My Favorite Books From 2018Submitted by Castlebar Asset Management on December 10th, 2018
This is my fifth year of compiling my favorite book list. It is the shortest list I have posted. I didn't get to read as many recommendable books in 2018. My reading list this year consisted of more management and technical books to help with certain areas of Castlebar. None of these made my favorite list. My five favorites from this year are terrific and would have made my list each of the past five years. There is only one real business book on the list. So there should be something for everyone!
Russia is a tough place to live, do business and more importantly do what is right. Red Notice is a true story that reads like a spy novel. Bill Browder is a hedge fund manager who after a successful period fell out of favor with the Russian government. The rest of the story is filled with twists and turns that you would expect an international spy thriller to include. Browder’s persistence to right a wrong is the biggest takeaway from this book. I could not put this book down and read it in a day or two. I suspect you’ll do the same.
City of Thieves by Mark Benioff
Mark Benioff is best known as one of the showrunners for Game of Thrones. He has turned the words of George R.R. Martin into the most watched television series in the world. City of Thieves is a historical fiction novel set during the siege of Leningrad in World War 2. It is a story about two young men on the hunt for a dozen eggs. This premise may seem ridiculously simple, but the journey invokes the same feeling you get when watching episodes of Game of Thrones.
I take bananas for granted. They are 19 cents at Trader Joe’s and there always seems to be an abundance of supply. This is because of Sam Zenmurray. He built United Fruit which turned the banana from a tropical fruit to an everyday item around the world. Zenmurray is a fascinating individual whose business interest intersected with many of the major 20th century political events around the world. United Fruit could have easily mistaken as the CIA during this tenure. The business moves, strategy, and political influence Sam Zenmurray used during his tenure will blow your mind.
As a child of 1980s, I was obsessed with the space program. The Space Shuttle and Space Camp seemed like the coolest things in the world when I was in elementary school. The Cold War was winding down and the Space Race was largely won by the US at this point. Rocket Men is the story of the Apollo 8 mission. I was not familiar with this space mission before reading the book. At the time of this mission, the US was losing the space race to USSR and Apollo 8 was the opportunity to take a giant risk to surge ahead of the Soviets. Robert Kurson wrote one of my favorite books I read in 2015, Shadow Divers. The Apollo 8 mission took place during Christmas of 1968 and might be worth reading this holiday season.
Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL by Jeff Pearlman
The USFL was a beautiful disaster. The short-lived league was something I remember just a little from my childhood. Jeff Pearlman does an excellent job detailing the creation and ultimate destructions of the USFL with more stories that leave you saying, that didn't really happen did it? It did and that is why this was the most entertaining book I read in 2018. The chapter about the San Antonio Gunslingers is worth reading on its own. One caveat, if you are tired of reading about President Trump, you may want to add this to a future reading list. He owned a USFL franchise and is one of the characters in the history of the league.
What was your favorite book this year? Let me know. I get some great recommendations each year from readers.
Disclaimer: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.