Summer Reading 2023

by Scott Ronalds

The great Canadian summer is just around the corner. It’s time to clean the grill, dust off the beach chairs, put away the hockey stick (and aspirations of a deep Leafs/Oilers/Jets playoff run), and buy a book or two to sink into during those long, warm days ahead.

This is where our annual Summer Reading List comes in. Our team has compiled a list of titles this year that are sure to please a variety of tastes. There are stories on business, nature, quitting, money, a secret World War II assassination plot, and the art of persuasion.

Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away, by Annie Duke. Tom Bradley, our Chair and co-founder, recommends this latest read from the famed poker champion turned business consultant and speaker. Tom started following Duke after her breakout TED Talk where she outlined why the Seattle Seahawks made the right call to throw on 2nd down on New England’s goal line in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XLIX. A sucker for a contrarian view, in investing and the locker room, Tom was hooked. The book looks at why, in the face of tough decisions, we’re terrible quitters and how this holds us back. It’s a follow-up to Annie’s first book, Thinking in Bets. Both are fun, thought-provoking studies into our behavioural foibles.

Dead in the Water: A True Story of Hijacking, Murder, and a Global Maritime Conspiracy, by Matthew Canpbell and Kit Chellel. Our Chief Investment Officer, Salman Ahmed, puts forward this exposé on the criminal inner workings of the international shipping business. Few industries are more secretive than shipping, yet we all depend on it for virtually everything we consume. The authors bring some clarity to this murky world through their investigation of David Mockett, a maritime surveyor working for Lloyd’s of London who was responsible for assessing the damage done to a pirated oil tanker, and who was murdered after asking too many questions. A Financial Times Book of the Year and a gripping crime thriller perfect for the hammock.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Lori Norman, one of our Investor Specialists, raves about this highly-acclaimed bestseller. The author, a scientist, professor, and founder of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, takes a fascinating look at the teachings of plants and animals, drawing on her scientific knowledge and experiences. Lori notes: “This book completely changed the lens I view nature with now and introduced to me to a new, stunning language.” Lori recommends the Audible version of the book, praising Kimmerer’s warm voice. With nature in full bounty, summer is the perfect time to read Braiding Sweetgrass. You’ll never look at a strawberry the same again.

How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion, by David McRaney. Our CEO, Neil Jensen, recommends this thought-provoking narrative. McRaney is a science journalist and bestselling author of You Are Not So Smart, who writes with humour and a deep sense of curiosity. The book explores the limits of reasoning and how the power of groupthink can influence cult members, conspiracy theorists, and political activists. A timely read in this day and age.

Talking to Canadians: A Memoir, by Rick Mercer. David Toyne, our Chief Development Officer, recommends this memoir from the Newfoundland raised comedian and TV personality. Famous for his bit Talking to Americans, Mercer tells many tales and behind-the-scenes revelations that are sure to have you laughing out loud. David is a big fan of the comedian, from his days on This Hour Has 22 Minutes to The Rick Mercer Report. He loves that Mercer’s stories are told with candour and humour, and couldn’t wait to dive into the next chapter. If you’re looking for a fun, lighter read this summer, this one’s for you.

The Nazi Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill, by Brad Meltzer and John Mensch. This one is my pick. It tells the little-known true story of a Nazi plot to kill the three Allied leaders at a secret conference in Tehran at the height of World War II. A thrilling account of an assassination plan that would’ve changed history, the book also includes the story of Mussolini’s mountaintop rescue, the controversial shooting down of Japan’s top naval officer, and the near takedown of the battleship USS Iowa—with Roosevelt aboard—by an American torpedo. I’m not a fast reader but couldn’t put this one down and finished it in a week.

Worry-Free Money: The Guilt-Free Approach to Managing Your Money and Your Life, by Shannon Lee Simmons. Lisa Guo, one of our Associate Investor Specialists, is a big advocate of this practical guide to managing your money and has been using Shannon's budgeting method ever since she read the book. In Lisa’s words: “Instead of viewing money as a negative, stressful thing, it's empowering to be able to allocate your money to things that matter to you while still being practical.” Lee Simmons advocates that you stop traditional budgeting and start living. And what better time to do so than the summer.

Return to Solitude: More Desolation Sound Adventures with the Cougar Lady, Russell the Hermit, the Spaghetti Bandit and Others, by Grant Lawrence. Chris Stephenson, another one of our Investor Specialists, recommends this story of time, family, and place by one of the Sunshine Coast’s renowned broadcasters and indie rock musicians. Lawrence weaves the history of the Desolation Sound area with his own life on the coast. “Great stories for a sunny summer day that may make you laugh out loud and definitely want to share!”, touts Chris.

Happy reading!

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