Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s Summer Reading List For July 2015 from The Investor’s Field Guide
Enjoy these four books and the links from The Investor’s Field Guide at the end of the email.
The Money Game nails investor psychology
“This is a modern classic.” —Paul A. Samuelson, First American Nobel Prize Winner in Economics
“The best book there is about the stock market and all that goes with it.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Anyone whose orientation is toward where the action is, where the happenings happen, should buy a copy of The Money Game and read it with due diligence.” —Book World
” ‘Adam Smith’ is a veteran observer and commentator on the events and people of Wall Street…. His thorough knowledge of financial affairs gives his observations a great degree of authenticity. But the joy of reading this book comes from his delightful sense of humor. He is a lively and ingeniously witty writer who never stoops to acerbity. None of the solemn, sacred cows of Wall Street escapes debunking.” —Library Journal
Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s Summer Reading List – Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker
Normally I shudder at titles like Managing Oneself, but after I read and loved Drucker’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship, I thought I’d give this a shot. It’s just a short essay, but it is spot on. I really wish I’d read this at 22 years old–it would have saved me a lot of time and consternation. To summarize Drucker’s message, “a person can perform only from strength.” Push the envelope of your strengths rather than trying to shore up all your weaknesses. I’ve always felt that “well-rounded” is a bit of a pejorative, a euphuism for “isn’t great at anything.” Drucker agrees.
Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s Summer Reading List – The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield
I love the way Pressfield writes; I recommend his entire catalogue. This little volume is fun, and it will definitely fire you up
WARS CHANGE, WARRIORS DON’T We are all warriors. Each of us struggles every day to define and defend our sense of purpose and integrity, to justify our existence on the planet and to understand, if only within our own hearts, who we are and what we believe in. Do we fight by a code? If so, what is it? What is the Warrior Ethos? Where did it come from? What form does it take today? How do we (and how can we) use it and be true to it in our internal and external lives? The Warrior Ethos is intended not only for men and women in uniform, but artists, entrepreneurs and other warriors in other walks of life. The book examines the evolution of the warrior code of honor and “mental toughness.” It goes back to the ancient Spartans and Athenians, to Caesar’s Romans, Alexander’s Macedonians and the Persians of Cyrus the Great (not excluding the Garden of Eden and the primitive hunting band). Sources include Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, Xenophon, Vegetius, Arrian and Curtius–and on down to Gen. George Patton, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and Israeli Minister of Defense, Moshe Dayan..
Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s Summer Reading List – The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
One final fun read for summer. Tom Wolfe’s writing is electric, and his subject matter fascinating. There are no modern equivalents to the test pilots and astronauts of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Tom Wolfe began The Right Stuff at a time when it was unfashionable to contemplate American heroism. Nixon had left the White House in disgrace, the nation was reeling from the catastrophe of Vietnam, and in 1979–the year the book appeared–Americans were being held hostage by Iranian militants. Yet it was exactly the anachronistic courage of his subjects that captivated Wolfe. In his foreword, he notes that as late as 1970, almost one in four career Navy pilots died in accidents. “The Right Stuff,” he explains, “became a story of why men were willing–willing?–delighted!–to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero.”
Wolfe’s roots in New Journalism were intertwined with the nonfiction novel that Truman Capote had pioneered with In Cold Blood As Capote did, Wolfe tells his story from a limited omniscient perspective, dropping into the lives of his “characters” as each in turn becomes a major player in the space program. After an opening chapter on the terror of being a test pilot’s wife, the story cuts back to the late 1940s, when Americans were first attempting to break the sound barrier. Test pilots, we discover, are people who live fast lives with dangerous machines, not all of them airborne. Chuck Yeager was certainly among the fastest, and his determination to push through Mach 1–a feat that some had predicted would cause the destruction of any aircraft–makes him the book’s guiding spirit.
Yet soon the focus shifts to the seven initial astronauts. Wolfe traces Alan Shepard’s suborbital flight and Gus Grissom’s embarrassing panic on the high seas (making the controversial claim that Grissom flooded his Liberty capsule by blowing the escape hatch too soon). The author also produces an admiring portrait of John Glenn’s apple-pie heroism and selfless dedication. By the time Wolfe concludes with a return to Yeager and his late-career exploits, the narrative’s epic proportions and literary merits are secure. Certainly The Right Stuff is the best, the funniest, and the most vivid book ever written about America’s manned space program. –Patrick O’Kelley