Career & Success

Stanford GSB Faculty Share Their Holiday Reading Lists

Keep your brain warm with these book suggestions.

December 13, 2023

| by Stanford GSB Staff

| iStock/Iana Miroshnichenko

Whether it’s printed in ink or pixels, a good book is the perfect accessory for cozy winter days. So pour a mug of something warm and curl up with these holiday reading recommendations from Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty members.

The Worlds I See
by Fei-Fei Li

“I loved reading this memoir by Fei-Fei Li, a brilliant member of the Stanford faculty, creator of ImageNet, and founder of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. Fei-Fei recounts the revolution in computer vision, neural networks, and machine learning from a unique perspective as one of the protagonists. Her own story, as an immigrant from China whose parents moved to Parsippany, New Jersey, to give her greater opportunity, is just as remarkable.”

Jonathan Levin, Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business

Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune
by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe

“This book is a page-turner. It is a compelling story of how fortunes were built in America and a reminder that great wealth can come to an end, even when it involves the richest families in America. Riveting, well-narrated, and one more reason why we should teach personal finance in school and college and, yes, at Stanford, too!”

Annamaria Lusardi, professor of finance (by courtesy) and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Against Method
by Paul Feyerabend

“This book argues against imposing too much structure and conformity in the pursuit of knowledge. This ‘anarchistic theory of knowledge’ is admittedly provocative but also well-reasoned. Specifically, Feyerabend studies the case of Galileo’s work on astronomy. He argues that, at every step of the way, Galileo was able to make progress only by disregarding established scientific principles.”

Modibo Khane Camara, assistant professor of economics

Strangers to Ourselves
by Rachel Aviv

“Aviv explores the construction and role of narratives in mental illness through an eclectic array of case studies, carefully contextualized with research on the history of psychiatry. Eschewing overly simplistic and pat conclusions, Aviv captures the inherent uncertainty of the cases with precision and nuance.”

Janet Xu, assistant professor of organizational behavior

Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America
by Les Standiford

“The book narrates Carnegie’s industrial rise and his relationship with Frick, who was a long-time manager of the Carnegie Steel Company. Carnegie arguably became the richest person in the world after he sold his company to the consortium that became U.S. Steel. The book covers interesting developments in steel manufacturing and shows how Carnegie and Frick looked to these new technologies in their zeal to lower costs of production. Labor relations also play an important role and culminate in the deadly Homestead strike of 1892 and the attempted assassination of Frick.”

Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato, professor of economics

Currency Power: Understanding Monetary Rivalry
by Benjamin J. Cohen

Same Bed, Different Dreams: A Novel
by Ed Park

“I’m reading [Currency Power] for work and for fun. I’m very interested in the geopolitics of finance. I also downloaded Same Bed, Different Dreams, which is about a futurist vision of Korea a century from now.”

Darrell Duffie, the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management and Professor of Finance

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World
by David Deutsch

“It gave me a profound jolt in how I view science and epistemology and really made me think about how I know what I think I know. It transformed the way I think.”

Christopher Armstrong, the Joan E. Horngren Professor of Accounting

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