Summer reading

Launched five years ago, JPMorgan Private Bank''s Summer Reading List has established itself as a great source for holiday reading - whether at the villa in Tuscany, or on the beach in Bali.

The private bank taps the reading habits of its relationship managers and their clients around the world to get recommendations on the best books published in the past six months. This year a total of 202 books were submitted (mostly non-fiction). This was then narrowed down to a list of 10 books dealing with themes deemed to be of interest to high net worth clients, wherever they are in the world.

The firm's review committee consisted of two people from Asia, two from the US, two from Europe and two from Latin America.

Clients of the firm are given copies of the books, but can also buy additional copies from - with proceeds donated to Literacy Partners, a non-profit literacy group dedicated to helping adults learn to read and write.

This year's list:

Centuries of Success: Lessons from the World's Most Enduring Family Businesses by William T. O'Hara.

Around the world, family businesses are booming. Centuries of Success introduces some of the most intriguing and longest running family businesses from Europe to Japan, the United States to South Africa. The range of businesses is as unique as the families that have spurred their growth for centuries.

There are stories of a family company focused on Japanese temple restoration since 578, a "young" Italian winery founded in the mid 12th century, Turkish cymbal manufacturers, plantation owners, and more. Each story has "lessons learned" for keeping the business going, and the family engaged in the process.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss.

In an era of email and voicemail, proper communication is critical. Eats, Shoots & Leaves (which derives its name from a humorous misinterpretation of a description of a panda bear) makes the business of communicating interesting and even memorable.

This "zero tolerance" approach may remind some of grammar school. Regardless of age, everyone can benefit from this quick, engaging read.

Europe Without Borders: Territory, Citizenship, and Identity in a Transnational Age by Mabel Berezin, Martin Schain, and John Agnew.

Leading experts in sociology, political science, geography, psychology, and anthropology examine the intersection of identity and territory in the new Europe. Contributors address such topics as how Europeans now see themselves in relation to national identity, whether they identify themselves as citizens of a particular country or as members of a larger sociopolitical entity, how both natives and immigrants experience national and transnational identity at the local level, and the impact of globalization on national culture and the idea of the nation-state.

Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center by Daniel Okrent.

Icons of US industry and New York City, the Rockefellers reign strong. Okrent creates a tapestry, bringing together themes of politics, art and architecture with business and society. What emerges is the story of a majestic suite of buildings that helped solidify midtown Manhattan as a dominant force in global business.

George Plimpton on Sports by George Plimpton.

With wit and wisdom, Plimpton unearths the essence of sports and competition. Readers will see and appreciate sports in an all new light. From the great game of golf to the gridiron to even a "master" grape catcher who boldly takes on Trump Tower with his rare sports feat. Each story makes you laugh and wish Plimpton was still alive to keep weaving his story-telling magic.

Hello Kitty: The Remarkable Story of Sanrio and the Billion Dollar Feline Phenomenon by Ken Belson and Brian Bremner.

Japan's brilliant answer to Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty has emerged as a global phenomenon. Discover how Sanrio, the company behind Hello Kitty, turned a cutesy cartoon cat into a multi-billion global commodity. The company's biggest coup cited is making the cat as appealing to kids as well as women around the world in their 20s and 30s.

Living to Tell the Tale by Gabriel García Márquez, Edith Grossman (translator).

In this first volume of a long-awaited trilogy, Nobel laureate Marquez begins the chronicle of his early life. Entering his world, readers meet eccentric family members, learn of the events that shaped his life, and milestones during his early career as a writer - all within the context of the myths and mysteries of Colombia.

Modern Glamour: The Art of Unexpected Style by Kelly Wearstler, Grey Crawford (photographer), with Jane Bogart.

Drama and design have become ingeniously linked, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Modern Glamour. Learn from a pro about what makes for bold, memorable design and just how well individuals and businesses utilize design to create a point of difference.

Rambam's Ladder: A Meditation on Generosity and Why it is Necessary to Give by Julie Salamon.

Lessons from a 12th century sage provide a thoughtful framework for examining philanthropy and personal giving. Through stories about businesses and individuals who give, as well as those in need, Ramban's Ladder helps readers discover more about the power of giving and receiving.

Why Not?: How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small by Barry Nalebuff and Ian Ayres.

The Summer is an ideal time to take a break and think about what's possible. Nalebuff and Ayers, psychologists from Yale, lead this quest of every day discovery and possibility. Using real business case studies and common products and services (from home equity insurance to lotto tickets) they help expose a new way of thinking about business possibilities. Throughout, readers learn a new way to approach challenges and to think and discover that there are clever, profitable concepts just waiting to be uncovered.

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