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The SVB Private Book Club is a collection of recommended books from our community of experts and thought leaders, like you. Here’s a recap of some recommendations over the past year that were featured in our monthly newsletter. Subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter.
Principles for success
by Ray Dalio
Share these simple and unique principles from the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund with a loved one this summer. Principles for Success distills Ray Dalio’s 600-page bestseller, Principles: Life & Work, down to an easy-to-read and entertaining format that’s accessible to readers of all ages.
Make your bed: Little things that can change your life … and maybe the world
by Admiral William H. McRaven
Ten principles from a Navy Seal trainer that have helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life. He explains how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves—and the world—for the better.
Literary places (inspired traveller’s guide)
by Sarah Baxter & Amy Grimes
Travel journalist Sarah Baxter takes readers on a tour of 25 interesting locations that are settings in iconic novels, and Amy Grimes has provided hand-drawn illustrations. The evocative text outlines each location’s history and culture, combined with biographies of the authors or stories from the literary works that make the place significant.
Wisdom of crowds
by James Surowiecki
In this book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant–better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.
by Tara Westover
Tara Westover wasn’t your garden variety college student. That’s because she didn’t see the inside of a classroom until the age of seventeen. For those of us who took our educations for granted, Educated is an inspiring reminder that knowledge is, indeed, power.
What we're reading now
John Longely, President of Western Region: I just finished The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. A great book about Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain. It’s a story of courage, perseverance, and optimism in the face of extraordinary challenges, and so apropos for these times. Erik Larson does a wonderful job of bringing historical figures to life, and so it’s also a very enjoyable read.
Allison Baird, Chief Marketing Officer: The book I’ve been thinking most about lately is The Fourth Turning by Neil Howe and William Straus. The book is about the recurring cycle in history in which four generational personas occupy and influence events. Each generation unleashes a new era every 20 to 22 years that impacts the social, political and economic climate. Every 80-100 years (the length of a human life) this culminates in a “crisis” which is followed by a recovery. Howe and Straus predicted that the next crisis would come sometime between 2020 and 2025. And here we are in the midst of it. The good news is that every crisis is followed by a recovery, rebirth and commitment to the dominant values of the time. I can’t wait to see how this real-life test of the theory turns out!
Daniel Lopez, Relationship Manager: The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan. Great deep dive into a part of the world that has been source of conflict and growth with a measured analysis of future implications for global economics and financial markets.
Kathleen Kenealy, Director of Financial Planning: I highly recommend “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. I’m a sucker for books with misunderstood characters, especially strong female ones, and this one grabbed me from the start. It was so beautifully and cleverly written, I couldn’t put it down for an entire weekend even though it made me cry.
David Donahue, Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer: Leading from Purpose by Nick Craig provides incredible real-life examples of how successful professionals manage their time, energy, and passion. Nick does a fantastic job including personal and professional stories from a wide-range of business professionals – some that will resonate with every reader.
David Coughlin, Senior Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer: I recommend Lincoln’s White House, written by James Conroy. It takes you to a different place and time in our country’s history. The book brings to life the people and events surrounding the executive mansion from Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861, to his assignation in 1865. After reading this book you will never look at the White House the same way again.