It’s summertime, when longer days and vacation travel make it possible to settle in with a good book, whether at the beach or on the couch. We thought we’d offer up a few interesting reads that will give you food for thought while keeping you entertained. While these books are not directly about investing, they all take a close look at how we think and offer some perspective that can help us see things a little differently, a valuable advantage for investors. Following is our recommended summer reading list:
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam M. Grant
Adam M. Grant
The reviews are glowing, including being named one of the best books of 2013 by Amazon, the Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Grant, the youngest full professor and highest-rated teacher at The Wharton School, combines academic research and compelling storytelling to challenge the idea that good guys finish last. In Give and Take, Grant identifies three reciprocity styles people tend to fall into: takers, givers, or matchers. Our society, Grant postulates, underestimates the power of givers, and he sets out to “examine startling studies and stories that illuminate how giving can be more powerful – and less dangerous – than most people believe.”
Penguin Books; Reprint edition March 25, 2014
Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
In the book Freakonomics and the film Superfreakonomics, Levitt and Dubner proved that they see the world differently from most people. In Think Like a Freak, they offer up the recipe for how to look at things with what they call the “economic approach,” which has less to do with the economy and everything to do with engaging in rational analysis. We all have biases and belief systems which are barriers to objective thinking. Levitt and Dubner work to shed light on those biases so that we can strip them away and see the world more clearly.
William Morrow; May 12, 2014
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
World-renowned behavioral economist brings us this New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012, also named one of the best books of 2011 by the New York Times Book Review and The Economist. As a behavioral economist, Kahneman has researched for decades how people make decisions. We think we understand who we are and how we make choices, but in this book, Kahneman shares the deeper psychology that drives human behavior.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition April 2, 2013