Good book suggestions

We love good book suggestions. The following three books were recommended in a recent newsletter from South African based Odyssey Capital, a manager of domestic and international bespoke investment portfolios.

The greatest gambling story ever told: The true tale of three gamblers, the Kentucky Derby, and the Mexican cartel by Mark Paul.

This is an inspiring, true story about a filly that broke through the male-dominated world of horseracing, along with a trio of gamblers.  It’s Seabiscuit meets Narcos, and the best gambling story ever told.

In the late 1980s a spectacular three-year-old female racehorse named Winning Colors was being groomed for success by her celebrity trainers. Meanwhile, three fun-loving gamblers, Miami Paul, Dino Mateo, and Big Bernie believe that the horse could win the 1988 Kentucky Derby.

When the gamblers unknowingly place their longshot bet with members of a suspected drug cartel at a racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico, they must figure out how to claim their prize, without getting killed in the process. In a heart-pounding race of their own across the U.S.-Mexico border, the trio come face-to-face with suspected killers, are arrested by the Border Patrol, and fumble their way through the riskiest bet of their lives.

Author Mark Paul has been a gambler since his teens. He has traveled through South America in search of gambling locations and once made a 5 000-mile journey in a sailboat through the Panama Canal and then on to the island of Jamaica, to attend Caribbean and South American horse races. He was a participant in a $1 million win on the 1988 Kentucky Derby with two other gamblers through a bet placed in Tijuana, Mexico.

More recently, he has become a horse owner and has enjoyed a commercial real estate career.

Bubble in the sun: The Florida boom of the 1920’s and how it brought on the Great Depression by Christopher Knowlton.

The following is an edited description of the book is from

The 1920s in Florida was a time of excess, wealth and ultimately precipitous collapse. The 20’s decade saw one of the largest human migrations in American history, far exceeding the settlement of the West, as millions flocked to the grand hotels and the new cities that rose rapidly from the teeming wetlands.

Knowlton’s book explores the large-scale assault on the environment in the name of progress and the excessive glitz and froth of the Roaring Twenties in Florida. He describes a society where gambling and drinking were condoned as prohibition was not enforced and tycoons, crooks, and celebrities partied in the sunshine. Readers follow the lives of real estate moguls Carl Fisher, George Merrick, and Addison Mizner, and the once-in-a-century hurricane whose aftermath triggered the stock market crash.

This book was an Editor’s Choice/ Staff Pick at the New York Times Book Review.

The author Christopher Knowlton is a former staff writer and London bureau chief for Fortune magazine. This is his second book; his first book was Cattle Kingdom: The hidden history of the cowboy West.

Atomic Habits: An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones by James Clear.

Atomic Habits has been described as one of the ‘most comprehensive and practical guide on how to create good habits, break bad ones, and get 1 percent better every day’.

Reviewers have noted that bad habits repeat themselves not because you don’t want to change but because you have the wrong system for change. One of the core philosophies of this book is ‘You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems’.

The book promises to teach readers a proven plan that will take them to a different habit-free future.

Author James Clear has been described as one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation. He writes about habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement. His work has appeared in Entrepreneur magazine, Time magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and on CBS This Morning.

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