Would You Be Interested in a WSO Book Club?

I'm currently thinking about starting a weekly book club thread on a particular title that we would read together. Every week, I would have a summary post of my thoughts for the chunk from that week, and people could respond based on what they've read or what I've said. It's hard for people to get into reading sometimes, so my goal is that these weekly threads would be edifying for the user base here regardless of whether they actually read the passage.

Thoughts on titles you'd like to see? Economics, history, science, financial stuff is all on the table. Non-fiction preferred. I'd prefer the title to be useful, but not necessarily something I (or other people) have read. Cheers

EDIT: I'd like to announce that the title for January 2022 will be "More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Eliteby Sebastian Mallaby. The discussion threads will be subdivided as follows:

Week 1 (01/08): Chapter I - IV (A.W. Jones, Michael Steinhardt, Paul Samuelson, Quantum Fund)

Week 2 (01/15): Chapter V - VIII (Tiger, Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckenmiller, 1994 bond crisis)

Week 3 (01/22): Chapter IX - XII (1998 Russian crisis, LTCM, Dot-Com Bubble, Tom Steyer)

Week 4 (01/29): Chapter XIII - XVI (RenTech, Amaranth, John Paulson, and the subprime crisis)

Looking forward to reading the book. It's about 17.7 pages a day. My target for the book club is 15 pages, which at 1 page per minute is achievable for an investment banker's schedule.

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Comments (62)

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Dec 30, 2021 - 9:36pm

I'd be interested in this, not sure if I can participate every week but I can try.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

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Dec 30, 2021 - 10:02pm

+1 SB. I mentioned economics because I think conceptual titles are conducive to the book club format. A finance title like Barbarians at the Gate, while a perfectly fine book, is a bit too episodic to have multiple posts to write on it. This one will definitely be a finance book. It'll probably be in one of the two buckets:

1. Biography of a business figure, like a Ron Chernow sort of deal

2. Historical, like Against the Gods

Dec 30, 2021 - 11:17pm

Thanks for posting this. I think I may potentially be interested in reading your summaries of interesting, finance related books. Particularly if you do the work of reading like the Ron Chernow biographies and put together like interesting summaries. Either way, good luck and best wishes :) happy and healthy 2022!

Dec 31, 2021 - 12:29am

One of my favorite mentors really liked that, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I'd love to read about Rentech.

EDIT: for a split second, I was thinking about The Man who Solved the Market, although More Money has a chapter on them too

Dec 31, 2021 - 12:35am

Have you read "a man for all markets" by Edward Thorpe? Really liked that one. Not super hardcore finance, it's very autobiographical. 2/3 about his life growing up (very interesting dude) and his career in academia, then he made it his mission to basically invent counting cards at blackjack before launching his quant hedge fund. Enjoyable read

Dec 31, 2021 - 12:55am

I'd be totally interested in this. Currently building my list for 2022 (not totally set even a day before the New Year lol), and my company book club is kinda dead. Would absolutely love to be part of a book club with people part of this forum. kellycriterion share with me some of your list if you'd be cool with that

I'm trying to definitely do some books in investing and corporate strategy in the next year, but come from an engineering background so science-y and medical stuff would be cool too

Jan 1, 2022 - 5:03am

You'll be pleased to know that higher up in the thread, I explicitly said Barbarians was not conducive to this format.

Liar's Poker is a really superficial account of larger-than-life personalities. It lacks depth, even if it's an entertaining read for many.

It's generally going to be conceptual, historical, or biographical. Am I ever going to be able to get people to read Middlemarch or something? No. But fiction's on the table if I like it and think there's buy-in.

Jan 1, 2022 - 5:46pm

Your earlier posts can't stop me cause I can't read :)

Yea agreed we can't get everyone with our schedules to read brothers karamazov or such. Maybe notes from underground or novellas like that - or kafkas metamorphosis while cliche - or the stranger. The real benefit is we can relate it to our shared experience of the world (grinding to get into finance, existential implications thereof)

Jan 1, 2022 - 5:20am

For sure, I already read a lot of non-fiction on economics and finance for work. I do like those Liars Poker, Den of Thieves, and Black Edge style pulpy finance novels, but that's more for entertainment than enrichment as others mentioned.

Beyond educational textbooks used in the classroom, a non-fiction finance title that I found worth reading is Confusion de Confusiones by Joseph de la Vega.

It explores a lot of interesting philosophical themes and events in history's first stock market. It's kind of arcane being from the 1600s, but the sorts of tricks and scandals it describes are still alive on Wall Street. The non-fiction finance books with the most depth are definitely educational texts, but that may not be so exciting or practical to read in a book club.

Here is my finance book reading list from last year, would be willing to re-read any of these or similar books:


Jan 1, 2022 - 9:00am

Count me in too!

I think that each member could contribute a suggested list, and then we could vote on what book to read next on a weekly basis. 


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Jan 2, 2022 - 8:26pm

does WSO have a poll feature? Would be useful for figuring out what future books would be.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

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Jan 2, 2022 - 8:29pm

Yeah, I definitely encourage people sending DMs about book choice. The thought there is that I would combine suggestions with my own thoughts on a Google form and tack it on to the last week of the prior book. 

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