by Scott Ronalds

Who doesn’t pine for summer? The warm days, BBQs, road trips and outdoor living are just around the corner. Hopefully you’ve booked off a little time to recharge the batteries. And if you’re looking for a good book to sink into, we’ve got you covered.

Our annual summer reading list has become a tradition. We’re consumed with a lot of business and investing reading around here, but this year’s selections are broader in scope. There’s a biography of a beloved comedian, a must-read on marketing, a bestseller on the multibillion-dollar fitness recovery industry, a deep dive into why we sleep, and a look at the underbelly of the restaurant industry, among others. Hopefully there’s something that piques your interest.

Good to Go, by Christie Aschwanden. Neil Jensen, our COO, recommends this entertaining read about the strange science of recovery after sports and fitness training. The author, an acclaimed science writer and competitive athlete, digs into what actually works and what doesn’t when it comes to aiding post-training recovery. In a multibillion-dollar industry that peddles everything from sports drinks and energy bars to cryochambers and infrared saunas, it’s been said that drinking a beer after training is just as effective. Is it true? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

The Fifth Risk, by Michael Lewis. For Canadians who are obsessed with the goings-on in Washington, this book is a must-read according to Steadyhand President Tom Bradley. The book focuses on the government’s transition period after President Trump’s election, but the insights are far more lasting. Lewis introduces readers to some heroes in the public service, which gives us a better understanding of how the U.S. government works. And as he always does, he turns non-fiction into a page-turner.

This I Know, by Terry O’Reilly. David Toyne, our Chief Development Officer, recommends this book on marketing lessons from one of Canada’s most trusted voices in the ad game. O’Reilly’s book is an easy-to-read crash course on the thinking, strategy and execution of marketing, with some great real-world examples. David is a long-time listener of O’Reilly’s Under the Influence podcast and enjoyed the book because at Steadyhand, we’re always working to find effective ways to promote our value proposition. A key takeaway: don’t whisper a dozen things, say one thing loudly. (We’re working on it.)

Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain. This one’s my pick. I became a Bourdain fan after watching his CNN series Parts Unknown. The trifecta of food, travel and culture, laced with adventure and Bourdain’s unique touch, made the show a hit. I’d never read any of his work, though, until I took a copy of Kitchen Confidential on holiday last December. The book is a no-holds-barred exposé on what goes on behind the scenes in the culinary trade. Bourdain isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re a fan, it’s a must-read (it marks its 20th anniversary next year). And remember, never order fish on a Monday.

Why we Sleep, by Matthew Walker. Lisa Guo, our newest Associate Investor Specialist, puts this book forward. For all the emphasis society places on health, sleep is rarely mentioned even though it’s vitally important to our well being. In this New York Times bestseller, Walker, a Ph.D. and leading scientific expert on the topic, breaks down the facts, answers some long-asked questions, and clears up some common myths about sleep. For a book written by a scientist, Lisa found it surprisingly light and easy to read. In other words, it won’t put you to sleep. Ironic.

Robin, by Dave Itzkoff. This one is Salman Ahmed’s pick (our Portfolio Manager). It’s a biography of Robin Williams, one of America’s most beloved and misunderstood entertainers. Salman’s a big fan of Williams and grew up during his box office peak. Mrs. Doubtfire and Hook were two of his favourite movies (don’t judge!), yet, he knew little about the comedian’s life. Salman recommends it for any Robin Williams fan because it’s well researched and Itzkoff does a skillful job of incorporating hilarious stories about Williams’ life throughout a book that’s hardly meant to be funny.

Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbe. Chris Stephenson (one of our Investor Specialists) recommends this one. He was on vacation last month in Arizona and picked it up at the Grand Canyon bookstore, as it was perfect for the landscape. The book is an account of the “heat, mystery, and surprising bounty of desert life.” As one of the most popular books written on the American West, it’s a good option for all the Arizona snowbirds out there.

Love and Ruin, by Paula McLain. This beach read comes courtesy of Sher Gray (one of our Investor Specialists). Named one of the best books of 2018 by The Washington Post, it brings to life the story of Martha Gellhorn, Ernest Hemingway’s third wife, who forges a path as her own journalist and writer. Sher tells me she couldn’t put this book down.

Lastly, something a little offbeat. Lori Norman, another of our Investor Specialists, is putting forth a podcast for her choice this year. It’s an 8-episode fiction series called The Horror of Delores Roach. Don’t let the title dissuade you, says Lori. In her words: “Although the podcast centers around a female serial killer, it’s not what you think. It’s about love, sympathy, survival, honesty and ... empanadas. The cast is brilliant and there isn’t one person I’ve recommended this to who hasn’t been able to stop listening.”

If you’ve come across a great read lately, we’d love to hear about it in the Comments section.