The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return by Mihir A. Desai ’89 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
A work of finance with no graphs or equations? In this ambitious attempt to demystify the financial universe, Desai, a Harvard Business School professor, draws examples from novels, movies, television, and history to illuminate a swath of basic financial principles. The book began as a lecture to Harvard’s 2015 MBA class, and in this expanded version Desai argues that Lizzie Bennet, from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is in fact a talented risk manager and that there are diversification lessons to be learned from The Wire.
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker ’89 (St. Martin’s).
One night three years ago the teenaged Tanner sisters, Emma and Cassandra, ran away from their apparently perfect suburban home. Now only Cassandra has come back. So opens Walker’s fourth novel and second thriller. As the narrative baton passes among Cass, the younger sister, and Abby Winter, an FBI investigator, the unraveling mystery draws in an island off the coast of Maine, a pregnancy, a kidnapping, sibling rivalry, and plenty of page-turning dysfunctional deceit.
Senator Leahy: A Life in Scenes by Philip Baruth ’84 (New England).
First elected in 1974, at the age of 34, to represent Vermont, Patrick Leahy is now the longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate. This new biography, the first about Leahy, centers on three somewhat incongruous landmarks: his first Senate race, the fact that he was targeted in a 2001 anthrax attack, and his cameo roles in The Dark Knight Batman films. The author of four novels, Baruth, a UVM English professor and Vermont state senator, uses these events to highlight different aspects of Leahy’s life while weaving in a wealth of backstory to round out this vivid portrait.