29 books Goldman Sachs execs from around the world think everyone should read this fall

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  • Goldman Sachs publishes a reading list every fall with book recommendations from employees around the world.
  • This year’s collection ranges from science fiction to autobiographies from figures lost to history.
  • Here are the fall reads recommended by 29 Goldman Sachs employees.
  • Visit the Markets Insider homepage for more stories.

Goldman Sachs publishes a reading list every fall highlighting some of its global employees’ book recommendations.

This year’s collection spans historical deep-dives, motivational autobiographies, and science fiction. Last year’s list included a similar range of works, but featured fewer recommendations compared to Friday’s list.

Here are the books recommended by 29 Goldman Sachs employees for this fall:

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“The Road to Character” by David Brooks

Picked by: Dane Holmes, Human Capital Management, New York

Holmes said: “By recounting the journeys of bold-faced names from throughout history, Brooks reminds us that the pathway to character isn’t always a smooth and straight one.”

Buy it here »

“Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Picked by: Beth Hammack, Corporate Treasury, New York

Hammack said: “The characters are completely captivating as is the era, their relationships and the shifting perspectives. It’s got it all – sex/drugs/rock and roll, pursuit of perfection, and female empowerment.”

Buy it here »

“The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World” by Melinda Gates

Picked by: Anna Skoglund, Investment Banking, London

Skoglund said: “Gates blends her personal journey of discovery with those of her heroes; pioneers working in vulnerable communities around the world to empower women to drive change in their own lives and beyond.”

Buy it here »

“Out of the Gobi: My Story of China and America” by Weijian Shan

Picked by: Iain Drayton, Investment Banking, Hong Kong

Drayton said: “This is a story of someone who never gave up his dream to get an education. For years, he risked his life to study secretly by candlelight in the Chinese countryside, at a time when studying was outlawed. Shan says, ‘To give up was to commit a sin against myself.'”

Buy it here »

“The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro

Picked by: Zheng Li, Investment Banking, Hong Kong

Li said: “This is a story of generational change with socio-economic and political transformation during the period between the Great World Wars… The questions raised by the transformation are all very relevant today and lead to introspection of life purpose and the human quest of identity.”

Buy it here »

“Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness” by Ingrid Fetell Lee

Picked by: Asahi Pompey, Executive Office, New York

Pompey said: “This data-driven book is based on years of study and explores how to find joy in your everyday surroundings – from the mundane to the substantive.”

Buy it here »

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

Picked by: John Goldstein, Executive Office, San Francisco

Goldstein said: “I love reading fiction that is diverting, engaging and a definite change of pace. The Night Circus is a charming book – full of beauty, magic and whimsy.”

Buy it here »

“Machines Like Me” by Ian McEwan

Picked by: Carey Halio

Halio said: “It tells the story of Adam, one of a first batch of practically human robots. It was a bit unnerving to imagine and think about what it means to be a person in a world of artificial humans.”

Buy it here »

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot

Picked by: Jo Natauri, Merchant Banking, New York

Natauri said: “I thought it was interesting because the general view is that the Valley is filled with very smart people and investors. In this case, these same smart investors were willing to suspend disbelief and get swept up in the aura of Elizabeth Holmes.”

Buy it here »

“The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers” by Gillian Tett

Picked by: Akiko Koda, Human Capital Management and Executive Office, Tokyo

Koda said: “In our modern world of echo chambers and filter bubbles, the book is a timely reminder of the dangers of over specialisation and the importance of collaboration across an organisation.”

Buy it here »

“Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou

Picked by: Christina Ma, Securities, Hong Kong

Ma said: “I thought it was interesting because the general view is that the Valley is filled with very smart people and investors. In this case, these same smart investors were willing to suspend disbelief and get swept up in the aura of Elizabeth Holmes.”

Buy it here »

“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles

Picked by: Amanda Hindlian, Global Investment Research, New York

Hindlian said: “The characters are fascinating and there are multiple story lines that persist throughout the book against the backdrop of the changing political and economic landscape in Russia.”

Buy it here »

“Concept of the Corporation” by Peter F. Drucker

Picked by: Michael Bartsch, Compliance, Frankfurt

Bartsch said: “Drucker studied the process of management to find out what really made a business tick… By shifting his focus, he was able to explain what contributes to the success of a company. “

Buy it here »

“TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking” by Chris Anderson

Picked by: Rita Chan, Investment Banking, Hong Kong

Chan said: “I have always enjoyed TED Talks but dissecting the analysis of why these talks are so powerful is eye-opening. Many practical tips that would certainly inspire us to develop a new presentation style.”

Buy it here »

“West with the Night” by Beryl Markham

Picked by: Amit Sinha, Investment Banking, San Francisco

Sinha said: “From her childhood in Africa, to her relationships with English royalty, to her many aviation records, Beryl Markham’s tale is the portrayal of a life lived to the fullest.”

Buy it here »

“Educated” by Tara Westover

Picked by: Jennifer Davis, Investment Banking, New York

Davis said: “I loved this memoir by Tara Westover as a reminder of what can be accomplished through pure grit and perseverance. After a harrowing childhood on so many levels, she overcame all odds to become a tremendous success.”

Buy it here »

“IKIGAI: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

Picked by: Shubha Iyer, Technology, Bengaluru

Iyer said: “What is your reason to jump out of bed each morning? This little book shares the experiences of people from the Japanese island of Okinawa, which has the largest population of centenarians in the world.”

Buy it here »

“Legacy” by James Kerr

Picked by: Christian Johnston, Investment Banking, Melbourne

Johnston said: “This is a book about the success of the All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby team which is arguably the world’s most successful sporting team. I’m not a huge rugby enthusiast but I found this book offered great insights into what it takes for sustained elite success and it is applicable for other sports, business and life in general.”

Buy it here »

“Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow

Picked by: Eric Neveux, Investment Banking, Chicago

Neveux said: “While a bit lengthy, this biography provides great perspective around A. Ham and shows the brilliance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s adaption to the stage.”

Buy it here »

“The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000” by Paul Kennedy

Picked by: Takashi Yoshimura, Compliance, Tokyo

Yoshimura said: “This book offers a broad perspective that helps us to understand not only the past, but also the events developing in front of us right now. It provides a perspective on the universal nature of history and the subtle balance of power between nations.”

Buy it here »

“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl

Picked by: Rohini Eapen, Operations, Bengaluru

Eapen said: “This book is an outstanding classic to emerge from the Holocaust and a story of his struggle for survival in Nazi concentration camps… Reading this book is truly inspirational and encourages us to find greater meaning and purpose in our lives, feel positively about and imagining the outcome.”

Buy it here »

“A Suitable Boy” by Vikram Seth

Picked by: Niharika Cabiallavetta, Securities, London

Cabiallavetta said: “Despite, it being one of the longest books to be printed in English in one volume, I think the length contributes to its success, where it’s nearly impossible to read it without developing a real love for the wonderfully drawn cast of characters.”

Buy it here »

“Destined For War: Can America and China Escape Thucydide’s Trap” by Graham T. Allison

Picked by: Dirk Lievens, Investment Banking, London

Lievens said: “I read Destined for War when it was first published back in the summer of 2017 and felt myself wanting to re-read it again this summer in light of the current trade war between China and the US. The title of the book refers to the historian Thucydides who in the 5th century BC, writing about the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, explained: ‘It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.'”

Buy it here »

“Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

Picked by: Amanda Creak, Technology, London

Creak said: “The book not only helps with describing how to create/measure great [Objectives and Key Results] but also provides really interesting insights into the tech companies he’s experienced.”

Buy it here »

“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” by David W. Blight

Picked by: Erika Irish Brown, Human Capital Management, New York

Brown said: “Born a slave, Frederick Douglass endured the horrors of slavery, escaped, developed into a great abolitionist, orator and writer and ultimately became a Presidential Advisor. Prophet of Freedom raises issues of race, gender and politics that feel all too relatable in the current environment (or in this century).”

Buy it here »

“He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him” by Mimi Baird

Picked by: Kim Posnett, Investment Banking, New York

Posnett said: “My dear friend’s step-mum wrote He Wanted the Moon. It is a brilliant and beautifully-written memoir. It is also a profoundly tragic and disturbing lens into mental illness and what so many people have suffered from. I was deeply touched when I read the book and couldn’t put it down.”

Buy it here »

“The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life” by David Brooks

Picked by: Ashok Varadhan, Securities, New York

Varadhan said: “I recommend the book because David Brooks eloquently describes his transformation from being motivated by individual accomplishments, attention, and recognition to being driven by a desire to serve and to be part of community. I found his perspective provocative, accurate, and inspiring.”

Buy it here »

“Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” by David Goggins

Picked by: Nicole Pullen Ross, Consumer and Investment Management, Philadelphia

Ross said: “While travelling with a senior partner of the firm, he shared this book with me, and it was as inspirational a read as he promised it would be. David Goggins is an example of how to be the best of ourselves, beyond imagination.”

Buy it here »

“The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames” by Kai Bird

Picked by: Michael Casey, Investment Banking, Houston

Casey said: “In addition to being a fascinating read about an interesting period of time in history that shapes modern day issues, Ames’ approach to his craft provides insight that can be applied in the business world as well.”

Buy it here »

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