On Book Reviews

When I started Aleph Blog, I had no idea that I would do so many book reviews.  When I wrote for RealMoney, my wife noted that I stopped reading books.  “Don’t have time,” was my reply.  It’s not that I have more time now, but that I am using my time better.  I always have a book with me, and when I get a break, I read.  My wife tells me she could never read a book that way.  I tell her that I must do it that way, or the books will not get read.

One surprise to me is that the publishers are so free with their books.  When I ask for a book, I get it 80% of the time.  And I get books that I would never have thought of asking for.  PR flacks contact me and ask if I am willing to do something special for their author.  The answer is usually “no,” but for special books I will do more.

The books that I ask for usually get better reviews than the ones that come gratis.  There is a degree of self-selection here; I choose books that I am likely to like.

I receive books.  They presently fall into these categories:

  • Read, but not reviewed (7 at present)
  • Reading (1 book at a time)
  • Hot books (3 at present)
  • Waiting (10 books)

I read the books that seem the most promising.  Since I never promise to review a book, occasionally a book will get dropped from the review queue after a scan.  My objective is to highlight good books for readers, and warn on popular books that should be avoided.

But let me point out a bias of mine.  I think it is hard to write good books on asset allocation, technical analysis, or quantitative investing.  Why?  The books overpromise and underdeliver.  There are no easy solutions when all you need to know is the math, because the computers at hedge funds mop up those inefficiencies easily.

I would like to write a piece on how to write a good investment book, but I shy away from writing it, because I have never written a book, and who am I to dictate to those who made the effort to write a book.

But all that said, I have been asked by readers to rank my book reviews.  Well, here it is.  Please understand that the rankings are often close, and I don’t put a lot of weight into them.  I did my best, but if there is no link to buy the book at Amazon, it is because I think no one should buy it.  Note to Michael Covel: to that degree, you are on my buy list.

So here is my list of book reviews, sorted by category and rank:

ReviewAmazon StarsCategoryRank in CategoryAmazon Widget
Book Review: Financial Shenanigans5Accounting1Financial Shenanigans
Book Review: Quality of Earnings5Accounting2Quality of Earnings
Book Review: Early Warning and Quick Response4Accounting3Early Warning and Quick Response
Book Review: Dynamic Asset Allocation3Asset Allocation1Dynamic Asset Allocation
Book Review: 7Twelve2Asset Allocation2
Book Review: The Flexible Investment Playbook1Asset Allocation3
Book Review: Co-opetition5Business1Co-Opetition
Book Review: Warren Buffett on Business4Business2Warren Buffett on Business
Book Review: All the Devils are Here5Crisis1All the Devils Are Here
Book Review: Street Fighters5Crisis2Street Fighters
Book Review: Complicit5Crisis3Complicit
Book Review: Confidence Game5Crisis4Confidence Game
Book Review: Slapped by the Invisible Hand4Crisis5Slapped by the Invisible Hand
Book Review: 13 Bankers4Crisis613 Bankers
Book Review: Financial Shock3Crisis7Financial Shock
Book Review: When Giants Fall2Crisis8
Book Review: The Volatility Machine5Economics1The Volatility Machine
Book Review: Priceless5Economics2Priceless
Book Review: Fault Lines5Economics3Fault Lines
Book Review: Where Keynes Went Wrong5Economics4Where Keynes Went Wrong
Book Review: Monetary Regimes and Inflation4Economics5Monetary Regimes and Inflation
Book Review: Making Sense of the Dollar4Economics6Making Sense of the Dollar
Book Review: Secrets of the Moneylab3Economics7Secrets of the Moneylab
Book Review: The Economics of Food3Economics8The Economics of Food
Book Review: Manias, Panics, and Crashes5History1Manias, Panics, and Crashes
Book Review: Devil Take the Hindmost5History1Devil Take the Hindmost
Book Review: This Time Is Different5History2This Time Is Different
Book Review: 100 Minds That Made The Market5History3100 Minds That Made the Market
Book Review: The Trouble With Prosperity5History4The Trouble With Prosperity
Book Review: The Wall Street Waltz5History5The Wall Street Waltz
Book Review: Mr. Market Miscalculates5History6Mr. Market Miscalculates
Book Review: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (Annotated Edition)5History7Reminiscences of a Stock Operator Annotated Edition
Book Review: The Myth of the Rational Market5History8The Myth of the Rational Market
Book Review: Wealth, War & Wisdom5History9Wealth, War and Wisdom
Book Review: Once in Golconda4History10Once in Golconda
Book Review: The Last of the Imperious Rich4History11The Last of the Imperious Rich
Book Review: Fallen Giant4History12Fallen Giant
Book Review: A History of Interest Rates4History13A History of Interest Rates
Book Review: The Intelligent Investor5Investing1The Intelligent Investor
Book Review: The Aggressive Conservative Investor5Investing2The Aggressive Conservative Investor
Book Review: Dear Mr. Buffett5Investing3Dear Mr. Buffett
Book Review: The Only Guide to Alternative Investments You’ll Ever Need5Investing4The Only Guide to Alternative Investments You’ll Ever Need
Book Review: Margin of Safety5Investing5
Book Review: Buffett Beyond Value4Investing6Buffett Beyond Value
Book Review: The Only Three Questions That Count4Investing7The Only Three Questions That Count
Book Review: Super Stocks4Investing8Super Stocks
Book Review: The Dick Davis Dividend4Investing9The Dick Davis Dividend
Book Review: Diary of a Hedge Fund Manager4Investing10Diary of a Hedge Fund Manager
Book Review: The Elements of Investing4Investing11The Elements of Investing
Book Review: Outperform4Investing12Outperform
Book Review: Market Indicators4Investing13Market Indicators
Book Review: Why are we so Clueless about the Stock Market?4Investing14Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market?
Book Review: TradeStream Your Way to Profits3Investing15TradeStream Your Way to Profits
Book Review: 7 Commandments of Stock Investing3Investing167 Commandments of Stock Investing
Book Review: Higher Returns from Safe Investments2Investing17
Book Review: Buying at the Point of Maximum Pessimism1Investing18
Book Review: Soros on Soros5Macro Investing1Soros on Soros
Book Review: The Alchemy of Finance5Macro Investing2The Alchemy of Finance
Book Review: The Great Reflation5Macro Investing3The Great Reflation
Book Review: The Predictioneer’s Game5Miscellaneous1The Predictioneer’s Game
Book Review: Navigating the Financial Blogosphere4Miscellaneous2Navigating the Financial Blogosphere
Book Review: Book of isms4Miscellaneous3The Economist Book of isms
Book Review: While America Aged5Pensions1While America Aged
Book Review: Pension Dumping5Pensions2Pension Dumping
Book Review: Easy Money5Personal Finance1Easy Money
Book Review: That Thing Rich People Do5Personal Finance2That Thing Rich People Do
Book Review: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning4Personal Finance3The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning
Book Review: The Insured Portfolio4Personal Finance4The Insured Portfolio
Book Review: How to Be the Family CFO1Personal Finance5
Book Review: Finding Alpha5Quantitative Investing1Finding Alpha
Book Review: Investing By The Numbers5Quantitative Investing2Investing by the Numbers
Book Review: Triumph of the Optimists4Quantitative Investing3Triumph of the Optimists
Book Review: Quantitative Strategies for Achieving Alpha4Quantitative Investing4Quantitative Strategies for Achieving Alpha
Book Review: The Complete Guide To Option Pricing Formulas, and Derivatives4Quantitative Investing5The Complete Guide to Option Pricing Formulas
Book Review: Models on Models4Quantitative Investing6Derivatives Models on Models
Book Review: Two Books on Options by Anthony Saliba4Quantitative Investing7Option Spread Strategies  Option Strategies for Directionless Markets
Book Review: The Guru Investor3Quantitative Investing8The Guru Investor
Book Review: Beating the Market, 3 Months at a Time3Quantitative Investing9Beating the Market, 3 Months at a Time
Book Review: The Fundamental Index3Quantitative Investing10The Fundamental Index
Book Review: Nerds on Wall Street3Quantitative Investing11Nerds on Wall Street
Book Review: Expectations Investing2Quantitative Investing12Expectations Investing
Book Review: What Works on Wall Street2Quantitative Investing13What Works on Wall Street
Book Review: Quantitative Equity Investing2Quantitative Investing14
Book Review: The New Science of Asset Allocation2Quantitative Investing15
Book Review: The Quant Investor’s Almanac 20111Quantitative Investing16
Book Review: Fortune’s Formula5Risk Control1Fortune’s Formula
Book Review: Risk and the Smart Investor5Risk Control2Risk and the Smart Investor
Book Review: No One Would Listen5Risk Control3No One Would Listen
Book Review: MarketPsych4Risk Control4MarketPsych
Book Review: Who Can You Trust With Your Money?4Risk Control5Who Can you Trust with Your Money?
Book Review: The Flaw of Averages3Risk Control6The Flaw of Averages
Book Review: The Club No One Wanted To Join3Risk Control7The Club No One Wanted To Join
Book Review: Think Twice2Risk Control8Think Twice
Software Review: Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Version 115Software1Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home, Version 11
Book Review: The Heretics of Finance4Technical Analysis1The Heretics of Finance
Book Review: Beat the Market: Invest by Knowing What Stocks to Buy and What Stocks to Sell3Technical Analysis2Beat the Market: Invest by Knowing What Stocks to Buy and What Stocks to Sell
Book Review: Trend Following2Technical Analysis3Trend Following
Book Review: The Ten Roads to Riches4Wealth1The Ten Roads to Riches
Book Review: Rich Like Them4Wealth2Rich Like Them

If you want to read a review, click on the left link.  If you want to buy, click on the right link.

Full disclosure: If you enter Amazon through my site, and you buy anything, I get a small commission.  This is my main source of blog revenue.  I prefer this to a “tip jar” because I want you to get something you want, rather than merely giving me a tip.  Book reviews take time, particularly with the reading, which most book reviewers don’t do in full, and I typically do. (When I don’t, I mention that I scanned the book.  Also, I never use the data that the PR flacks send out.)

Most people buying at Amazon do not enter via a referring website.  Thus Amazon builds an extra 1-3% into the prices to all buyers to compensate for the commissions given to the minority that come through referring sites.  Whether you buy at Amazon directly or enter via my site, your prices don’t change.

Full disclosure: This book was sent to me, because I asked for it.

If you enter Amazon through my site, and you buy anything, I get a small commission.  This is my main source of blog revenue.  I prefer this to a “tip jar” because I want you to get something you want, rather than merely giving me a tip.  Book reviews take time, particularly with the reading, which most book reviewers don’t do in full, and I typically do. (When I don’t, I mention that I scanned the book.  Also, I never use the data that the PR flacks send out.)

Most people buying at Amazon do not enter via a referring website.  Thus Amazon builds an extra 1-3% into the prices to all buyers to compensate for the commissions given to the minority that come through referring sites.  Whether you buy at Amazon directly or enter via my site, your prices don’t change.