Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Song of the Dodo

I find the process of natural selection (evolution) fascinating. As such I really enjoyed most of The Song of the Dodo, where the author takes the reader through the history of what knowledge has been accumulated in that field, from the pre-Darwin years all the way to today.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Machine That Changed The World

American manufacturing dominated most of the 20th century as its methods of mass production took over the world. Nowhere was this dominance more clearly on display than in the auto sector, where guys like Henry Ford and Alfred Sloan were driving down the cost of owning a car while driving up what a car could do. But the tide started to turn when some Japanese manufacturers came up with a better way. The Machine That Changed The World is about that new way.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Made In the USA

Bill Gates' favourite author Vaclav Smil has written a book about the rise and fall of manufacturing in the US, titled Made In the USA. The book delves into the history of US manufacturing, essentially starting from the shift from crafts-made products to mass production that vaulted the USA to the top of the productivity charts, and ending with the job losses in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Taught a Lesson by Gear Energy

I know the commodity space is run by guys who care little for shareholder value. I guess holding down a job in a boom/bust industry is tough, so managers do what they need to do by smoothing it out at the expense of the shareholder. And yet, I still got taken.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Lever of Riches

Why are some countries richer than others? One major reason is the derivation and use of technology. In The Lever of Riches, Joel Mokyr digs into this topic.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Ten Commandments of Business Failure

Any book that has its foreword written by Warren Buffett is one I'd like to read, so surprisingly it took me a long time to get to this one, The Ten Commandments of Business Failure.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

When You Are Engulfed In Flames

Sedaris is able to see the humour and/or the craziness in everyday situations. His book, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, is about nothing: the nuances of everyday life.

Monday, December 7, 2015

More Money Than God

Over several decades, the hedge fund industry has taken the financial sector by storm. In More Money Than God, Sebastian Mallaby presents some of the more interesting events in the history of hedge funds.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dead Companies Walking

Hedge fund manager Scott Fearon discusses what made him successful in his book, Dead Companies Walking. The book is actually about failure. Failure is good for an economy, as it allows new ways of doing things to rise. Fearon's expertise is spotting failures before the market recognizes them, and shorting them all the way down.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hackers and Painters

Programmers and artists have a lot in common, so says Paul Graham, author of Hackers and Painters. The book contains a lot of insight into life in general, but is aimed at those who create software.