Holiday Gifts for Expats and Global Citizens: 10 Great Books from 2018

Chad Creveling, CFA and Peggy 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 the past year, especially selected with the expat reader in mind. All can be easily purchased on the internet, and while some are more serious, others are just for fun. For those expats who may live far away, all of these titles have a digital version available, which makes getting them to your friend or loved one that much easier.



  1. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker. Drawing on her expertise as a facilitator of high-powered gatherings around the world, Parker takes us inside events of all kinds to show what works, what doesn't, and why. She investigates a wide array of gatherings—conferences, meetings, a courtroom, a flash-mob party, an Arab–Israeli summer camp—and explains how simple, specific changes can invigorate any group experience. "Hosts of all kinds, this is a must-read!" —Chris Anderson, owner and curator of TED
  2. Churchill: Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts. In this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material, the true genius of the man, statesman, and leader can finally be fully seen and understood—by the best-selling, award-winning author of Napoleon and The Storm of War. "The best single-volume life imaginable of a man whose life it would seem technically impossible to get into a single volume." —Daily Telegraph
  3. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee. Dr. Kai-Fu Lee—one of the world’s most respected experts on artificial intelligence and China—reveals that China has suddenly caught up to the U.S. at an astonishingly rapid and unexpected pace.  In AI Superpowers, Kai-Fu Lee argues powerfully that because of these unprecedented developments in AI, dramatic changes will be happening much sooner than many of us expected. "After thirty years of pioneering work in artificial intelligence at Google China, Microsoft, Apple and other companies, Lee says he’s figured out the blueprint for humans to thrive in the coming decade of massive technological disruption." —Forbes
  4. The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre. The celebrated author of Double Cross and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Americans-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War. Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet. “Readers seeking a page-turning spy story, look no further. The author of A Spy Among Friends and Agent Zigzag, among others, does it again, this time delivering a Cold War espionage story for the ages … another can’t miss account of intrigue and intelligence.” —Boston Globe
  5. Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas. An insider's groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to "change the world" preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. Former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can—except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? “Anand Giridharadas takes a swipe at the global elite in a trenchant, provocative and well-researched book about the people who are notionally generating social change ... Read it and beware.” —Martha Lane Fox, Financial Times
  6. The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing by Merve Emre. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the most popular personality test in the world. Conceived by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, it is used regularly by Fortune 500 companies, universities, hospitals, churches, and the military. Its language of personality types—extraversion and introversion, sensing and intuiting, thinking and feeling, judging and perceiving—has inspired television shows, online dating platforms, and Buzzfeed quizzes. “Superb and deeply thoughtful … a thrilling biography of Katherine and Isabel as well as a broad analysis of our modern mania for defining the human self.” —Sunday Times (UK)
  7. The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English by Lynne Murphy.  “English accents are the sexiest.” “Americans have ruined the English language.”  In The Prodigal Tongue, Murphy unravels the prejudices, stereotypes, and insecurities that shape our attitudes to our own language.  "The book’s chief pleasure is a simple one: Instead of sending the language to school, it savors a great many words and phrases that are staples on one side of the pond and unfamiliar on the other ... her essential argument is that the plurality of English, a result of the riotous drama of history, is something to extol." —Wall Street Journal
  8. Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright. A personal and urgent examination of fascism in the 20th century and how its legacy shapes today’s world, written by one of America’s most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state. “At a moment when the question ‘Is this how it begins?’ haunts Western democracies, (Ms. Albright) writes with rare authority.” —Economist
  9. Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien. Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky. “Exhilarating ... vibrant ... O’Brien’s prose reverberates with fiery crashes, then stings with the tragedy of lives lost in the cockpit and sometimes, equally heartbreaking, on the ground.”—New York Times Book Review
  10. How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan. A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs—and the spellbinding story of the author’s own life-changing psychedelic experiences. The true subject of Pollan's "mental travelogue" is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives. “One of the book’s important messages is that the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, for the dying or seriously ill, can’t be separated from the mystical experiences to which they give rise.” —The Guardian


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Creveling & Creveling is a private wealth advisory firm specializing in helping expatriates living in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia build and preserve their wealth. The firm is a Registered Investment Adviser with the U.S. SEC and is licensed and regulated by the Thai SEC. Through a unique, integrated consulting approach, Creveling & Creveling is dedicated to helping clients cut through the financial intricacies of expat life, make better decisions with their money, and take the steps necessary to provide a more secure future.

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