The Books I Read in 2011

Following on from 2009 book recommendations and 2010 book recommendations, the books I read in 2011 included the following :

Business

In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives  by Steven Levy – Excellent book that analyses the history of Google. Interviews with key staff and analysis of some of their greatest innovations. Read it.

The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor (Columbia Business School Publishing) by Howard Marks – Nice book on value investing strategies and how you need to think on higher levels than the masses to profit.

This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly  by Carmen M. Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff – Whilst this isn’t easy reading, and I am still only 70% through it, there are some valuable lessons within.

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar – I remember enjoying this book but not huge amounts of it have stayed with me.

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein – Excellent book on how some very smart people miscalculated some very big bets on fixed income arbitrage.

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten – Strangely enough, I really enjoyed this. Little snippets of business wisdom here and there.

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michael Watkins – Read 50% of this. Some good ideas in there but it didn’t hold my attention.

Thinking about Thinking

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – Like an almanac of behavioural economics / irrational decision making experiments. Read it.

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker – Only 20% through this one.

The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker – This is an interesting read. It is a cross between psychoanalysis and existentialist though about how the ways we think (or don’t think) about death influence our minds and our society.

Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion by Alain de Botton – 50% through this. Nice concept – take the best bits of religion and leave the rest.

Fiction

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde – Enjoyed it.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – Awesome.

Of Love and Other Demons (Vintage International) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Very good.

The Essential Homer: Selections from the Iliad and the Odyssey by Stanley Lombardo – Only 20% through this.

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