2014 book list thread

Alright, so this year I plan on reading a couple of books to increase my general knowledge. Here are my recommendations. I also have some books that I want to read but dont know what they are called so hoping someone in the community can help me out :)

I will give it ago anyway if i get time away from the CFA books..

Anyway here are the books I want to read:
1) Sophies World - Fiction book on Philosophy.. introduces me to all the main players in philosophy with an interesting story. I hear that its a little hard to read and with my attention span, it will probably take me a year..
2) A short history on nearly everything - book on science that explains everything simply.

What I want to read (help please with book titles):
1) I want a history book that simply tells me about everything from aztecs to roman empire to napoleon and french war to US civil war to world war 1 and 2.. I just want to know everything about whatshappened in the past because I am too ignorant. I want this in one book and for it to be simple.
2) Economic history - I want to know about every single bubble in history and stock market crash and why it happened... including japanese real estate bubble and why japan is now in a 20-year glut (even though the Nikkei increased over 52% last year)...
3) any really good business books that you have read - please provide brief description.

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Comments (9)

  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Jan 9, 2014 - 6:24am

Those are a few of the books I read in 2013 (that I can remember):

Private Empire: ExxonMobil (Excellent)
The King of Oil: Marc Rich (Excellent)
Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work (Aesthetic)
1Q84 (Aesthetic)
The Goldfinch
My Lunches with Orson
Pattern Recognition
The Dinner (Funny)
They Eat Puppies, Don't They (Hilarious)
Gods at War: Shotgun Takeovers
In Praise of Shadows (Aesthetic)
How to Win Friends and Influence People (Misleading)
Fundamentals of Corporate Credit Analysis
Wolf of Wall Street (Funny)
A Life Without Limits (Inspiring)
The Graveyard Book
Fooled by Randomness

Books I want to read are:

Heidegger: Basic Writings (Difficult)
Investment Banking (Necessary)
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Aesthetic)
Investing in Oil & Gas (Interesting)

Jan 14, 2014 - 1:15pm

Really thought this post would be more active...

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Best Response
May 27, 2014 - 5:58pm

I recently read "Conquest of the Incas" which isn't the kind of over-arcing history book I think you're looking for but it did give me a lot to think about. It's really well written too. The guy who wrote it is kind of an inspiration.

I don't have a book recommendation but Marxist history of economics is pretty interesting. The premise is that economic and "material dialectics" precede culture, and this in turn is also what drives technology. So for instance, imagine a village with demand for just 1 good, Apples. They just sleep on the floor, don't wear clothes, they don't even need to drink water. They just walk around, pick apples, that's it. Now imagine someone invented a basket so that she can harvest more apples in one go. A market for basket follows and perhaps a market for basket making schools. See where I'm going with this? Now you have teachers, school supplies, clothes, all kinds of demands. Subsequently cultural artifacts follows these markets. The implication is a kind of economic determinism, that we have little (conscious) control over the economy. No one ever sat down and laid out capitalism as a theory and sent out a memo to everyone. It just sort of happened via governing dynamics. (Ironically communism actually was influenced by intellectual thought, in this case perhaps culture preceded capital but I'm not saying the theory is right, just that it's worth reading about).

Marx was a big fan of Lincoln and his take on slavery and the American civil war through the lens of Marxist dialectics is really interesting, I'd read those first. Also really cool from a historical angle that there was a time when Marx was writing op-eds in European papers on Lincoln and bougie European upper class people would debate about it over dinner. So not a book suggestion but I'd look into essays or synopsis written on those topics. I've read some of Kapital but honestly I will never read the whole thing, way too dense lol. Anyway, most people associate Marx only with communism but he also has a lot of writing on economic history that's kind of overlooked. Wanted to mention that if you're looking for a super ambitious explain-everything type historical theory, Marx really does try and come up with a theory of everything for economic history, explains every bubble, glut problem, inherent instability of capital, labor vs utility theory of capital, etc.

Re: business books, I'm currently reading "The New Lombard Street". It so clearly lays out how monetary policy works, history of banking, and the currently state of the Fed. I'm only half way through but I get goosebumps from a freaking book about fiscal policy, that's how good it is.

May 27, 2014 - 11:52pm

Great thread!

One of the books on my list to read is "Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller". I've heard rave reviews from multiple people (including WSO) about it.
I am also about to start "The Art of War", hearing only good things about it as well.

Aug 15, 2021 - 12:01am

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