As beach season approaches in North America and Europe, we asked the Active Quantitative Equity team to share their favorite books to read while catching some rays.
This quarter’s “Team Top 5” expanded to “Team Top 8,” as the group had lots of excellent book suggestions for your upcoming summer holiday! Here are their top choices.
Olivia Engel, CFA
Global Chief Investment Officer
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup John Carreyrou
"Bad Blood” is an incredible true story that touches on so many themes. It highlights how people’s decision making and judgement can be clouded by wanting something to be true…and how bad things happen when the desire for greed, power and glory take over. Despite the many people on the inside who knew about the secrets and lies, the corporate culture prevented it from surfacing for a very long time. It’s a fascinating read and hard to put down.
Andrew Wright, CFA
Head of Portfolio Management, UK
Collected Short Stories Volumes One & Two Roald Dahl
One of the best authors of our time, I find Roald Dahl’s stories thought provoking, and they often have endings with an unusual twist. I particularly liked “The Great Automatic Grammatizator,” which is an early-day representation of machine learning. Many of his short stories were adapted for a British TV series “Tales of the Unexpected” which aired in the early 1980s. If you prefer a watch to a read then I would recommend this series as an alternative.
Global Head of Active Quantitative Equity Strategy
Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate Rose George
I was particularly interested in learning about the shipping industry, and this book fit the bill. It’s an appropriate book to reach for while sitting on the beach as giant container ships float by!
Senior Portfolio Manager
The XIII Books of the SPQR Roman Mysteries Series John Maddox Roberts
What’s more exciting than following the investigations of a Senator-detective in Ancient Rome – during the reign of Augustus Caesar – filled with violence and evil?
The Brain That Changes Itself Norman Doidge
This book illustrates how the new science of "neuroplasticity" is debunking the centuries-old notion that the human brain is hard-wired. From stroke patients learning to speak again, the visually impaired learning to see with a sensor on their tongue, to the remarkable case of a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, this book shines a light on hope enabled by science and technology. Another takeaway: learning a new skill, language, or even changing an old habit may lead your neurons to rewire and improve your brain health.
For my beach read I like short stories, as they’re the perfect length for that short period of relaxation you get between swimming, sand castles with kids, ice-creams, etc. This short-story compilation is particularly interesting, as the plot lines are very clever, taking you on a global journey across China, Nigeria, New York and the UK – drawing you in and ending with a twist. This book is Jeffrey Archer at his best.
Senior Portfolio Manger
Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World Bradley Hope and Tom Wright
This thriller is about a single, rogue financier who swindled over $5 billion in the heist of the century, with lots of help from Goldman Sachs. This will not put you to sleep – even on the beach.
I often to struggle to read novels whilst on holiday. Maybe it’s the distraction of discovering somewhere new and also being lazy! What I do enjoy is reading the New York Review of Books (I do read and like the London Review of Books, but unfortunately have a preference for NYRB). You can selectively read what you feel like and discover new fields of study. These scholarly essays range from fiction reviews to biography to history. Then if something takes your fancy you’ll have a great list for the coming winter.....the proper time to do some serious reading.
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