The Reading Room
Each month a member of the team reviews a book of their choosing, irrelevant of genre or publishing date.
Africa Is Not A Country: Breaking Stereotypes of Modern Africa
Published: 2022, Vintage Publishing
Brimming with humour and intellect, Faloyin’s fascinating volume mines the rich and varied span of histories and cultures of the continent’s many countries, delivering a punchy corrective against lazy sterotypes of Africa.
Chums: How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK
Published: Published: 2022, Profile Books
The lack of academic effort generally put in by Oxford undergraduates is an important theme running through this book, penned by Financial Times columnist Kuper. It links this work-shy attitude to the centuries’ old dominance of Oxford by the top English public schools spawning “top tory toffs with a born to rule attitude”.
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars
Published: 2013, Columbia Business School Publishing
Jim Paul’s meteoric rise took him from a small town to governor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, yet he lost it all in one fatal attack of excessive economic hubris. In this honest, frank analysis, Paul and Moynihan revisit the events and examine the psychological factors behind bad financial practices in several economic sectors.
Published: 2012, Harvard Business Review Press
The Outsiders chronicles the unconventional techniques that led eight CEOs to outperform the S&P 500 by an astounding twenty times.
Shackleton’s Boat Journey
Published: 1933, Philip Allan & Co. Ltd
On August 1, 1914, on the eve of World War I, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his hand-picked crew embarked in HMS Endurance from London’s West India Dock, for an expedition to the Antarctic. It was to turn into one of the most breathtaking survival stories of all time.
The Most Important Thing – Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor
Published: 2011, Columbia University Press
Informed by a lifetime of experience and study, The Most Important Thing explains the keys to successful investment and the pitfalls that can destroy capital or ruin a career.
Published: 2018, Random House Business
People think that when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions: doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call.
Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles
Published: 2020, Cambridge University Press
The avoidance of buying into the peak of booms and selling at the bottom of a bust is one of key skills of any investor. But what causes them? This book attempts to answer that question by a close analysis of historical market manias.
The Election That Changed India
The 2014 Indian general election has been regarded as the most important in Indian history since 1977, following Indira Gandhi’s imposed state of emergency in 1975.
It starts in 2012, when Narendra Modi won the Gujarat state elections for a third time, but quickly set sights on the bigger prize, then covers the scandals that crippled UPA-II (United Progressive Alliance, the ruling coalition), before moving to the strategies of team Modi, and the extraordinary missteps of Rahul Gandhi.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a narrative of tragedy, extreme hardship, and bravery. Using first-hand accounts taken from the survivors, Freeman tells the story of 3 cargo ships and their crews kidnapped by Somali pirates and held hostage for five years, and in some cases longer.
The Innovator’s Dilemma: When new technologies cause great firms to fail
Innovation expert Clayton Christensen explains why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation. No matter the industry, he says, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know how and when to abandon traditional business practices.
Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting the forces that shaped this century. Cryptonomicon leaps forward and back between World War II and the World Wide Web, hinting all the while at a dark day-after-tomorrow.
In this deeply personal memoir, Schwab describes his passion to have Main Street participate in the growing economy as investors and owners, not only earners. Invested also offers unique insights and lifelong principles for readers—the values that Schwab has lived and worked by that have made him one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time.
Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments
In this read, the author gives some valuable insights regarding ways in which the best investors have failed. The book also advises readers on creating successful strategies by learning from previous mistakes.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“People also ask: How much money did Peter Thiel make from Facebook? Is Peter Thiel a genius? What is Peter Thiel known for? How can I get in touch with Peter Thiel?”
Tiananmen Square: The Making of a Protest, a diplomat looks back
A new book by a former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to China, who revisits for the first time his first-hand experience of the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square incident, which he witnessed as a young diplomat from India, and explains why, 32 years on, its legacy remains significant for both China and the world.
Talking to Strangers
Published: 2019, Little, Brown & Co.
A challenging and controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals. Revisiting the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, among other news stories, Gladwell argues that something is wrong with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding.
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
Published: 2021, Alfred A. Knopf
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, shares what he has learnt in more than a decade of studying climate change and investing in innovations to address climate problems. In this urgent, authoritative book, Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical – and accessible – plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.
Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less
Published: 2014, Crown Business
Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Simultaneously felt overworked and underutilised? Felt busy but not productive? Does your day sometimes get hijacked by someone else’s agenda?
If you answered yes to any of these, read on…
Slowly Down the Ganges
Published: 1966, Hodder and Stoughton
On his forty-forth birthday, Eric Newby sets out to travel the 1,200-mile length of India’s holy river. In a misguided attempt to keep him out of trouble, Wanda, his wife, is to be his fellow boatwoman. Their plan is to begin in the great plain of Hardwar and finish in the Bay of Bengal, but the journey almost immediately becomes markedly slower and more treacherous than either had imagined.