Will’s Summer Reading Review

Will’s Summer Reading:

Damn Right! Behind the Scenes with Charlie Munger a biography by Janet Lowe

Kreighton first read this book early in the summer and then kindly passed it one to me.  He does that often!

Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett’s longtime partner at Berkshire Hathaway.

There are many books written about Warren, but not nearly so many written about Mr. Munger.  He is a silent voice of wisdom behind the duo and their story through the lens of Charlie’s life is every bit as interesting.

Kreighton and I aren’t so brazen as to compare ourselves outright to Berkshire Hathaway.  But there are many lessons in the book, especially as they apply to a small firm run by two equal partners, that we both found fascinating.

We often talk to one other and to clients about our different but complimentary skill sets, and it was interesting to see that same dynamic evolve and pay dividends as Berkshire grew over the years.

Warren was quoted as saying:  “I’m the senior partner when the markets are going up.  Charlie’s the senior partner when the markets are going down.”

I’m not sure which of us is Warren and which of us Charlie but my takeaway is that combined experience is where the value is.

Hope you find a copy and enjoy it the way twe did.


I’ll Call You in Kathmandu a biography of Elizabeth Hawley

By all appearances Elizabeth seems English.  She is strict in speech and how she comports herself.  With a classic stiff upper lip at all times, she traveled far and wide quite alone ending up in Nepal of all places one might say.

But one thing she wasn’t was English.  Elizabeth grew up in Chicago.

Elizabeth was a resolute researcher for Time magazine in the 1950’s and used those skills to become the sole chronicler of Himalayan expeditions for the next 50 years.  She still lives in Nepal to this day.  Some of her dearest friends were Sir Edmund Hillary, Reinhold Messner, and many more modern day climbing heroes.

What a man can do, a cat can’t do,
What a cat can do, a man can’t do,
But here is a man from Kathmandu!

Elizabeth has lived a wonderful life filled with many adventures and lived in Nepal during a Golden Age when much was still unexplored there and the Maoists had not yet taken over.

And, she was friends with Will’s grandmother who also lived in Nepal during that same Golden Age of the late 1960’s.


Barbarian Days:  A Surfing Life by William Finnegan:

It’s not often a book on surfing wins a Pulitzer but this one is worth every word.  Yet surfing is just the adventurous backdrop for a story that is really about travel, exploration, and the friends and relationships that the author finds along the way.

We all struggle to find the right work life balance.  Usually that struggle is to carve enough time out from work to follow life’s passions.  Surfers typically have the opposite problem but William Finnegan manages to combine a deep passion searching for far away ocean swells and his resolve to become a respected journalist and author.

I’ll let the book reviewers chime-in:

“Reading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting; William Burroughs on controlled substances; Updike on adultery…. a coming-of-age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboard.” – Sports Illustrated

Only now do I realize it was tops on Obama’s book list last year.
I can’t recommend reading it enough.