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Jill on Money: Kick back with a few great summer reads - about finance

As you head off to the beach, the mountains or enjoy a staycation this summer, here is my annual list of books that I have enjoyed in the first six months of the year. Before you say, “There’s no way that I am reading a money-related book during July or August,” I encourage you to check out these top picks — they really are page-turners.


By Annie Duke

Your financial life requires a number of decisions, some of which contain an element of luck that you can’t control, not to mention information that is hidden from view. In her easy-to-read book, poker-champion-turned-business consultant Duke teaches you how to become more comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions as a result.

Duke argues that shifting your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don't, will make you less vulnerable to reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases and destructive habits in your decision making.


 By Amy Cuddy

Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do-over? Maybe you felt like you flubbed a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation. If so, you are (a) human and (b) someone who should read Cuddy's bestselling book, which was released in paperback earlier this year.

Cuddy notes that the very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless. To help, she offers techniques to liberate us from fear in high-pressure moments, to perform at our best and to connect with and empower others to do the same.

 Two Billionaires, One Company,
and an Epic Wall Street Battle'

By Scott Wapner

It's hard to imagine how an argument between two billionaires could make for a gripping and compelling book. But CNBC host Wapner took a brawl between Wall Street titans Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman (over multilevel nutritional supplement company Herbalife) and turned it into a page-turning tale of money, power, pride and greed.

Wapner gained unprecedented access to the players and unravels this remarkable war of egos, showing the extreme measures the participants were willing to take. The dispute became a yearslong feud, complete with secret backroom deals, public accusations, billions of dollars in stock trades and one dramatic insult war on live television.

 An American Story'

By Ken Langone

As a legendary financier, co-founder of Home Depot and philanthropist extraordinaire, Langone’s memoir might seem like a just another ego-infused tome, but in a series of captivating stories, he shows how a working-class boy from Long Island struggled in academics, broke into Wall Street and scrambled for an MBA at night.

Langone says: “Absolutely anybody is entitled to dream big, and absolutely everybody should dream big. I did. Show me where the silver spoon was in my mouth. I’ve got to argue profoundly and passionately: I’m the American Dream.”

 How Twelve Brilliant Minds Would Solve Today’s Biggest Problems'

By Linda Yueh

Did you snooze through Econ 101? Did you skip it entirely? No need to worry, because Yueh has written a wonderful book that recounts the theories of 12 of the most famous economists as she explains their influence on our lives and determines whether their ideas can help us with the policy challenges that we face today.

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