This page will be updated regularly with some of my favourite books. This list will change slightly every now and then, so do visit regularly for updates and changes.
Books on Randomness, Behaviour and Risk
Rationality does not explain human behaviour and no matter how hard organisations and institutions may like to try, randomness and risk is a thing, a big thing. These are some great books that help us understand these things better.
Fooled by Randomness: I admit, a bit heavy-going at times and you might want to go straight to The Black Swan, but it is a fascinating journey into the nature of randomness.
The Black Swan: This book will make you look differently at life and decision-making. It will make you question many of the rules that we have, and that’s a good thing. However, it is also a book that many nod at and say they’ve read, without actually ever have done so. Don’t be that person – read it. It will be a fabulous investment of your time.
Predictably Irrational: We are all irrational, but in predictable ways. Dan Ariely’s treatment of this topic is fascinating. Again, it will make you look at life very differently.
Nudge: How choices are framed affects the decisions we make – easy concept to understand but also easy to forget. The British Cabinet Office and Barack Obama created whole “Nudge Units” based on the theory underpinning the book. Although I don’t know how well those have actually worked out, the book offers plenty of interesting insights you can apply in practical ways. For instance, I now never buy anything at a grocery store that is placed at eye level, and you shouldn’t either.
Outliers: Malcolm Gladwell is a great writer and Outliers is my favourite of his books. Every heard that to become truly great at something it requires at least 10,000 hours of practice? Well, this is where that comes from.
Moneyball: This is a great tale of how you can win at an unfair game and you don’t have to know anything about, or even like, baseball.
Books on Finance and Economics that Aren’t Dull
Many of us don’t understand how the economy works. Worse still are those that don’t but think they do. These books not only will help you understand finance and economics a bit better, they are the opposite of boring.
The Big Short: Looking to understand the global financial crisis in a clear and enjoyable way? You can’t go wrong with this one. Michael Lewis is an amazing story teller.
The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Economic decisions are made by rational traders and investors analysing all available information? Don’t bet your life savings on it. This books explores the mind/body connection in trading and investment banking. We’ve long separated this connection and need desperately to get it back.
The Ascent of Money: A history teacher of mine once told me that to understand history, you just need to figure out “who got what.” The history of the world told through the lens of money by one of the best historians of the 21st Century? Yes please.
Books on Sport and Athletics
What I love about books on sport is when they tap into the human condition and tests of human limits. I similarly love stories that tap into the essence of a sport, which I believe taps into the essence of humanity. This is a short list to get started.
Born to Run: Now a contemporary classic in the world of running. An adventure to find an indigenous tribe of amazing long distance runners in the copper canyons of Mexico taps into the soul of a sport.
Running with the Kenyans: What is the secret to Kenya’s massive success in long distance running? Is it genetics, altitude, food, socio-economics or something else? Spoiler alert (well not really): there is no one secret. However, you don’t need to know that to go on a fascinating journey with Adharanand Finn.
Lanterne Rouge: This book celebrates the cyclist that finishes last in the Tour de France each year, the world’s most gruelling bicycle race. The race’s organisers would prefer not to do so. However, that would amount to a failure to understand the Tour itself.