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Minyanville's Book Recommendations: Part I


Some of the best Wall Street minds offer their picks...

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in December 2006. It is being reprinted, with some key additions, for the enjoyment of the Minyanville community.

Read any good books lately? Just in case you haven't, we're here to help.

Nothing stands the test of time--or can make it go by faster--than a great book. And since sharing the best ideas is our thing here in the 'Ville, we've asked our professors to share their favorites from the past year with the Minyanville Community.

Take a look to see what the pros are reading to stay sharp and send us your favorites for our Reader's Choice column.

Rod David

Harrington on Hold 'em: Expert Strategies for No Limit Tournament
by Dan Harrington

No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice
by David Sklansky

Poker Wisdom of a Champion, originally titled According to Doyle
by Doyle Brunson

Some of the best books for traders aren't even about trading...The market is playing poker, and playing it well.

Other players are trying to read its tells, judging the market, when they should be the market. Understanding various poker tactics helps to understand whether the market is just bluffing, or really has pocket aces. No one can bet enough to make the market fold a marginal or drawing hand, but the market does that all of the time. And that's a big weapon to have or to not have, so it's a losing proposition to play against the market.

A better understanding of poker also helps on Wednesday nights, which is almost as important.

Ryan Krueger

Market Wizards and New Market Wizards
by Jack Scwager
I can think of nothing better than always learning from the best in the world; Jack talked to many of them. I don't ever re-read books except for these two.

by Michael Lewis
My single favorite book on investing, told through the language of baseball.

Adventure Capitalist
by Jim Rogers
He gets a bad rap sometimes but nobody was more right, at the right time about commodities than this tour of the world led him to be.

The Mystery of Capital
by Hernando de Soto
Why Capitalism triumphs in the west and fails every where else.

Vitaliy Katsenelson

First and foremost, a must read is my own recently published Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range-Bound Markets.

The Essays of Warren Buffett
by Warren Buffett
A book full of wisdom directly from the source – The Buffett himself. Buffett's annual reports and other writings organized by topic. I'd read this book before I'd look at any other book written about Buffett.

Basic Economics
by Thomas Sowell
My favorite economic book. After reading this book you'll never look at price gouging the same way (just one of many critical concepts he explains well). I probably learned more from this book than I learned from years of economics classes.

Fooled by Randomness
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I read this book probably four times. After reading this book you'll never look investment (or any) success the same way.

The Coffee Trader
by David Liss
A great tale on how the street functioned in 15th Century in Netherlands, and how coffee came to Europe. Also an interesting read on how Jewish people lived in Europe.

Lance Lewis

Endurance, Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing

Jason Goepfert

Winning on Wall Street
by Martin Zweig
An approachable book that is suitable even for complete newbies to the stock market, it clearly and concisely outlines ways to systematically view data and apply what you've learned.

Pit Bull
by Martin Schwarz
My favorite first-person account of a trader's journey through the process of becoming a trader. Ranks right up there with the Market Wizards books.

Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom
by Van Tharp
The clearest book I know of that focuses on risk as opposed to reward. It does a great job of highlighting expectancy of a trading system.

Sally Limantour

The Law
by Frederic Bastiat
Written in 1840 this small book is packed with wisdom in showing the fallacies of socialism and the economic consequences. He wrote this during the Revolution of France 1848 and tried to convince his countrymen how socialism degenerates into communism.

Investment Blunders of the Rich and Famous
by John F. Nofsinger
This shows the downside of overconfidence, greed and short sidedness as the author shows different investors over the years make widespread investment mistakes. Makes me feel human!

The Soul of Money
by Lynne Twist
This book examines our relationship to money – how we earn it, spend it and give it away. A poignant reminder to look at all aspects of our life in relation to money.

In-Laws and Outlaws
by Northcote Parkinson
A hysterical look at the secrets of business as he pokes fun with a satirical look at all business practices.

Economics in One Lesson
by Henry Hazlitt
The basic truths of economics. This book cuts to the chase and objectively cuts through the nonsense.

How the Mind Works
by Steve Pinker
This is a look at what the mind is and how it evolved. The author addresses many questions including puzzles like self. free will and consciousness. This is not light reading, but written in a way everyone can understand.

David Miller

This might seem self-serving, although I don't get any royalties, but I honestly think it is a good book.

Master Traders
edited by Fari Hamzei

Minyans David Miller, Jon "Dr. J" Najarian, Kevin Tuttle, Greg Collins, Phil Erlanger, Steve Shobin, and Jeff deGraaf all wrote chapters for one of the most well-received investment books of 2006.

The book focuses on equities and derivatives for experienced traders, but it is full of tips even beginning investors can understand.

Matt Ford

A History of Money and Banking in the United States
by Murray N. Rothbard

Well cited and illuminating look at the evolution of the US banking system--particularly with respect to the creation of the Federal Reserve.

The Law
by Frederic Bastiat

Written over 150 years ago by a Frenchman, this little book outlines what constitutes proper law and what difficulties emerge when 'improper' laws are written.

by Ludwig von Mises
Mises' short book on the consequences of growing bureaucracy, particularly in the US, seems as lucid and relevant today as when it was first written over 60 years ago.

Geoff Garbacz (on behalf of Phil Erlanger)

The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business Is Selling Less Of More
by Chris Anderson
The 80/20 rule whereby 80% of your business comes from 20% of your accounts is out the door. Instead throw as much as you can of what you do out there in an efficient manner and see what takes off. Probably one of the most significant business strategy books written in the past twenty years.

Data Smog; Surviving The Information Glut
by David Shenk
First there was data, then information and last knowledge. With the internet, data becomes free, information gets cut by 75% and knowledge drops by 50%. Even though this book was written in 1998, it is a must read.

The Big Store: Inside the Crisis and Revolution at Sears
by Donald R. Katz
Written in 1987 this book could have been written in 2006. In the late 70s and early 80s, Sears was led by Edward Telling. Now it is led by Eddie Lampert. The problems in the 80s, discussed by Katz, still exist today. Lampert will revisit the fate of Telling in 2007 as the market finally begins to recognize Lampert for what he really is...and it is not a financial guru. Eddie Lampert, you are no Warren Buffet!

David Nelson

Minyanville is assuming I can read so here goes:

By Peter Maas

There was a time in my music career when I almost threw in the towel to become a New York City Police Officer. After reading Peter's book I went right out and took the test to become a cadet. Fortunately for New Yorkers and this great city it didn't come to pass.

Hedge Hogging
By Barton Biggs
Barton's book is an excellent read into the murky world of Hedge Funds. It discusses why so many fail and the difficulties of getting started even for world class investors.

Please continue reading Professors' favorites in Part II of our Book Recommendations feature.

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