Read like an investment banker: 11 titles from Goldman Sachs' back to school book list

Emma Haslett
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Goldman Sachs' reading list includes some heft tomes (Source: Getty)

If you've ever wanted to get into the mindset of an investment banker, here's one thing that can help (besides avoiding brown shoes): Goldman Sachs has just published its annual back to school reading list.

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Bill Gates, the list is compiled by some of the bank's most senior people - including, from its London office, Bobby Vedral, of its securities division and Sally Boyle, its HR chief.

Here's what Goldman recommends:

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1. Dispatches, by Michael Herr

"Michael Herr's essential work of reportage on Vietnam... Herr renders Vietnam as at once terrifying and desensitizsing, while also expressing the disaffection of a generation".

2. The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes

"Barnes constructs an imagined inner narrative of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich as he grapples with the idea of truth in life and art under Stalin's regime."

3. Massive Change, by Bruce Mau

"The book is a collection of essays from some of the most creative minds on our planet... [and] will help you understand how to 'tap into global commons', 'distribute capacity' and 'embrace paradox'."

4. Zero to One, by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel

"The concept is simple enough, the next Bill Gates won’t invent an operating system, the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t invent a social network."

5. Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics, by Jonathan Wilson

"Describes how football tactics have evolved over time. Applicable to our work – as it shows how 'change is the only constant'."

6. World Order, by Henry Kissinger

"Nobody knows the world of politics and diplomacy better than Henry Kissinger."

7. Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond

"What makes the difference between conquerors and conquered? The author demonstrates from various points of view that it wasn’t because of the superiority or inferiority of particular races, but because of the geographical and ecological advantages."

8. Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything, by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

"A must-read for every ‘Seinfeld’ addict."

9. The Healthy Workplace, by Leigh Stringer

"This is a well-researched book... designed to shed light on how simple changes to our office workplace can increase worker productivity, reduce medical costs, and create healthier, happier employees."

10. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't, by Nate Silver

"A remarkably engaging book about how people fail when making predictions and the approaches followed by superior predictors."

11. Black Wealth, White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality, by Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro

"The book explains many important historical facts about wealth in the black community and how public policies have impacted the problem."

Goldman says it will update the list over the next few weeks, so keep checking back here - or find out what other City bigwigs read over the summer here.

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