A Few Good Books

A couple I’ve enjoyed lately:

Sonic Boom, by Peter Ames Carlin

The story of Warner Brothers Music, and how to build a business with a durable competitive advantage. There are two ways to treat customers and business partners: As opportunities to exploit, in which case they’ll eventually leave, or with transparency and fairness, in which case they’ll stick with you for decades.

Mindwise, by Nicholas Epley

We aren’t good at knowing what other people are thinking, even those we’re closest with (spouses, parents, children). Worse, we’re not aware of how bad we are, massively underestimating our ability to understand other people.

Scoundrel, by Sarah Weinman

The true story of a man who committed a heinous murder, was sentenced to death, used his media connections to sweet talk his way to parole, then after being released immediately committed another violent crime.

The Long Gray Line, by Rick Atkinson

The story of the West Point class of 1966, who began their military journey with confidence and bravado, were thrust into the Vietnam War, then struggled in its aftermath to make sense of their place in the world and find a new path forward.

Trillion Dollar Triage, by Nick Timiraos

An incredible read on how close the financial system was to collapse in March, 2020, during Covid’s initial panic and economic lockdown.

Where The Buck Stops, by Harry Truman

After he left the White House Harry Truman wrote and dictated his unfiltered thoughts on America, former presidents, and world order. They are so unvarnished and brutally honest that he demanded the book not be published until after he and his wife were dead.

Salinger, by Paul Alexander

The best biography I’ve seen on one of the most complicated men on the 20th century: The most famous writer of his era who abruptly shut off the outside world and resigned to his remote cabin, rarely heard from and only seen a few times for the next half-century.