22 books Wall Streeters think everyone should read this summer

Wall Streeters are reading everything from political non-fiction to Cold War thrillers this summer.

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Wall Streeters are reading everything from political non-fiction to Cold War thrillers this summer.
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Business Insider

Everyone needs a good beach read.

We asked three Wall Streeters for the books they are having trouble putting down as the weather warms up.

Along with titles about finance and successful figures, we also received recommendations for thrillers, novels, and historic non-fiction that make the list of perfect page-turners.


‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’ by Yuval Noah Harari

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Harper Perennial

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“I couldn’t stop talking about Sapiens after reading it. It’s an ambitious but breezy history book which puts forward some big theories about how humanity came to dominate the world.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘Bad Blood’ by John Carreyrou

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Knopf

Wall Streeter: Dan Cummings, Head of Corporate Advisory, IEX

“It’s rare that you get such a deep look at how a company can go wrong on so many levels. From executives to employees to investors, Carreyrou’s extensive reporting gives everyone something to think about. Not to mention it’s a riveting read.”

Find it on Amazon »

Read more about John Carreyrou »


‘Extreme Ownership – How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win’ By Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

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St. Martin’s Press

Wall Streeter: Pepper Whitbeck, Head of US Fixed Income & Lead Portfolio Manager for US High Yield, AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM)

“Having married into a military family, I have developed a deep respect for the values and level of commitment demonstrated by the men and women in our armed forces. The challenges depicted in this book are certainly more extreme than anything I will encounter professionally, however, the lessons learned are relatable and conveyed in a way that make their application in the business world quite clear.

“The thoughtful and introspective approach to this book inspires me to believe that proper preparation and the right mindset really can have a significant impact on the outcomes that we achieve. It’s amazing how much more you can accomplish when you approach each day with clear intentions and a sense of purpose.”

Find it on Amazon »

Read more from Jocko Willink »


‘A Life Well Played’ by Arnold Palmer

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St. Martin’s Press

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“RBC is a major supporter of golf and when I get time I play with my kids on the weekend: both of them love the game. Palmer’s book is packed full of great anecdotes and, as golf’s true gentleman, he provides many important lessons for life, business and sport.”

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‘Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke The World’ by Liaquat Ahamed

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Penguin Books

Wall Streeter: Jonathan Lewis, Chief Investment Officer at Fiera Capital

“This Pulitzer Prize-winning book (2010) is essential reading, a great crash course in the danger the world faces when central bankers govern the world based on a set of principles that are out of date.

“This book explores how the great central bankers of the 1920’s and early 1930’s failed to understand how the economic world had changed, how their policy prescriptions had become outdated, and as a result, their failure to avert the Great Depression. Their rigid adherence to old school thinking, including the gold standard, contributed to the crisis that unfolded and to calamity for humankind.

“At a time when the global economic and monetary system is again being buffeted by challenges to the established order, this book reminds us not to be complacent.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking’ by Jordan Ellenberg

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A Perigee Book/Penguin Group

Wall Streeter: Allison Bishop, Quantitative Researcher, IEX

“Jordan Ellenberg inspired me to major in mathematics as an undergraduate, and the frameworks of reasoning I have developed as a result have proved invaluable to me as a scientist, educator, and citizen.

“This book explains powerful mathematical concepts in a way that makes them feel accessible, tangible, and urgent – highlighting the deep role that mathematical reasoning can and should play in our approach to life’s challenges on every scale.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘Elon Musk: Telsa, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastical Future’ by Ashlee Vance

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Ecco

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“Elon is certainly a colorful character. But there’s no denying his vision and willingness to disrupt the status quo – he’s the innovator’s innovator. I highly recommend Vance’s take on this entrepreneur’s extraordinary story, which argues that he should be ranked alongside some of America’s very greatest industrialists.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘Hillbilly Elegy: A memoir of a family and culture in crisis’ by JD Vance

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Harper Paperbacks

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“I read this book last summer and could hardly put it down. Set against a backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, JD Vance’s searing account of his journey from poverty into venture capitalism is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand class, social mobility, and the American Dream.”

Find it on Amazon »

Read more about JD Vance »


‘Spymaster’ by Brad Thor

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Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Wall Streeter: Tom Naratil, Co-President Global Wealth Management and President Americas at UBS

“This Cold War thriller centers on Scot Harvath, a talented counterterrorism operative, whose mission sends him into the heart of Europe’s shadowy and deadly international intelligence circles.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘The Orphan Master’s Son’ by Adam Johnson

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Random House Trade Paperbacks

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“While I read this harrowing novel about a young man’s life in totalitarian North Korea several years ago, I still recommend it to everyone. It continues to be a topical and extremely relevant work of fiction about freedom, sacrifice and love.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘King Leopold’s Ghost’ by Adam Hochschild

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Houghton Mifflin

Wall Streeter: Kathryn McDonald, Head of Sustainable Investing, Rosenberg Equities, AXA Investment Managers

“This is an account of the Belgian monarchy’s involvement in the Congo in the early part of the 20th century, focusing on the massive extraction of wealth and the human atrocities the accompanied the extractive enterprise.

“I found this book to be enormously helpful background material as context for the ‘sustainability’ debates now happening within the investment world. The ‘one-way travel’ of wealth that was observed during King Leopold’s time is still arguably present in today’s economy.”

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‘Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence’ by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

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Harvard Business Review Press

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“Artificial intelligence is poised to disrupt every industry, but many business leaders I speak to are still trying to wrap their heads around the transformative tech. This book written by three brilliant minds from the University of Toronto is invaluable for business leaders looking for a primer on how AI might impact them.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘The Cuban Affair’ by Nelson DeMille

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Simon & Schuster

Wall Streeter: Tom Naratil, Co-President Global Wealth Management and President Americas at UBS

“This novel follows protagonist Daniel ‘Mac’ MacCormick, a US Army combat veteran whose work trip to Cuba takes an exciting, dangerous turn when he learns that his client’s grandfather stashed away $60 million before fleeing Castro’s revolution.”

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‘Principles’ by Ray Dalio

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Simon & Schuster

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“I recently gave some advice to a graduating mathematics class at the University of Waterloo. I simply asked them to never stop learning. I could have also handed them Ray Dalio’s book as it’s full of invaluable rules for living and working. Highly recommended.”

Find it on Amazon »

Read more from Ray Dalio »


‘Radical Candor’ by Kim Scott

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St. Martin’s Press

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“We recently invited Kim to speak to our top executives and she was an inspiration. Her book is immensely readable and argues how honest feedback is the key to organizational effectiveness and enables all colleagues to be the best version of themselves.”

Find it on Amazon »

Read more about Kim Scott »


‘Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook’By Anthony Bourdain

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Ecco

Wall Streeter: Tricia Hazelwood, managing director and head of structured products for MUFG Securities

“This memoir by the late Anthony Bourdain was completely eye opening for me in terms of how to appreciate culinary experiences. It explores the grittiness of dining and how to differentiate menus and eateries around the world. From reading, I learned everything from what days of the week to steer clear of fish (based on the likelihood of it being freshly caught) to how to thoughtfully determine if your food is locally and sustainably sourced. If you love eating out and eating well, this book is guaranteed to change how you approach any table.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘The Other Woman’ by Daniel Silva

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Harper

Wall Streeter: Tom Naratil, Co-President Global Wealth Management and President Americas at UBS

“Last year, I read Daniel Silva’s House of Spies, and this year, I’m reading Silva’s latest work. The book follows the twisting story of Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and assassin who’s tasked with waging a war against Russian forces, along with the woman who’s keeping their secrets.”

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‘The Hard thing about Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz

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HarperBusiness

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“This book goes behind the curtain to show readers what it’s like to build and run a start-up. I recommend this to entrepreneurs I speak to throughout Canada and, of course, Silicon Valley. But I truly believe any people manager will pick up some amazing management principles from this entertaining book.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘The Perfect Weapon’ by David E. Sanger

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Crown

Wall Streeter: Tom Naratil, Co-President Global Wealth Management and President Americas at UBS

“In his nonfiction work, New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger explores how cyberwarfare is rapidly changing today’s geopolitical landscape – an essential topic for any modern corporate leader to understand.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘The Underground Railroad’ by Colson Whitehead

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Anchor

Wall Streeter: Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“As this list suggests, I tend towards nonfiction, but I was particularly moved by this Pulitzer Prize Winner. Focusing on slavery and a brutal period in history, it’s not an easy read, but it contains important lessons for today as we continue to contemplate the importance of democracy, inclusion, and freedom.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘The Republic of Pirates’ by Colin Woodard

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Mariner Books

Wall Streeter: Tom Naratil, Co-President Global Wealth Management and President Americas at UBS

“Based on a true story, this book details the history of the “Flying Gang,” a group of 18th century pirates in the Bahamas whose self-made democracy perished at the hands of Captain Woodes Rogers. As a former history major in college, I’m fascinated to learn more about the group’s unexpected approach to self-government and the political atmosphere that drove both their system’s success and collapse.”

Find it on Amazon »


‘The Soul of America’ by Jon Meacham

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Random House

Wall Streeter: Tom Naratil, Co-President Global Wealth Management and President Americas at UBS

“Released against the backdrop of today’s increasingly complex and uncertain political environment, Meacham highlights different critical moments in our nation’s history and illustrates that there is still reason for optimism about our country’s future.

“I focused much of my undergraduate studies on 19th and 20th century US history, and I find Meacham’s approach to identifying recurring themes and patterns very appealing. I also recently viewed the stirring eulogy he gave at former First Lady Barbara Bush’s funeral and have been eager to read more of Meacham’s work.”

Find it on Amazon »