Ezra Klein's favorite books

  • What It Takes

    What It Takes

    Stephen A. Schwarzman
    Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence
    Chief executive officers

    'This story literally has what it takes: the anecdotes, the insights and, most of all, the values to guide the next generation of entrepreneurs.' Mark Carney 'The real story of what it takes from a man who could turn dreams into realities.' Ray Dalio 'Candid, funny and real, Steve offers wisdom and the gift of much-needed common sense chapter by chapter and experience by experience. A great read!' John Kerry From Blackstone chairman, CEO and co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, a long-awaited book that uses impactful episodes from Schwarzman's life to show readers how to build, transform and lead thriving organisations. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, philanthropist, executive or simply someone looking for ways to maximise your potential, the same lessons apply. People know who Stephen Schwarzman is - at least they think they do. He's the man who took $400,000 and co-founded Blackstone, the investment firm that manages over $500 billion (as of January 2019). He's the CEO whose views are sought by heads of state. But behind these achievements is a man who has spent his life learning and reflecting on what it takes to achieve excellence, make an impact, and live a life of consequence. Folding handkerchiefs in his father's linen shop, Schwarzman dreamed of a larger life, filled with purpose and adventure. After starting his career in finance with a short stint at a financial firm called DLJ, Schwarzman began working at Lehman Brothers where he ascended to run the mergers and acquisitions practice. He eventually partnered with his mentor and friend Pete Peterson to found Blackstone, vowing to create a new and different kind of financial institution. Building Blackstone into the leading global financial institution it is today didn't come easy. Schwarzman's simple mantra 'don't lose money' has helped Blackstone become a leading private equity and real estate investor, and manager of alternative assets for institutional investors globally. From deal-making to investing, leadership to entrepreneurship, philanthropy to diplomacy, Schwarzman has lessons for how to think about ambition and scale, risk and opportunities, and how to achieve success through the relentless pursuit of excellence. Schwarzman not only offers readers a thoughtful reflection on all his own experiences, but in doing so provides a practical blueprint for success.

    Buy on Amazon

    Everybody should read it

    Dec 13, 2016 — Source

  • Creativity, Inc.

    an amazing, amazing book

    Dec 13, 2016 — Source

  • The City We Became

    The City We Became

    N. K. Jemisin
    A Novel
    Fiction

    Three-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a "glorious" story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City. In Manhattan, a young grad student gets off the train and realizes he doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can sense the beating heart of the city, see its history, and feel its power. In the Bronx, a Lenape gallery director discovers strange graffiti scattered throughout the city, so beautiful and powerful it's as if the paint is literally calling to her. In Brooklyn, a politician and mother finds she can hear the songs of her city, pulsing to the beat of her Louboutin heels. And they're not the only ones. Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six. For more from N. K. Jemisin, check out: The Inheritance Trilogy The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms The Broken Kingdoms The Kingdom of Gods The Inheritance Trilogy (omnibus edition) Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych (e-only short fiction) The Awakened Kingdom (e-only novella) Dreamblood Duology The Killing Moon The Shadowed Sun The Dreamblood Duology (omnibus) The Broken Earth The Fifth Season The Obelisk Gate The Stone Sky How Long 'til Black Future Month? (short story collection) "A glorious fantasy." —Neil Gaiman

    Buy on Amazon

    beautiful writing built on fantastical premises.

    Jun 25, 2020 — Source

  • Beyond Ideology

    Beyond Ideology

    Frances E. Lee
    Politics, Principles, and Partisanship in the U. S. Senate
    Political Science

    The congressional agenda, Frances Lee contends, includes many issues about which liberals and conservatives generally agree. Even over these matters, though, Democratic and Republican senators tend to fight with each other. What explains this discord? Beyond Ideology argues that many partisan battles are rooted in competition for power rather than disagreement over the rightful role of government. The first book to systematically distinguish Senate disputes centering on ideological questions from the large proportion of them that do not, this volume foregrounds the role of power struggle in partisan conflict. Presidential leadership, for example, inherently polarizes legislators who can influence public opinion of the president and his party by how they handle his agenda. Senators also exploit good government measures and floor debate to embarrass opponents and burnish their own party’s image—even when the issues involved are broadly supported or low-stakes. Moreover, Lee contends, the congressional agenda itself amplifies conflict by increasingly focusing on issues that reliably differentiate the parties. With the new president pledging to stem the tide of partisan polarization, Beyond Ideology provides a timely taxonomy of exactly what stands in his way.

    Buy on Amazon

    the book that is probably the most influential for me

    Dec 13, 2016 — Source

  • This is How You Lose the Time War

    beautiful writing built on fantastical premises.

    Jun 25, 2020 — Source

  • Nothing to See Here

    Nothing to See Here

    Kevin Wilson
    Fiction

    A New York Times Bestseller • A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick! Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, People, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, TIME, The A.V. Club, Buzzfeed, and PopSugar “I can’t believe how good this book is.... It’s wholly original. It’s also perfect.... Wilson writes with such a light touch.... The brilliance of the novel [is] that it distracts you with these weirdo characters and mesmerizing and funny sentences and then hits you in a way you didn’t see coming. You’re laughing so hard you don’t even realize that you’ve suddenly caught fire.” —Taffy Brodesser-Akner, author of Fleishman is in Trouble, New York Times Book Review From the New York Times bestselling author of The Family Fang, a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with a remarkable ability. Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help. Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth. Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for? With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.

    Buy on Amazon

    beautiful writing built on fantastical premises.

    Jun 25, 2020 — Source

  • Give People Money

    Give People Money

    Annie Lowrey
    How Universal Basic Income Could Change the Future -- for the Rich, the Poor, and Everyone in Between

    Surely just giving people money couldn't work. Or could it? Imagine if every month the government deposited £1000 in your bank account, with no strings attached and nothing expected in return. It sounds crazy, but Universal Basic Income (UBI) has become one of the most influential policy ideas of our time, backed by thinkers on both the left and the right. The founder of Facebook, Obama's chief economist, governments from Canada to Finland are all seriously debating some form of UBI. In this sparkling and provocative book, economics writer Annie Lowrey looks at the global UBI movement. She travels to Kenya to see how UBI is lifting the poorest people on earth out of destitution, India to see how inefficient government programs are failing the poor, South Korea to interrogate UBI's intellectual pedigree, and Silicon Valley to meet the tech titans financing UBI pilots in expectation of a world with advanced artificial intelligence and little need for human labour. She also examines at the challenges the movement faces: contradictory aims, uncomfortable costs, and most powerfully, the entrenched belief that no one should get something for nothing. The UBI movement is not just an economic policy -- it also calls into question our deepest intuitions about what we owe each other and what activities we should reward and value as a society.

    Buy on Amazon

    Brilliant book

    Apr 28, 2020 — Source

  • The Gamble

    I think is really helpful.

    Dec 13, 2016 — Source