I regularly get asked for book recommendations or what I am currently reading, so I publish a round-up each quarter of what I have been reading recently. Here is Q1’s version.
With no further ado – here is Q2’s list:
- Lives In Trust: The Fortunes Of Dynastic Families In Late Twentieth-century America by George Marcus – This book is an ethnography of industrial era fortunes. The first third of the book manages to be both incredibly insightful, as well as obtuse in its writing. Sadly, like many academics, the author’s sentence construction errs on the side of complexity. I read at less than a quarter of my usual pace to get through the book, but the labor was worth it, as the book yielded some wonderful insights. Back 2/3rds of the book are less relevant in my view.
- Richer, Wiser, Happier by William Green – Green does an excellent job of distilling the thought and character habits of top investors into something thought provoking and actionable. Excellent
- Family Business as Paradox by Schuman, Stuts and Ward – Paradox is a helpful concept in understanding family business. My favorite part of this book was in the last couple of chapters where they outlined predictable areas of conflict and the need for thoughtful policy.
- Intentional Wealth by Courtney Pullen Pullen, who is a long time advisor to families on governance questions, outlines a thoughtful look at the key components of successful families. His chapter on stewardship was a favorite
- The Biggest Bluff – Maria Konnikova – This was excellent
- The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge – This is an older book, but is still applicable as organizations need to constantly be learning and adapting to ever changing market conditions.
- Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford – I knew very little about the Monguls. This book was fascinating.
- Drucker and Me – Bob Buford – Fascinating look at the human side of management guru Peter Drucker
- The Charisma Myth – Olivia Fox Cabane – So-so, nothing remarkable
- Way of the Seal – Mark Divine – Not my favorite, there are other books about the Teams that I have enjoyed more
- Greenlights by Matthew McCaughney – Who knows if half these stories are true, but the book managed to be entertaining and a little woo-woo at the same time.
- Pappyland by Wright Thompson . A beautiful expose about the man behind the legendary whiskey, Pappy Van Winkle, that blends great story telling with thoughtful reflections about family, time, and Southern culture.
- Hope in Times of Fear by Tim Keller – Long time Pastor, Tim Keller, is prolific as an author. This might be his best book yet though – looking at the question of Hope in the face of trial and tribulation. After 2020, this was a great read.
Road trip books
These definitely aren’t Shakespeare, but were entertaining to help pass the time when driving to/from the beach
- The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine – Entertaining, though a little predictable.
- Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon – We all love Reese, but this just felt beyond believable. Kinda like Martha Stewart, there is no way she is doing half the stuff she claims to in this book.