Recommended Reading

Finance & Current Affairs

General Finance & Recent Events

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World - Niall Ferguson

A great book introducing how modern-day finance has developed.

All You Need to Know About the City 2011: Who Does What and Why in London’s Financial Markets - Christopher Stoakes

An introductory overview into all the different roles and functions in the modern financial system. Perfect background reading if looking to pursue a job in finance.

Financial Frauds, Crashes & Collapses

Too Big To Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street - Andrew Ross Sorkin

One of the best books describing the events that happened during the Financial Crash of 2008.

Smartest Guys in the Room - Peter Elkind & Bethany McLean

A brilliant read uncovering the scandalous collapse and fraud of Enron in 2002.

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management - Roger Lowenstein

The Great Crash 1929 - John Kenneth Galbraith

A Colossal Failure of Common Sense- Larry McDonald & Patrick Robinson

The incredible story of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Back from the Brink: 1,000 Days at Number 11 - Alistair Darling

A mixed finance and political perspective on the 2008 Financial Crisis and collapse of Northern Rock, written by the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling.

The Bankers: How the Banks Brought Ireland to Its Knees - Shane Ross

Banking & M&A 

Monkey Business - John Rolfe & Peter Troob

A humorous extract from the lives of two ex-ivy league Investment Bankers working in M&A at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (DLJ).

Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco - Bryan Burrough & John Heylar

Liar’s Poker  - Michael Lewis

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator - Edwin Lefèvre


Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life - Alice Schroeder


How They Started: How 30 good ideas became great businesses - David Lester

Basically 30 companies that started from nothing – mostly now who are household names. It is very easy to read and gives an account of the stories with the major problems they faced and how they overcame them.

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com - Richard L Brandt 

For those interested in doing an internet/technology business

Losing My Virginity: The Autobiography - Richard Branson

Basically Richard Branson’s life story. There are some amazing stories in their in how he set up a business from school and then went on to buy an airline as well as an Island for a ridiculously low amount of money. This one is quite inspirational.


Business, Management & Leadership

The One Minute Manager – The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey – Ken Blanchard

(Management) There are many books here start with “The one minute manager” very easy to read and then work your way through them like “building teams” or “Leadership” most of the books can read under one hour and read in a story format. Basically these are brilliant when you are managing a few people and want to get the best out of them.

Rich Dad Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki

A really great book if you want to think seriously about getting assets that generate revenue. His view is that an asset is only something that generates revenue. This way the home you live in is actually a liability

Personal Development

How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be: The 25 Principles of Success - Jack Canfield

Book on Personal Development and changing your perspective and achieving new goals – This is a really good book (if you don’t mind the American slant) as it does not assume you need qualifications, degrees etc to do stuff. Also includes real life examples of people achieving some profound stuff with very little or nothing.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey

Anything by him is pretty awesome there is an eighth habit one and principle centred leadership

Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life - DR Spencer Johnson  

Really simple but effective book on change

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels - Michael Watkins

Leadership and Business development in a new Job in different settings, and making an impact in your new organisation in the first 90 days

How To Win Friends And Influence People - Dale Carnegie

A brilliant and practical book to help you become more emotionally intelligent in negotiations, leadership, sales, change management – or just in general life.

Marketing & Applied Psychology

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference – Malcolm Gladwell

A really good book about the psychology of crowds moving.


Other Publications

I would also highly recommend reading The Economist. It’s genuinely the easiest and best way I’ve found of keeping up to date with whats going on with the world (The mythical ‘Commercial Awareness’ all employers look for) and will help you impress in job interviewers with your newly found well-educated and articulate opinions.


This list has been inspired from here.

And here’s the Goldman Sach’s reading list:

Written by Current or Former Goldman Sachs Employees

Industry Background and Flavor

The following popular works are, of course, exaggerated depictions of the darker side of the industry. However, they do provide some of the flavor of life on “The Street.”

Broad Industry History

Analytical and Reference


FICC & Equities



Written About, By or For Money Managers and Traders