More often than not, when I go to the bookstore I leave disappointed. That is usually because I either see my own two books languishing on the bookshelves (or not, in which case I have to beg the bookstore to restock) or because everything is of the ilk, "How to make $1 million overnight in real estate" or "my daddy's neighbor's cousin is the millionaire next door."

Surprisingly, a number of good books have come out about investing in the past few weeks.

Here's what's out there worth reading:

Unconventional Success by David Swensen. If you don't know him, Swensen runs Yale's endowment and has returned 16% a year since he started with the university, beating all other college endowments, including runner-up Harvard. The difference between Swensen and Harvard's Jack Meyer is that Meyer (who is quitting to start a hedge fund) pulls down a $17 million yearly salary vs. Swensen's $1 million. All I can say is, he must love his job.

Unconventional Success basically describes Swensen's approach to asset allocation. A good chunk of the book is spent bashing mutual funds because of their exorbitant fees. However, I think the best part of the book is when he's analyzing other alternative asset classes such as private equity, hedge funds, venture capital and municipals.

His analysis of private equity was particularly interesting. He basically says that it's correlated to the S&P 500, but with leverage (LBO firms use up to 4:1 leverage or more), and it's completely illiquid. So why not buy an index with daily liquidity and just lever it up?

Fortune's Formula by William Poundstone. This book describes the 60-year-long attempt to build a systematic approach to trading. The author focuses on Ed Thorp, who initially wrote the book on how to count cards in blackjack and then settled on more mundane topics like how to make $500 million in the markets. The book follows the antics of information-theory pioneer Claude Shannon, next John Kelly, the pioneer behind money management, and then Thorp and others. A great book that ultimately is a history of the early hedge funds and pioneers.

The Future for Investors by Jeremy Siegel. This is Siegel's follow-up to Stocks for the Long Run. The book describes a phenomenon that I've written about many times on the site: Don't believe the "passive" index managers. Often, the deletions from indices outperform the stocks being added to the different indices. When a stock joins an index, that's usually when it's riding high, showing great returns and growth, and is popular with the media. This is exactly the time one shouldn't be buying. And Siegel has the stats to prove it. Similar to Swensen, there's also a discussion of mutual funds, but this is less interesting to me.

The Search by John Battelle. It's been a while since there's been a good book about Internet technology and business ( The Nudist on the Late Shift, by Po Bronson? The Internet Bubble, by Tony Perkins?). Search gets into the history of all the search engines, from Lycos, Excite and Alta Vista, to Yahoo! and Google. He also goes into the history of the different ways these companies developed their business models and how ultimately Bill Gross at Idealab (think " Overture") and the Google guys came up with the right model.

Battelle gets access to all the founders of these companies, gets into the technology without being boring about it, and gets excited enough about his topic that we get a sense that this is only the beginning. The battle for search dominance and its uses in our life is only just beginning. I highly recommend this one for anyone investing in the space.

James Altucher is a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs several quantitative-based hedge funds as well as a fund of hedge funds. He is also the author of Trade Like a Hedge Fund and Trade Like Warren Buffett. At the time of publication, neither Altucher nor his fund had a position in any of the securities mentioned in this column, although positions may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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