@rubirosa I got "The Guardians" by Grisham about a week ago, and I have to admit that I am not getting into it as much as I just about always do with a Grisham book. It seems "OK" and I am pretty sure that I will finish it, but compared to just about any of his other books, it feels a bit flat to me.
I think that I am also experiencing "Peak Cussler", as his books are starting to blur into one another, and I am struggling to read all the way through, so I'm probably going to take a break from Clive Cussler. He has been cranking them out at a brisk pace, and over the years has developed several different series, and collaborates with different coauthors, and it is all getting to be just a bit too much for me. I recently checked out "Final Option", which is in "The Oregon Files" series, and is my favorite of the Cussler series. And it has turned into a slog. I'll probably skim to finish the book so I will know what happens, but I might be just about done with Cussler.
Don't mean to sound so negative, over the years these have been two of my favorite authors. With Grisham, I have all ideas that it is simply a matter of at long last running across a book that strikes me as less than outstanding. I have loved every one of his previous books, some more than others of course, but even the ones that I have no intention of going back and rereading at some point, those have been very good as well. I have also enjoyed his "Theodore Boone" young adult series.
Finally, I am currently working on "Factfulness" by the late Hans Rosling, published in 2018. This is one of the best, most eye-opening books I have encountered in years. I am so taken with this book that I will offer a detailed post when I am done. If the rest of the book is as good as what I've already read, it is going to be one of the all-time best nonfiction books that I have ever read. All I can say so far is...Wow!
mlott, thanks for the reminder about Factfulness.. I seem to remember reading a lengthy column by someone (the author?) during the 2016 US presidential campaign that took great issue with the whole Trumpian "American carnage" view of dystopian hellscapes and doomed suffering. Perhaps the article only referenced this work but I remember it as quite well done. Have put this on my list for when I return to the US next spring..
@pudman I should have included the subtitle in my post. The complete title of the book is "Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World - and Why Things Are Better Than You Think" by Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund. I don't want to gush excessively, but this book is resonating with me as few others have - ever. Statistics are an integral part of the text, but they are presented in a unique way that is super clear. Very visual, makes it easy to grasp and understand the information. The more I read, the more I learn, and I am already coming away with a new idea about how to look at things.
For all of you beer drinkers out there, try The Lager Queen of Minnesota by Ryan Stradal. You'll learn more about beer making than you ever knew and be enthralled by a very compelling story about one Minnesota family.
@franks Thanks for the recommendation. I have the book on my reading list, but I haven't been in a hurry to get to it for some reason. I think I saw a review in the "Goodreads" newsletter a few months ago. Always encouraging to hear that someone has read and enjoyed a particular book. I still have a few library books to work through, but I will probably request it when I order my next batch o' books. Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts on it.
Just finished John Sandford's new book, "Bloody Genius", the latest in his Virgil Flowers series. For any John Sandford fans out there, this is another excellent book. For those not familiar with Sandford and his body of work, I did an earlier post on this thread and tried to give a brief overview. Or do a Google search. I finally gave Sandford a chance about three years ago, and really liked him, went back and read all of his previous books, and now eagerly look forward to his upcoming books.
I've been looking through a few of my favorite books for fun refresher and to get gift ideas. Two that I like for different reasons among these are "The Nature of Value" by Nick Gogerty, and "Manias, Panics and Crashes" by Charles Kindleberger Fourth Edition.
"The Nature of Value" is a really interesting look at qualitative business analysis with an eye to the evolution of value in a biological context. Interesting and useful to my attempts at business analysis through this kind of a lens. Definitely not a quant book, and that's why I like it. Screens aren't going to help you with this sort of analysis. It's subjective and difficult, but this is where you can find occasional mispricings like Buffett's legendary See's Candy and Coca-Cola buys before an inflection point shows up in the backward looking numbers.
I really enjoyed Kindleberger's Fourth Edition of "Manias, Panics, and Crashes" with a forward by Peter Bernstein years ago, but I've got one big complaint with the newer versions. This fourth edition is no longer in print, and the 5th through 7th editions that are in print now are a completely rewritten version using Kindleberger's name but ruined by Robert Z. Aliber. This abomination is also the only version available for Kindle. What a fraud and a tragedy as far as I'm concerned. If you can find it, I much preferred the Fourth Edition.
Just finished "THE MAN WHO SOLVED THE MARKET: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution" by Gregory Zuckerman. Zuckerman is a very good financial writer, and I really enjoyed his two previous books, "THE GREATEST TRADE EVER" and "THE FRACKERS". I recommend them both.
The Jim Simons book was a good read and I now at least understand the broad outlines of how Renaissance makes those incredible returns. Unlike some other books of this nature, there is nothing here that I can take away and use in my personal investing, but it sure was an interesting read, and sometimes that's enough. For anyone curious about Jim Simons and/or Renaissance Technologies, you are probably not going to find anything better than this. Another really good financial book by Gregory Zuckerman.
Agreed that Factfulness is a very important book. It has important implications for seeing the world correctly.
“Unless you have that notion that this system of capitalism and, call it, Western Democracy has worked out extremely well, the temptation to say, oh no this is not a good system, let’s take a risk and try something very, very different, uh it’s very high, and so it is scary, like if you take this book Factfulness, the group that is least aware of the improvements in the world are professors at US universities.”
— Bill Gates
@Bizman I finished Factfulness a few days ago and had been meaning to post on it. That is one heck of a book, might be one of the best nonfiction books I've read in a long time, and there was certainly a lot in it that I found to be very, very useful. And an original way of presenting various statistics that I could actually understand and process. As with any book, mileage will vary by reader, but it has made what I think will be a lasting impression on me. In some ways it supports and clarifies some ideas that I already held, and it completely opened my eyes in some other areas. I would urge everyone to pull up a synopsis of the book, rather than have me stumble through an explanation, and see if it might pique your interest. This is simply one of the best books I've read in quite a while.
Thanks, ml. We're heading down to Florida in a couple of days so I can't start any new readings for the coming week or so, but "Factfulness" is now high on my to-read list.
@richardsok I don't want to make too much out of it, but "Factfulness" was one of the most insightful books I've ever read. And I do a lot of reading. Again, just my personal experience. I'm not saying that it will be the same for anyone else. But I am sure glad that I finally got around to picking it up, it had been on my "to read" list for quite a few months.
Reading ‘The Outlaw Ocean’ now, about 100 pages in. Fascinating account of life on the high seas, including illegal fishing, indentured servitude of crew members, unscrupulous ship owners, and those who attempt to police the ocean and safeguard their territorial waters.
BOOK AND MOVIE --
"I Heard You Paint Houses" (the remembrances of a Hoffa hit man). Paint houses is mob talk for hits -- blood splattered on walls. Hoffa's first words to The Irishman were, "I heard you paint houses," and the Irishman answered, "Yes, and also a little carpentry," -- make coffins and dispose of bodies. Also, excellent take on the Bay of Pigs and the Mafia's role in the goings on in Cuber.
"The Irishman" on Netflix. Based on above book. Top notch movie offering insights on the assassinations of Hoffa and JFK. It helps to have read the book,
I'm pretty sure that I previously mentioned the Charlaine Harris book, "An Easy Death". One of those alternate reality type books, which I normally can't stand, but I really like Harris and gave the book a try. Fantastic, loved it, loved it. Set in a near future what used to be the United States, a mix of action/adventure and fantasy. Again, not my usual cup of tea, but I'm sure glad I gave it a try. Anyway, I was prowling though Amazon last night looking for book ideas and saw that "A Longer Fall" comes out on 14 Jan 2020, the second book in the Gunnie Rose series (I guess I should have mentioned earlier that the main character is Gunnie Rose, a gunslinger. Great character!)
On a completely different note, I'm in the process of rereading "The Birth of Plenty" by William J. Bernstein (2004). One of the best books in the economic history realm that I've ever read. If you have not read it, at least look up the synopsis and see if it might be something you would try. Bernstein is well known for his thoughts on investing, but he is also an excellent economic historian. A very readable and interesting book.
Just got "Twisted Twenty-Six" by Janet Evanovich from the library this afternoon after a good long wait on the hold list. Dived right in, and it is another good Stephanie Plum adventure, but then again, they all are!
Yes, mlott1, I couldn't agree more on William J. Bernstein. He's maybe the best writer we have on investsing for the average person. His FOUR PILLARS OF INVESTING is essential reading, IMO,
There were a couple of recommendations up-topic to re-read Mark Twain's LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI.
Thanks. I'm doing so now and loving it!