acknowledge his own mortality . In doing so, he sheds new light on the nature of humanity . . . ." One of the most thought provoking, profound books ever written. )

     

    iv) The Unbearable Lightness of Being -- Milan Kundera
    (This book is so profound that reading it becomes an almost surreal experience; it completely transported my thoughts to totally new realms. And that was all before I got to the third page. A singular work that should not be missed.)

     

    v) The Aubrey/Maturin series -- Patrick O'Brian
    (Quite simply the best books ever written. 20 books that are essentially one tremendous work that is epic in many ways, most importantly the amount of enjoyment you will have reading them. I read the first one in July of 1995. I am currently on book 16, for what will be my 7th time to completely read the series. Nor will this be the last time I read it in entirety. The first book, "Master and Commander," is a bit of a hard read. Just keep going. When I first finished reading it I remember thinking "that was kind of weird, but I kind of liked it--I think I will read the second one." I hadn't even totally made up my mind about it though.

     

    Sometime a few weeks after that I picked up the second book, "Post Captain," when I was at the bookstore. About halfway through "Post Captain" it just clicked. Before I had even finished No. 2, I went back to the book store and bought Nos. 3-12 and, quite literally, took a week off work to do nothing but read them.

     

    Yeah, I recommend these. Funny, exciting, and profound. Truly one of life's great pleasures.

     

    See this article in Wikipedia for more info: http://bit.ly/1kCXQ6e )
    15 Jan 2014, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (5275) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a favorite of mine. Intoxicating.

     

    O'Brian! So so so good. Captures ambition, courage, and the tight bonds of friendship between men... especially those facing danger together.
    15 Jan 2014, 08:51 PM Reply Like
  • toddro
    , contributor
    Comments (203) | Send Message
     
    I love Kundera. "The Joke" was a very powerful story as well. "Life is Elsewhere" and "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting" - all great!

     

    I also really like Louis Begley - "Wartime Lies" in particular.

     

    Also - "Shop Class as Soulcraft" by Matthew B. Crawford - a really interesting look at education as it relates to one's work, trade, craft, and soul.
    15 Jan 2014, 09:21 PM Reply Like
  • TimeOnTarget
    , contributor
    Comments (2963) | Send Message
     
    @toddro --

     

    Cool. Those are a couple I have never heard of.
    16 Jan 2014, 12:30 AM Reply Like
  • arbtrader
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    TOT has good taste...

     

    Couple weird books I've greatly enjoyed and been pleasantly surprised....

     

    'The Alchemist' by Coelho. Its a weird book you either like or don't. Easy quick read.

     

    'Shantaram'. Bit wordy in the middle but just a very cool story.

     

    For military books: http://bit.ly/1cxtqIF

     

    His Books 'Attack on the Liberty' and 'The war below' are incredibly popular with veterans. He's also a friend of mine and a guy to watch for more Military history, soon. AT
    16 Jan 2014, 09:52 PM Reply Like
  • Monolith Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    Recently read:

     

    King of Capital -- story of Blackstone and Steve Schwarzman

     

    Fooling Some of the People All of the time -- Story of Einhorn shorting Allied Capital

     

    End of Power (Moises Naim) -- how the concept/ idea of power is undergoing a historic and world-changing transformation

     

    Currently reading:

     

    Dragons of Eden (Carl Sagan) -- Speculations on the evolution of human intelligence
    15 Jan 2014, 09:45 PM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (1102) | Send Message
     
    In an attempt to start to invest in the oil and gas industry I finished the The Prize by Daniel Yergin. Great, great book.

     

    Just got The Frackers by Gregory Zuckerman. He wrote a book about Paulson that was decent. Got the book Monday and I keep sneaking away at night when I should be playing with my kids to read a few more pages. Very enjoyable.
    16 Jan 2014, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • kadison
    , contributor
    Comments (212) | Send Message
     
    I love this library (from Kundera's home country)
    http://bit.ly/1dizF2Y
    18 Jan 2014, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (5275) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Stunning.
    18 Jan 2014, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • TimeOnTarget
    , contributor
    Comments (2963) | Send Message
     
    @Kadison --

     

    That is about the coolest looking thing I have ever seen. I thought that stuff this cool had long since been torn down for parking garages. Too cool. Thanks for posting that.

     

    @arbtrader, toddro, drew111, jacobtr, --

     

    thanks for the recommendations. courtesy of Amazon I have a bunch of new War books coming. I'm pumped. (And, you gotta love Amazon -- damn near instant gratification. I have always love Amazon, but I have yet to figure out why I was so stupid as to be a loyal customer basically from the get-go, yet laugh at it as an investment starting in like 1998-- I still remember my smug little feeling of superiority when people were talking about investing in it . . . . arrgghhh.)

     

    There is something about war stories that kind of compresses all human strengths, frailties, fate, etc. and magnifies it. (I'm thinking particularly if you are on a submarine.) I studied WWII a lot. It would have gone one whole heck of a lot differently, except for Franco.

     

    Franco may have been the most pivotal guy in the whole thing--not bad for someone who wasn't involved, eh? What Franco did, was not allow Hitler to attack the British at Gibraltar through Spain. Hitler went to meet with Franco a couple of times thinking that either Franco lets me in to get at them, or I am coming in anyway. Franco schmoozed Hitler out of that. So, to secure his Balkan flank, and get the oil he needed, Hitler came up with Operation Barbarossa -- securing his Balkan flank by taking a tiny little detour through the east through Russia, then, after that mighty thrust to the east, just a casual sweep south and back to the west to secure that Balkan flank.

     

    So, because Hitler got tired of Franco talking his ear off about what good buddies they were, but no he couldn't come into Spain, but they were big-time buddies anyway . . . . he opted for Stalingrad.
    19 Jan 2014, 05:38 AM Reply Like
  • arbtrader
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    Just finished "Bomb" which my kid picked up at a school book fair. Won several book awards for kids. It's a very easy read yet filled with detail (and an extensive reference list in the back) about 3 parts of the race to develop a nuclear bomb: 1-the US race to assemble a team and develop a working bomb from scratch, 2-the efforts to stop the German project to create a bomb, and 3-Russian plans (in great detail) to steal the US designs via communist sympathizers.

     

    You will enjoy reading it and pass along to a precocious youngster who might enjoy reading something about the real world. Best, AT
    21 Jan 2014, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • Toby Shute
    , contributor
    Comments (136) | Send Message
     
    The Baroque library hall inside the Klementinum is another awesome one in Prague. I did not want to leave.
    22 Jan 2014, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • toddro
    , contributor
    Comments (203) | Send Message
     
    I thought of few others thanks to the this & the "systemic risk" forum:

     

    'The Last American Man' - Elizabeth Gilbert.

     

    "One Second After" - William R. Forstchen
    19 Jan 2014, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • Pine Research & Trading
    , contributor
    Comments (164) | Send Message
     
    Right now reading via audiobook "I Know who you are and I saw what you did" by Lori Andrews. subtitled, "social networks and the death of privacy."

     

    It is not necessarily the best read, but she highlights some of the egregious practices by current internet players. i thought i was both aware of what was going on and paranoid. i was off by something like a factor of 10. i found out that a real estate site (wells fargo, i think) was showcasing potential homes based on the racial statistics of the zip code of the user. i had kinda thought we ditched that 50 years ago or so.

     

    Am also reading Rex Stout, "The Doorbell Rang." It is a Nero Wolfe mystery. Very enjoyable. Picked it up because it is also revolving around the theme of privacy but this time in the 60's and the FBI.

     

    I'll also second Thinking Fast and Slow.

     

    Also on audiobook, The Iliad by Homer, translated by Stephen Mitchell. My son and i spend a lot of time in the car together due to ice hockey commitments (his). Alfred Molina reads it well. I had figured that if i played it while he was in the car, he would get some good chunks of it and that would be great. it was a very proud moment when, early on, he insisted that i not go on ahead without him so that he could hear it in its entirety. It is my first time reading the Iliad. plenty of action and plenty of thought provoking. some don't like the mitchell translation but it fits my purposes and is enjoyable.

     

    now i have to find the unbearable lightness of being!
    21 Jan 2014, 10:45 PM Reply Like
  • Spidron
    , contributor
    Comments (27) | Send Message
     
    At the moment, "The Prolific and the Devourer", a short book by W.H. Auden. Auden was a wide-ranging, synthetic intellect, and it's good reading even if, ultimately, his grand syntheses (e.g., psychoanalysis + Christianity + Marxism) don't hold water.
    24 Jan 2014, 05:39 PM Reply Like
  • johnbarleycorn
    , contributor
    Comments (133) | Send Message
     
    Currently I'm reading Michael Connelly's The Scarecrow...
    27 Jan 2014, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • toddro
    , contributor
    Comments (203) | Send Message
     
    Just finished "Glock" by Paul M. Barrett. It is a fascinating history of Glock, the man, and GLOCK, the gun. It was a "3-nighter" it was that good - couldn't put it down...

     

    http://amzn.to/Qv5vGP
    30 Mar 2014, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (5275) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Looks like a good book. I shoot their 21 and 26 a lot -- 21 good for vehicles and 26 for carry (although a bit wider than ideal). Not my favorites in the whole world, but reliable and so easy to clean and maintain.
    30 Mar 2014, 10:44 AM Reply Like
  • toddro
    , contributor
    Comments (203) | Send Message
     
    I'm not an over-the-top devotee either. The book is really interesting though, and I learned a few things I did not know about the company, the gun, and Gaston Glock. Just got a Walther P99AS I am anxious to try out...
    30 Mar 2014, 11:18 PM Reply Like
  • jaginger
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    I believe you are going to love that Walther toddro :-)

     

    I have the S&W collaboration version of it. Fantastic for carry, IMO.
    31 Mar 2014, 07:10 AM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (5275) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Borderlands is Closing: http://bit.ly/1CvrgeU
    4 Feb, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • jacobtr
    , contributor
    Comments (404) | Send Message
     
    Thank you San Francisco voters. Somehow people miss the fact that he minimum wage law forbids a potential employee from taking a job he wants if Big Brother determines it is not in his best interest to work for that pay. Perhaps if voters saw minimum wage as the lowest rate at which a person was allowed to sell his services instead of the lowest a business was allowed to pay they would treat this issue differently.
    5 Feb, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (5275) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I don't think that anyone should work for a net present expected value of less than minimum wage. However, this is utterly impossible for a government to judge accurately and has to be judged by the individual because it is different for each person. In my example, I had some jobs that paid me only a few dollars per hour in terms of upfront cash when I was a teenager, but may have been worth millions of dollars when one combines cash, education, work ethic, building a business and other intangible benefits. So my first question is this: how could a government regulate such a job? My second question is this: why should it?
    5 Feb, 09:53 AM Reply Like
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