They say you can tell everything about someone by taking a look at his bedside reading list. Here is a new feature that shares my bed side reading habits as well as reviews books that helped me get to the next stage of my life. This week the list only has a couple of recommended titles, it will slowly grow over new posts and book reviews. Enjoy
Fixed Income Securities, Second edition, Bruce Tuckman
The Tuckman textbook stands out for many reasons. First unlike most computational finance reference sources, it is actually written in English. Paul Petty at Goldman Sachs told me once that he would only read my summary recommendation on the value at risk upgrade if I kept all numbers and equations out of it. While Tuckman manages to smuggle in a few Greek symbols and lots of numbers inside, he does it with such grace that it becomes part of your conversation with him.
I was introduced to Bruce when the book became prescribed reading by the Society of Actuaries for the Advance Derivative course (the old V-480 exam). In my first few reads when I read his introduction to term structure modeling, I actually wept since Bruce lucidly explained in a few pages concepts that I had struggled to comprehend after 18 readings of John C. Hull.
Fixed Income Mathematics, Term structure modeling, Interest Rate simulators, Calibration of interest rates models, repurchase contracts and mortgage backed securities. If you need an easy to read, handy reference for all of the above topics without breaking your budget or your desk, Fixed Income Securities (University edition) by Bruce Tuckman is the book for you. When working in the field I end up using Tuckman far more than the Handbook of Fixed Income securities by Fabozzi or John C. Hull.
Founders at work, Jessica Livingston, Y-Combinator
Being a founder is difficult work. It is frustrating at time hopeless and only for a lucky few worthwhile. Sometimes in your darkest moment you need a balance between cheerleading and reality. Other founders who have walked that path and shared that door with you; Other stories with different endings to help you keep you sanity.
Jessica Livingston at Y-Combinator manages to do a bit of both. Her choice of companies, founders and objective narrative keeps the cheerleading at bay but at the same time gives you enough courage to see the end of one more day. And sometimes that is all what you need. The softcover edition is out and is priced under 15 dollars on Amazon right now. It is a much better read than my 19 dollars copies of Reboot. Go grab one.
The Stieg Larsson Trilogy, The Girl with the …. series
I first bought the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as an impulse buy while browsing through Page One in Singapore. For the next 12 months the book sat on my shelf waiting to be picked up. The cover was interesting, the title was different and when its turn came to be browsed it was everything but what I expected. For once I would not want my 12, 15 or 18 year old reading this any time soon. The book became a curious mix of offensive violence, off beat and misplaced affairs and at least a few instances of unpleasantness that would qualify for a book burning rally in my part of the world. But for all of its flaws, it was a pretty good read.
So when I found my self facing the new imprint of the Girl who played with fire at the Borders store in Dubai, one hand reached for the shelf, the other one for the wallet. And then I actually pined for the last part of the series. So pick the entire set in hard cover, prepared to be offended like you have never been offended before and if you really like offbeat fiction from a strange land from the hands of a writer who left too soon, you won’t regret it.