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Thread: What are you reading now?

  1. #751
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Just started Going Clear, the most recent book about the inner workings of Scientology. Fascinating so far.
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  3. #752
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    Just started Going Clear, the most recent book about the inner workings of Scientology. Fascinating so far.
    Read that earlier this year. I knew Hubbard was a nut, but I was still astonished at just how much of a nut he was. Didn't realize he was a wife beater, etc.... It's definitely a fascinating book.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  4. #753
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Just started The Billionaire's Apprentice about the insider trading scandal of Raj Rajaratnam and the Galleon Group. Really good so far if you like reading about Wall Street scandals.

    Just finished The Buy Side by Turney Duff. This was supposed to be a great book based on all the reviews. It was pretty good, but fell short of great for me. It's about a guy (Journalism degree from Ohio U, BTW), who had a connection on wall street and eventually got into trading for hedge funds. He becomes a cocaine addict and is really pulled into the wall street night life and favor trading that's so rampant there. The guy goes from millionaire to having lost everything in a few years. Worth a read, but was more of a personal memoir than an expose on wall street culture.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  5. #754
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    I just finished Fight Club. Very fascinating writing style but this is one of the few times I like the movie better.
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  6. #755
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    Just started The Billionaire's Apprentice about the insider trading scandal of Raj Rajaratnam and the Galleon Group. Really good so far if you like reading about Wall Street scandals.

    Just finished The Buy Side by Turney Duff. This was supposed to be a great book based on all the reviews. It was pretty good, but fell short of great for me. It's about a guy (Journalism degree from Ohio U, BTW), who had a connection on wall street and eventually got into trading for hedge funds. He becomes a cocaine addict and is really pulled into the wall street night life and favor trading that's so rampant there. The guy goes from millionaire to having lost everything in a few years. Worth a read, but was more of a personal memoir than an expose on wall street culture.
    I think I finished The Buy Side and also read about a quarter of The Wolf of Wall Street. Quite frankly both books turned me off. I have little desire to read about guys who thought they were all that while jacked up (or down) on all types of drugs. I was more interested in what actually went on in the financial aspect of things. But the books read like "look how great I was" "or I did this jacked up on coke."

  7. #756
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I think I finished The Buy Side and also read about a quarter of The Wolf of Wall Street. Quite frankly both books turned me off. I have little desire to read about guys who thought they were all that while jacked up (or down) on all types of drugs. I was more interested in what actually went on in the financial aspect of things. But the books read like "look how great I was" "or I did this jacked up on coke."
    I haven't read The Wolf of Wall Street as it never appealed to me. I agree with your assessment of The Buy Side and that's the main reason I was disappointed. I thought it was going to be less about him personally, and more about the overall after work culture of wall street. His narrative comes across as very self promoting, and I think he thought much higher of himself than he was probably thought of by his peers.

    Duff struck me as not super intelligent. I've watched a couple of interviews with the guy and they do nothing to make me think otherwise. I think he's a guy with a connection who was in the right place in the right market. He was mostly doing what he was told, but made it sound like he was some kind of trading genius. He learned a few tricks of the trade in how to manipulate brokers to get information, but nothing about him struck me as impressive.

    Billionaire's Apprentice is really good so far, but goes into a lot of detail on the key players background in India. Doesn't bother me, but may some.

    I really liked Confidence Game about Bill Ackman and his now famous short selling of MBIA. It was a tough book to put down and had plenty of those "how could this actually happen" moments kind of like The Big Short. It's one of the more enjoyable reads on the financial side of these things.

    Money and Power, on the history of Goldman Sachs and some of the things they've done over the years is a good book, but very tedious. I walked away from that one with an even stronger belief that GS is the devil.

    A really fun read is Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis (my favorite author). It didn't get the reviews some of his other books got, but it was a really easy read and some of it will blow you away. I had no idea about what happened in Iceland and it's one of the most amazing stories I've ever heard. And I had no idea the level of corruption of the tax system over in Greece either. I've read this one twice now.

    Crash of the Titans about the fall of Merrill Lynch and Stan O'Neil was pretty good as well. I was disappointed in The Greatest Trade Ever Made. Had I read that before The Big Short, I may have liked it more, but I knew that story already and the book didn't add much, IMO. Too Big to Fail was interesting, but too tedious, IMO. Way too hard to follow.

    When Genius Failed is a classic and a must read if you're interested in this stuff. More Money Than God is a great book on the history of hedge funds. And I assume you've read Liar's Poker, as that's the book that got me interested in all this stuff to begin with. Actually, I think Duff thought he was writing a modern day version of this book, but it came up well short.

    I think this pretty much covers what I've read on this topic.
    Last edited by MWM; 12-10-2013 at 10:32 PM.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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  9. #757
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Michael Lewis is your favorite author? I have found his books to be very interesting but I have also found him to be arrogant. Moreso in his interviews than in his writing but I have noticed a hint of "I am smarter than you in his writing." A lot of financial books I try to read I am often put off by them for the shear fact the the author tends to think quite a bit about himself/herself.

    I will give the books you mentioned a chance.

  10. #758
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Michael Lewis is a brilliant story teller. He sees unique stories within a greater event or context, and tells it in a way few can, IMO. He's not trying to be an expert on financial markets and is pretty explicit in his interviews and writings that he's not. But he understands the environment and has a gift for finding great stories within the bigger picture. The story of Michael Burry and the the Cornwall Capital guys is a perfect example. It wasn't meant to be an academic overview of the events that led to the subprime collapse. But the story of Burry, Eisman, and the Cornwall guys was fascinating to me.

    I've watched most of the interviews he's done and I haven't found him overly arrogant. He has an opinion and shares it, and he's been an advocate of stronger regulations of wall street, so to someone who's very conservative I could see how he may be considered arrogant. But I don't see it. I think he has a unique way of looking at things and I enjoy his perspective.

    Moneyball had some arrogance in it, I'll give you that. But that's the only of his books I've read that I'd consider remotely arrogant.

    Liar's Poker may be his best book and it's anything but arrogant. The Blind Side was fantastic, IMO, and really showcases what makes Lewis a great storyteller. The book was much more about the evolution of the left tackle position in the NFL, and the socio-economic environment in Memphis. The story of Michael Oher is just the backdrop.

    I think Boomerang is one of his easiest reads and one of the most enjoyable. I wouldn't call it a great book like I would a couple of others, but probably the one that was easiest to read and tells stories that will blow you away....like Iceland's meteoric rise in investment banking and subsequent collapse.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  11. #759
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    I didn't care for Ender's Game. The chapters that focued on Valentine and Peter felt needless and the unbeatable game sections on his Desk were fairly annoying.
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  12. #760
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    I didn't care for Ender's Game. The chapters that focued on Valentine and Peter felt needless and the unbeatable game sections on his Desk were fairly annoying.
    Interesting. I agree on the game sections, but I thought the Valentine-Peter/ Locke-Demosthenes sections were some of the book's best, and it was a shame they were cut out of the movie.

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  13. #761
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Just finished On Writing by Stephen King. I usually don't read nonfiction but as a big King fan I really appreciated it.

    Listening to The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty on audiobook now. Stuff is about to get creepy.
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  14. #762
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    I read Stardust by Neil Gaiman today. I didn't care for it with the exception of a few chapters here and there. Normally I love all of Gaiman's work but this wasn't his better stuff.
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  15. #763
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate39 View Post
    I read Stardust by Neil Gaiman today. I didn't care for it with the exception of a few chapters here and there. Normally I love all of Gaiman's work but this wasn't his better stuff.
    I picked up the Kindle edition recently when it was on sale, but haven't read it yet. It's about the only novel of Gaiman's I haven't read yet, mostly because I've seen the movie.

  16. #764
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Quote Originally Posted by marcshoe View Post
    I picked up the Kindle edition recently when it was on sale, but haven't read it yet. It's about the only novel of Gaiman's I haven't read yet, mostly because I've seen the movie.
    What did you think of American Gods?
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  17. #765
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    Re: What are you reading now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate39 View Post
    What did you think of American Gods?
    I had a hard time getting started with it because of the rough, angry tone, but once the road trip started in earnest, I was hooked. I've taught mythology (including Norse and Egyptian) and tried to keep track of all the gods.

    When I was very small(1970), I visited Rock City, and the way the book described it was just as I remembered. Now I have to visit The House on the Rock.


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