Reading has always been a big part of my life. In my younger days, I looked forward to family trips to the East Grand Rapids Public Library. As the husband of a librarian, books have remained a focus in our house.
Below is a sampling of books I have read that have helped me in business, life, or that I just flat-out couldn’t put down.
Do you have a book recommendation for me? Please pass it along via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
A fascinating look into the rise and fall of a Silicon Valley unicorn. Carreyrou’s reporting not only took down the company Theranos, but it spawned countless conversations on corporate culture around the US and the world.
Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
Okrent covers the reasoning behind prohibition’s swell of popularity, culminating in the 18th Amendment, subsequent enforcement difficulties, and the build up to the 21st Amendment, repealing prohibition. Al Capone wasn’t the only one making money bootlegging in the 1920s.
Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to get from Good to Great
Gallo’s book is a must-read for anyone who makes presentations or speeches. The tips from expert public speakers will help anyone captivate an audience.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
Grant is a Professor of Organizational Psychology at Wharton which sounds daunting, but his books are easy reads about organizations Grant has either studied or has hands-on experience. In Originals, Grant covers why being different can be advantageous in business and life.
Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments
Batnick reviews the investing mistakes of people as varied as Warren Buffet and Mark Twain with the goal of learning from each mistake someone else made. Batnick then, helpfully, recounts his investing history and his errors as well.
Astroball: The New Way to Win it All
Reiter’s book is a brief history lesson of the Houston Astros going back to their founding and the Astrodome days. However, most of this tale is about the unique approach embraced by the current front office and their desire to maximize their team based on cutting-edge analytics and the mistakes they’ve made along the way.
Raising Financially Fit Kids
Godfrey’s book is a great primer on how to raise kids with a base of financial literacy. It great for kids and parents alike.
Devil in the White City
Larson covers the events of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago focusing on Daniel Burnham, superstar architect, and H.H. Holmes, a pharmacist who is often credited as the first modern serial killer. This non-fiction book is equal parts fascinating and horrifying.