Books I read and recommend in 2012

leave a comment »

One of the reasons I love the Kindle app is because I can easily see what books I read and when. Looking at the themes this year, it was apparent I was heavily into WWII, Big Hollywood Entertainment, the World Economy, Mafia, and Spy stories (fiction and non-fiction).

All of them were pretty good books. I gave a little commentary if they were exceptional.

Trying to go from most recent by category:


  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and hope in a Mumbai slum – Katherine Boo
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World – Michael Lewis (Amazing explanation of what went wrong in Greece, Iceland, Ireland, and US municipalities.  A very easy read that sums up very complicated problems in a very simple way)
  • Confidential: The Life and Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon – Joseph Gelman, Meir Doron (Crazy book about an ex-Mossad spy who was responsible for arming Israel with the nuclear bomb who turned out to be one of the biggest Hollywood movie producers)
  • Disney War: James Stewart (This extremely long book reads like a fiction that you will not be able to put down.  If you like Hollywood, dealmakers, big deals, and the movie business – this is a must read)
  • Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia – Hussain Zaidi
  • The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA – Antonio Mendez (great story of a real CIA spy and how he was involved in things that have become popular stories and movies now)
  • Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America’s Hidden Power Brokers – Gus Russo
  • The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called Dreamworks – Nicole LaPorte (Another great, behind-the-scenes looks at some of Hollywood’s biggest figures and what really happens when egos, money, and pride get in the way)
  • Seven Days from Sunday – M.H. Sargent
  • Churchill – Paul Johnson (probably the best biography of Churchill)
  • Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con – Matt Taibbi

Fiction (I am a huge fan of Ken Follet and Leon Uris, and love history based fiction, primarily in WWII, so didn’t give individual comments):

  • The Tehran Initiative – Joel Rosenberg
  • Berlin Noir – Phillip Kerr
  • Morning Spy, Evening Spy – Colin Mackinnon
  • The Last Supper (Paul Christopher) – Charles McCarry
  • The Old Boys – Charles McCarry
  • Tears of Autumn – Charles McCarry
  • Lie Down with Lions – Ken Follet
  • Jackdraws – Ken Follet
  • Eye of the Needle – Ken Follet
  • The Key to Rebecca – Ken Follet
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (Jack Ryan) – Tom Clancy
  • Triple – Ken Follet
  • Red Storm Rising – Tom Clancy
  • War and Remembrance – Herman Wouk
  • Topaz – Leon Uris
  • Mila 18 – Leon Uris
  • Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin – Leon Uris


  • Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands (great read if you are into big brands and the evolution of how a brand can go from a commodity to a lovemark)
  • Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space – Chan Kim, Renee Maubornge (one of my favorite all-time business books, a must-read if you are an entrepreneur)
  • The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership

Would love to hear if you picked up any of the books I recommend….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: