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2024 Summer Reading List

Explore our 2024 summer reading list, thoughtfully curated by Graham’s Quantitative Strategies team. This eclectic mix of finance, science, biography, society, and literature is sure to inspire new perspectives and spark fresh ideas.

The Quant Strategies team's 2024 Summer Reading List—an inspiring mix of finance, science, biography, society, and literature.

A’s take: “A classic read on the fundamentals of how to uncover intrinsic value. I love this book because many, if not all, of the principles Mr. Marks shares are applicable across markets and asset classes and provide a solid foundation from which to evaluate investment opportunities, regardless of how sharp the rocks around us may appear. It was a book I read in haste during my MBA, and now, the third time around, I still find hidden gems that I note on the margins. A short read, but certainly one worth focusing on.”

A’s take: “Insightful and in-depth analysis of the relationship between the cash market and futures market for Treasury bonds and notes.”

The Quant Strategies team's 2024 Summer Reading List—an inspiring mix of finance, science, biography, society, and literature.

P’s take: “A practical book for someone outside the medical field who is interested in brain health. I also think this book is very insightful for those who have loved ones in cognitive decline.”

A’s take: “I love this book because it was one unlikely man’s determination, pragmatism, skill, and intelligence that made a builder of mechanical clocks one of the most influential people in the history of the Western world. John Harrison devised a mechanical solution to accurately track one’s longitude when navigating. This, until Mr. Harrison’s devices, was a feat of estimation based on lunar tables and a lot of modeling (with significant flaws as one learns throughout the book) and left to an intellectual elite. Harrison’s discovery not only led the British Empire to naval dominance but also saved countless lives.”

A’s take: “The book details a series of engineering innovations by a team of scientists and mathematicians hired by Pope Benedict XIV to save the rapidly deteriorating dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. This book has great supporting history of the Renaissance, the Vatican, and the architecture of the day.”

K’s take: “A science reporter brings to light the tragic story of Henrietta Lacks, the woman who unknowingly provided medical science with the cells that led to many breakthrough discoveries, such as the polio vaccine.”

The Quant Strategies team's 2024 Summer Reading List—an inspiring mix of finance, science, biography, society, and literature.

I’s take: “The story of how a young man working in his parents’ diner and a former Chicago pit trader built one of the most interesting and sought-after restaurants in the world, overcame immense odds to beat cancer, and persevered, even as ‘the chef that couldn’t taste.'”

A’s take: “A fascinating look at the final and costly voyage from Plymouth, England, to Hawaii of the famed Captain Cook. This book contains great research on Cook, seafaring throughout the ages, and the indigenous peoples he interacted with across the globe.”

N’s take: “A true story of perseverance and triumph through a series of hardships where each single one is possibly more than someone would face in a lifetime.”

The Quant Strategies team's 2024 Summer Reading List—an inspiring mix of finance, science, biography, society, and literature.

N’s take: “An enthralling, multi-generational family saga about competition for love and acceptance and the consequences on both sides. Steinbeck himself said that every other novel he wrote was practice for this masterpiece.”

I’s take: “In beautiful, stripped-down prose, Hemingway explores how people, in the face of the fragility of their own mortality, especially in horrors of war, search for purpose and community.”

I’s take: “A modern play in free verse retelling the biblical story of Job; the challenge between Mr. Zuss and Nickles regarding J.B.’s suffering, his faith and patience, and, in a departure, how he is able to find comfort in the world.”

A’s take: “For those nautically inclined, I recently picked up my old copy again. This is an outstanding tale of a successful solo circumnavigation attempt in a 31-foot ketch specifically designed by the author and protagonist to sail at latitudes greater than 40 degrees south, where the winds will bellow so loud, they roar! As if this was not hard enough on its own, he attempted this feat in 1942, in the midst of WWII and oceans full of naval warfare, submarines and many other challenges. I have not read it in English, but the original Spanish version is a wonderful read – I felt like I was writing the chronicle alongside Mr. Dumas, sitting right there on deck next to him.”

N’s take: “Such an odd but enchanting little book. Incredibly perceptive, and makes you experience nearly the full range of human emotions, from anger and rage to laughter and tender love.

C’s take: “A great summer read that won’t disappoint if you have enjoyed any of Towles prior works.”

N’s take: “A captivating account of the quest for gold in rowing at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I’ve never rowed, but I felt like I was right in the boat with them while reading this.”

Z’s take: “It was a very fun book to read. Recommend reading the whole trilogy. A very unique explanation of the Fermi Paradox.”

The Quant Strategies team's 2024 Summer Reading List—an inspiring mix of finance, science, biography, society, and literature.

C’s take: “David Novak has interviewed many people and their secrets often would not be what you’d expect.”

N’s take: “When people don’t believe your theory of human migration, sometimes you just have to prove it yourself… by sailing from South America to French Polynesia on a raft you built with local materials that would have existed thousands of years ago.”

C’s take: “‘Loonshots’ draws insightful parallels between the science of phase transitions and the drivers of innovation and resilience within organizations. He convincingly argues that paradigm-changing ideas are usually so original and ambitious that they might be dismissed as outright crazy. The experience of Vannevar Bush leading the OSRD is cited as an example of the trial-and-error learning of the management principles that foster war-winning inventions.”

I’s take: “Enrique Olvera is the man who taught the world that Mexican food can be considered in the pantheon of fine dining. In this book, he pulls back the curtain and extolls on the stories and challenges of the people who made his work possible, farmers.”

A’s take: “A good book about social engineering.”

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