Book Review: Red Notice by Bill Browder (10/10)

Red_Notice_book_coverRed Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice is a story of a Stanford graduate who against all common sense went to work in Eastern Europe just after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. First he worked for Boston Consulting Group and had his first project in Poland, then transferred to Salomon Brothers where he landed another project in Russia. This is an amazing story of how he sensed the business opportunities in Russia, built up his business, Hermitage Capital and how he fought oligarchs and corruption. The story is written in such a thrilling way that you can’t put the book down until you have reached the end and learned his story, and also the story of his lawyer, the late Sergei Magnitsky, and about how the corruption in modern Russia works. Continue reading

Book Review: The Lola Papers by Amy Marxkors

lola_papersAmy Marxkors’ “The Lola Papers” is a story of the author transforming into a serious runner. It is a non-fiction book written in a fiction style, spiced with humour. All of this is neatly packaged into a easy to read and entertaining style, with some insights for wannabe runners.

Amy is a writer. She starts running and asks a coach to help her with preparation to her first marathon. The coach agrees and the book follows her way to her first marathon. It tells about the insecurities she has, about the friendships she makes on the way, about ups and downs of running and her training regime.

When I started the book, Continue reading

Book Review: Mindset by Carol Dweck

mindsetThe book “Mindset” has a very interesting concept to distinguish people based on how they approach life: the ones with growth mindset and the ones with fixed mindset. The difference being that fixed mindset people believe that individuals are born with their innate abilities and intelligence that cannot be altered much, whereas the growth mindset people believe that all of the abilities that people have are bound to develop with practice.

The message of the book is how much more interesting and abundant the life is for people with growth mindset, how they get further in professional and personal life and enjoy their life more in general. The book points also out how important is to grow your children in growth-mindset perspective, for example praise them not for being intelligent, but Continue reading

Book Review: Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz

starbucksHoward Schultz is the guy who created Starbucks as we know it today and “Pour Your Heart Into It” is his description of how it happened.

I started with the book to learn about the story of the chain I always try to visit when I go abroad (there is no Starbucks in Estonia). Starbucks just has this aura to it that makes it a perfect place to sit for a couple of hours with friends or read a good book. I also happen to like coffee a lot thus there was another reason to read the book. Continue reading

Book Review: The Trail Life: How I Loved It, Hated It, and Learned from It by Julie Urbanski

Julie Urbanski walked from Mexico to Canada, through PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) with his then boyfriend (now husband). She wrote a book about that 4300 km walk that took them 109 days. The book is about their journey, emotions, hardships and emotional challenges that this kind of undertaking always involves. These kind of travels are really fascinating since, unlike polar expeditions, they are accessible to everyone and do not involve hazards such as ending up in a polar-bear’s lunch plate or finding a place to chill for eternity in the middle of snow and ice.
Continue reading

Book Review: The Art of Being Unreasonable by Eli Broad

The Art of Being Unreasonable by Eli Broad was a featured book in The Economist about a month ago. The description seemed intigueging enough, so after finishing the magazine I bought the book right away from Amazon. An easy read, it took me less than a week to go through it after work.

After reading it, I’m convinced that the guy paid for being featured in The Economist (yes, that can be done). That said, the book was not that bad at all. In fact, the first half of the book I would seriously recommend to any entrepreneur looking for some inspiration. The second half of the book is quite useless for the reader: one self-promotion chapter after another. He describes in detail how he gave money to yet another public gallery or museum, all of them named after him, strangely enough. 🙂

Although clearly a self promotion book, it does contain some good thoughts and hints. Here are my notes: Continue reading

Book Review: Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes by Belsky and Gilovich

Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics
is a fascinating book in the relatively new field of behavioral economics. This area has been of interest to me for a while now since I try to understand the often very irrational decisions people make. Below I’ve written out s about the biggest fallacies that people do on routine basis. Do you recognize some of the tendencies you have in them?

  • People make wrong conclusions. In the Israeli Navy the commanders discovered that most of the times a trainee was praised after a very good performance, they tend to perform worse the next time. And vice versa, if the trainee was critizised, he tend to perform better the next time. The conclusion that critizising motivates better than praise is obviously wrong – due to probability, it is not very likely to outperform already a very good performance the next time or do worse than a already low level performance. Continue reading