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2023 Summer Reading List Thumbnail

2023 Summer Reading List

In the immortal words of Alice Cooper, school's out for summer!

That doesn't mean we need to take a break from learning though (cue teenage groans). Below are recent favourites from the team for good reads/shows to check out over the warmer months.

Ashlyn Vivian - Associate, London

Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear: I highly recommend to anyone looking to create habits and routines in their lives. James Clear fills this book with so many real world applications and visual aids, making it very digestible. Reading this book is an investment into your everyday life!

The Bear: Streaming on AppleTV, this is a fast paced series worth watching. Mixing sharp humour with deep, hard hitting emotional scenes about grief, it features the story of Chef Carmen's drive for success in a tough industry.

Focus Toolkit: Tools to Improve Your Focus & Concentration by Andrew Huberman: Anything Huberman Lab is great and worth the time investment if you can focus on and digest the material. Its refreshing to listen to someone who is actually an industry expert.

Paul Manders - Sr. Wealth Advisor & Portfolio Manager, London

Business: Get it Done, Have some Fun by Don MacDougall: This was a personal favourite that covered everything I enjoy in a book, including some history of Prince Edward Island. 

Don MacDougall has been a friend of our Team for many years and we knew some of his history and achievements in our local area. This was a great look at all the other great moments in his life. It also introduces the exciting new chapter taking place in PEI as he develops and runs a resort and other local businesses.

For anyone heading east for a summer holiday, this is a good read and make sure you check out Mill River Resort and Golf in PEI!

Good To Great : Why Some Companies Make The Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins: This was a business book written quite a few years ago that I had heard about from various consultants and presentations in the past. I really enjoyed it as it helped stimulate some thoughts and ideas for our Team as we integrate new Team members and locations in the evolution of the Fairway Team.

Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono: I try to read one business book and one non-business book at a time and this was a good break from the business side of things. Written by the lead singer of the band U2, it details the band's history. 

What made it especially enjoyable was that their history seemed to line up well with my last 25 years, so reading it was a bit of a walk down memory lane. I would say you do need to be a music or U2 fan to really enjoy it though. Each chapter is dedicated to one of their hit songs with plenty of references to their music and band lore.

Josie Lo Mascolo - Wealth Associate, Windsor

Girls That Invest: Your Guide to Financial Independence through Shares and Stocks by Simran Kaur: Many young women feel too intimidated to ask how on earth the stock market works. This book aims to empower women see the value and importance of financial independence and creating generational wealth. It’s a great place to develop an understanding of the stock market and different types of investments, learn market jargon, and explore different diversification strategies to find what's right for when starting your investment portfolio.

Adam Watson - Sr. Wealth Advisor & Portfolio Manager, Chatham

The Mechanic: The Secret World of the F1 Pitlane by Marc 'Elvis' Priestley: A behind the scenes look at the F1 pit lane and how it has evolved from the wild west into the hyper-competitive landscape of today. There is no shortage of unfiltered and uncensored stories from F1 in the 2000s.

I didn't fully appreciate the work the pit crew puts in to make the car work until this book. It was also amazing to here the stories of trying to improve the cars alongside trying to improve the drivers/staff through performance coaching in pursuit of shaving precious seconds off the clock.

Cirque du Soleil: The Spark - Igniting the Creative Fire that Lives within Us All by John U. Bacon: While not my usual read, I found it to be very interesting to hear how Cirque du Soleil recruits, builds culture and what they are looking for as the build a show. 

One of my favourite authors was the reason that I picked up the book.  He follows a sports agent in need of inspiration and a change, and who during a sabbatical temporarily joins Cirque after stumbling in on a Vegas show practice by accident.

Zach Davidson - Wealth Advisor & Portfolio Manager, Toronto

Am I Being Too Subtle? by Sam Zell: Legendary real estate investor Sam Zell passed away earlier this year, but he was a true iconoclast who lived life on his own terms. Sam was a remarkable independent thinker and to much success. He was notorious for zigging while everyone else in the industry zagged, creating a fortune for himself. This was a terrific read on the man in his own words and full of wisdom for future generations.

Guy Ritchie's The Covenant: Streaming on Amazon Prime, this movie was a riveting and visually captivating film that seamlessly blends action, suspense, and elements of mysticism. Directed by the master of fast-paced storytelling, this movie keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

The movie follows US Army Sergeant John Kinley (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Afghan interpreter Ahmed (Dar Salim). After an ambush, Ahmed goes to Herculean lengths to save Kinley’s life. When Kinley learns that Ahmed and his family were not given safe passage to America as promised, he must repay his debt by returning to the war zone to retrieve them before the Taliban hunts them down first.

Reg Jackson - Sr. Wealth Advisor & Portfolio Manager, London

The Lives of Brian: A Memoir by Brian Johnson: Something a bit different from others on the list, but Reg loved this book for the rock n roll fans out there. This memoir tells the life story of Brian Johnson of AC/DC fame. From his blue collar roots to rock n roll immortality in the aftermath of releasing Back in Black, it's a fascinating story about one of rock's iconic frontmen.

Adam Szypula - Investment Analyst, Toronto

The Trial by Franz Kafka: An excellent, surrealist read on how modern bureaucracies and institutions often become divorced from their original purposes, and become totally dehumanized, existing solely to perpetuate themselves. 

While this all sounds pretty high-brow, there is plenty of real world application. Recall a time you've had to deal with a system of gatekeepers, supposedly designed to help you, but who seem to work against you at every turn (ex. have you filling out the wrong forms on multiple occasions, trying to cancel a phone/streaming service, etc.). Kafka takes an absurdist view on how these bureaucratic systems exist as the dark side of modern society. 

For some further context: What Makes Something 'Kafkaesque'?

Anti-Fragile by Nassim Taleb: One of my favourite authors, Taleb has an incredibly unique, no nonsense, voice. Mixing Brooklyn street smarts with wisdom from the Ancients, his books always deliver the highest wisdom-per-page I've come across. (My copies are full of dog-ears and underlines).

Anti-fragile is all about systems that gain from exposure to randomness, and how removing this perceived 'harm' is the real danger. Consider a crystal glass (breaks if dropped; fragile) vs. a plastic cup (survives the drop; resilient) vs. your immune system (illness makes it stronger; anti-fragile). He applies these insights to all sorts of ancient and modern situations in highly entertaining fashion.

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