“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time—none.”                                     

– Charlie Munger

I’m getting ready to go on vacation for the holiday season. I will admit that it will be good to spend some time in warmth with my family, thinking about something other than the stock market. Besides playing tennis, I plan to sit on a beach chair often (and for long periods) and read! And to stay away from the stock market and business field, I plan to avoid books on the stock market and on business management. Novels will be on my agenda!

I am therefore taking this opportunity to share with you some books that I have read recently and that I particularly enjoyed. I also wrote a similar blog last June for the summer period: Novels to Read This Summer.

So here are my five picks from the books I’ve rated four or more stars (out of five). Please note that I always try to read a book in its original French or English version and not a translation. I imagine that some of these books are available in both French and English.

Red Notice, by Bill Browder, ★★★★★. We have heard a lot about Russia and its autocratic system since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war almost three years ago. If you want to understand how things are done in Russia, this book is both entertaining and very informative about the political and business workings of Putin’s Russia.

I’ve read a few books about philanthropy over the past few months, including the following three. I like these books because they allow us to understand the management philosophy of entrepreneurs who have had resounding successes during their business careers, but also because they allow us to understand how they subsequently decided to give their fortune to the community.

How To Be Rich, J. Paul Getty, ★★★★★. Last September, I wrote a blog about this entitled, “Autobiography of a Great 20th century Industrialist.

The Billionaire Who Wasn’t, by Conor O’Clery, ★★★★★. I found this book fascinating. It chronicles the life of Chuck Feeney, who died on October 23. Mr. Feeney not only created a very valuable company during his career (Duty Free Shoppers Group) but gave virtually all his personal fortune to the causes he cared about … during his lifetime!

The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie and the Gospel of Wealth, by Andrew Carnegie, ★★★★. This book is interesting for understanding the success of a great American industrialist of the 20th century. It was in this book that Mr. Carnegie wrote a phrase that became famous: “The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.” It is also interesting because Mr. Feeney drew inspiration from Mr. Carnegie and his philosophy of philanthropy to guide him in his choices.

Qimmik, Michel Jean, ★★★★★. I particularly liked this book by this Quebec author who immerses us in the traditional life of an Inuit couple from Nunavik. The author has the gift of describing landscapes of great beauty in Quebec’s Far North.

Finally, a book on investing: Same as Ever, by Morgan Housel, ★★★★★. It is often said that we should focus on the things we can control and try to ignore the things we can’t. We can probably say the same thing about history: there are certain things which have always happened in the past and which will undoubtedly repeat themselves in the future – the author explains, in a very entertaining way, that an investor should focus his attention on these things.

Please note that I will be taking leave from blogging for the remainder of 2023 and will be back starting January 5. I would like to thank you for reading my blogs and to wish you very Happy Holidays! Take the opportunity to rest and read a little!

It is always a pleasure for me to receive your emails sharing your comments, criticisms, questions, and suggestions.

See you next year!