Holiday Gifts for Expats and Global Citizens: 10 Great Books from 2015

Chad Creveling, CFA and Peggy Creveling, CFA |

By Peggy Creveling, CFA and Chad Creveling, CFA

As you look for a holiday gift for your favorite expat or perhaps just for some interesting reading over the holidays, have a look through our annual list of highly rated books from 2015, especially selected with the expat reader in mind. All can be easily purchased on the Internet, and while some are more serious, some are just for fun. For those expats who may live far away, most of these titles have a digital version available, which makes getting them to your friend or loved one that much easier.

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity's creation and evolution. One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? "This title is one of the exceptional works of nonfiction that is both highly intellectual and compulsively readable ... a fascinating, hearty read." —Library Journal (starred review)
  2. Sailing Alone Around the World: The Illustrated Edition by Joshua Slocum and Geoffrey Wolff. This is Joshua Slocum's memoir about sailing alone around the world aboard his sloop, Spray. The book was an immediate success when it was first published in 1900 and was highly influential in inspiring later travelers to do the same. Filled with art, photographs, maps, artifacts, and period illustrations, this new edition will be popular with armchair travelers and maritime enthusiasts around the world. Included in this edition are excerpts from those who, inspired by Slocum, also circumnavigated the globe. —
  3. Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman. One of the world's leading authorities on global security, Marc Goodman takes readers deep into the digital underground to expose the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using new and emerging technologies against you—and how this makes everyone more vulnerable than ever imagined. "In Future Crimes, Goodman spills out story after story about how technology has been used for illegal ends ...The author ends with a series of recommendations that, while ambitious, appear sensible and constructive." —Financial Times
  4. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for this book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we've seen before. "Modern Romance provides insight into what people do to find love. He infuses their stories with his sass and parallels their shame with much of his own. On top of that, Ansari's advice is easy to follow and backed with science and research. Modern Romance is the pinnacle of romantic guides—at least until a new dating app makes it obsolete." —Vox
  5. The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino. The former Paris bureau chief of The New York Times reveals the charms and idiosyncrasies of this street, making Paris come alive in all its unique majesty. The Only Street in Paris will make readers hungry for Paris, for cheese and wine, and for the kind of street life that is all too quickly disappearing. "Something interesting for everyone: If you like food, architecture, history, art or simply human stories, you will not be disappointed ... Henry Miller once remarked that ‘to know Paris, is to know a great deal.' So too could be said about Sciolino's version of Rue des Martyrs." —Christian Science Monitor
  6. Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder. A financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade, Red Notice is the story of one man taking on overpowering odds to change the world. "[A] riveting account of Browder's journey through the early years of Russian capitalism ... . Begins as a bildungsroman and ends as Greek tragedy ... . ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,' Magnitsky tells Browder, in the book's most memorable line. Perhaps not, but they do have inspiring ones." —The Washington Post
  7. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler. Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber. "A sly and somewhat subversive history of [the economics] profession ... engrossing and highly relevant." —Jonathan A. Knee, The New York Times
  8. Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out by David Gelles. The first book to explain how all sorts of businesses and any kind of worker can benefit from meditation, yoga, and other mindful techniques. As a business reporter for The New York Times who has also practiced meditation for two decades, David Gelles is uniquely qualified to chart the growing nexus between these two realms. "Brimming with insights and backed up with solid research, Mindful Work takes us to the front lines of a revolution that is transforming the business world." —Arianna Huffington
  9. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins and David Silverman. It's no secret that in any field, small teams have many advantages—they can respond quickly, communicate freely, and make decisions without layers of bureaucracy. But organizations facing really big challenges need management practices that can scale to thousands of people. In this powerful book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be relevant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations. "An unexpected and surprising wealth of information and wonder, it provides a blueprint for how to cope with increasing complexity in the world. A must read for anyone who cares about the future—and that means all of us." —Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind
  10. Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World by Bill Nye. In Unstoppable, Bill Nye crystallizes and expands the message for which he is best known and beloved. That message is that with a combination of optimism and scientific curiosity, all obstacles become opportunities, and the possibilities of our world become limitless. "With his charming, breezy, narrative style, Bill empowers the reader to see the natural world as it is, not as some would wish it to be. He does it right. And, as I expected, he does it best." —Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D, host of Cosmos