Michael Lewis's Book Bag

The bestselling author of Liar’s Poker, The Blind Side, and, a new chronicle of the financial crisis, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, shares his favorite books of all time.

A Confederacy of Dunces
By John Kennedy Toole

It describes the peculiar street life of the place I grew up (New Orleans) with the precision of a Flemish painting. One of the few books I dip into every few years to make sure I'm still sane. (If I laugh, I am.) It's also one of the three funniest books I've ever read, along with...

Lucky Jim
By Kingsley Amis

It's set just after the Second World War, but it remains a timeless portrait of academic life. You can't help but wonder how much less Kingsley Amis might have achieved if he had been able to control his drinking.

Huckleberry Finn
By Mark Twain

I remember being made to read it in middle school and so opting for the CliffsNotes instead. I picked it up more or less voluntarily in college and could not believe how much better it was than the CliffsNotes. The rendering of the various dialects is one of those remarkable literary feats that writers not named Tom Wolfe should avoid attempting at home.

The Right Stuff
By Tom Wolfe

What Wolfe did with nonfiction in this book sent chills down my spine when I read it. It's pure energy on a page, and I'm amazed the writing of it didn't kill him.

The Education of Henry Adams
By Henry Adams

To end on a more somber note. I remember thinking when I read it, "it's amazing that you can generate art so simply from one's life." I think now: It's amazing how complicated it is to take one's life and turn it into art."

Michael Lewis’s newest book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine has just been released.