Biographies, historical fiction and how-to self-help books top the summer reading lists of readers of Pensions & Investments.
Charles Van Vleet, chief investment officer at Textron Inc., says he turns to history for his summer reads. He's halfway through "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America" by Colin Woodard, about the 11 distinct nations of Native Americans.
"I have found insights into the political and cultural fractures that divide the nation today," Mr. Van Vleet said in an email.
He is also in the middle of a new favorite: "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind," by Yuval Noah Harari, which covers the evolution of the species from the Stone Age to today. He's currently on a chapter covering the ability of the species to create shared fictions.
A number of senior executives from the San Francisco-based in- vestment consulting firm Callan LLC shared what they're reading this summer.
Jay Kloepfer, Callan's executive vice president and director of capital markets research, is also reading "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Mr. Harari. "A fascinating survey of human development, by a person who is clearly a revolutionary thinker," Mr. Kloepfer said. "I am late to the game with Harari, but am fascinated."
"In honor of Callan's new Portland office I'm just finishing a third book by my good friend Ted Haynes who writes historical fiction novels about Oregon," said Ron Peyton, executive chairman. "'Suspects' is a murder mystery that portrays life, work, deceit and the great outdoors to spin a web of clever intrigue through first-person narratives."
Greg Allen, Callan's CEO and chief research officer, offered "The Honey Bus" by Meredith May, as one of his summer reads. "It's a memoir that reads more like a novel," said Mr. Allen. "Meredith May has a wonderful way of describing the ordinary events in life and making them extraordinary."
Marcus Frampton, CIO of the $65.8 billion Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Juneau, has a number of books, both investing and non-investing, on his list. Those in the former category include "Pioneering Portfolio Management" by David Swensen, chief investment officer of Yale University's $29.4 billion endowment, and "John Neff on Investing" by John Neff. "I recently read Mr. Neff's obituary and am a fan of following contrarian and value investors. This piqued my interest to order his book," Mr. Frampton said.
Outside of investing, Mr. Frampton highlighted "It Starts with Food" by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. Mr. Frampton said since he joined the fund as CIO in September, "I haven't paid as much attention to my health in this year as I should've, due to all the work and crazy markets so am considering the health/diet reset that they recommend in the book ... but first I will read the book!"