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Simply Put

Summer reading and listening list III

June 21, 2019

What would summer be without hot weather, road repairs and our Investment team’s top literary picks for the season? Just as you trust us to select great securities for your Portfolio, you can trust that our team’s recommended books and podcasts will make for great reading…wherever you choose to enjoy them!

  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

    by David Epstein

    Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. As computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

    Recommended by Ted.

  • Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field: How Two Men Revolutionized Physics

    by Nancy Forbes

    The story of two brilliant nineteenth-century scientists who discovered the electromagnetic field, laying the groundwork for the amazing technological and theoretical breakthroughs of the twentieth century.

    Recommended by Ted.

  • Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation

    by Edward Chancellor

    Is your investment in that new Internet stock a sign of stock market savvy or an act of peculiarly American speculative folly? How has the psychology of investing changed — and not changed — over the last five hundred years? This book tells a fascinating story of human dreams and folly through the ages.

    Recommended by Greg.

  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

    by John Carreyrou

    The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the one-time multibillion-dollar biotech start-up founded by Elizabeth Holmes. In 2014 she was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose start-up “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

    Recommended by Frank

  • The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

    by Ben Macintyre

    A thrilling Cold War-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union. Bring this one to the beach!

    Recommended by Frank.

  • The Dropout

    The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos — an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong.

    Recommended by Andrew.

  • Astroball: The New Way to Win It All

    by Ben Reiter

    Not a baseball fan? Me neither. Fan of feel-good stories about an idea, organizational change, process, hustle and a little bit of luck? Then Astroball is for you. Astroball is the inside story of how a gang of outsiders went beyond the stats to find a new way to win.

    Recommended by George.

  • Against the Rules

    with Michael Lewis

    Six hours of new Michael Lewis material. Say no more.

    Recommended by George.

  • Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor

    by Seth A. Klarman

    Even better the fifth time around! Klarman explains the philosophy of value investing, and perhaps more importantly, the logic behind it, demonstrating why it succeeds while other approaches fail.

    Recommended by Derek.

  • Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

    by John Doerr

    Venture capitalist John Doerr shares lessons he learned at Intel about Objectives and Key Results, specifically how they help define goals and empower employees to act on them, and includes stories about how they helped company leaders, such as Larry Page/Sergey Brin (Google), Bill Gates (The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and Bono (ONE Foundation). Anyone can benefit from the book as the messages can apply to people on both a professional and a personal level.

    Recommended by Tye.

  • Four Seasons: The Story Of A Business Philosophy

    by Isadore Sharp

    Issy Sharp’s biography is an education on creating a world class business built around empowering and celebrating their people.

    "What I want to know is who you are as a human being and how I think you're going to treat and manage our people."

    "We didn't talk about values; we acted them out. On hotel tours, I spent as much time with the front line as in the front office. I gave employee complaints as much attention as guest complaints. When upgrading a hotel, we first upgraded employee facilities."

    Recommended by Jason.

  • Benjamin Franklin: An Autobiography

    by Benjamin Franklin

    Known as "The First American", Benjamin Franklin's autobiography covers some of the many reasons why his face adorns the U.S. $100 bill. He helped found several institutions, and was an inventor, writer and U.S. ambassador. Instead of reading a second-hand summary of his life, why not go directly to the source himself?

    Recommended by Syd.

  • Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

    by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Ola Rosling

    This book of statistics was the inspiration for Geoff's commentary, “Things are always bad…or so you might believe”. Before the prospect of a book about data scares anyone away, this one's different — the authors managed to present it in an interesting and fun way. It gives a hopeful look at the progress humans have made and shows that the world is a much better place than we think. When we worry about everything all of the time, we lose our ability to focus on the things that matter most.

    Recommended by Geoff.